Appropriations Committee Hears Testimony on Housing, Construction Budget for FY2023

Paul D. Cramer, performing the duties of assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, and others meet with the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies to testify on the fiscal year 2023 budget request for military construction and family housing, May 18, 2022.


During other military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies appropriation subcommittee is now called to order. Uh The purpose of this hearing is to receive testimony from the representatives of the office of the Secretary of Defense and the Military services regarding their fy 23 military construction and family housing budget requests this year with the addition of a witness from the Space Force are hearing will consist of two panels. Our first panel includes witnesses from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Navy and the Marine Corps. The second panel will consist of witnesses from the Army, the Air Force and the Space Force I’d like to say thank you to our first panel of witnesses for being here today from Osd Mr. Paul Kramer performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for energy, installations and environment from the Navy. Vice Admiral Ricky Williamson, Deputy Chief of Naval Logistics, Naval Operations for fleet readiness and Logistics and Marine Corps. Lieutenant General Edward Banta, Deputy commandant for installations and logistics. This year, the Department of the department has sent over a budget request of 12.15 billion for the military construction and family housing accounts. A 23% increase over last year’s request. It is also the highest request level since fiscal year 2012. Uh that said the department has relied on and apparently will continue to look towards congressional increases year over year to get at the true milk on funding needs. While it is clear more needs to be done. I encouraged, encouraged to see D. O. D. continuing to increase its request this year’s request includes a significant investment in several major infrastructure programs, the Navy is asking for nearly 1.2 billion for three construction projects and 88 million in design funding supporting the shipyard infrastructure optimization program. In recent years, this committee has been supportive of the Navy’s effort to overhaul our four public shipyards and we will continue to keep a close eye on the program. The Marine Corps has identified $330 million dollars to continue the construction of a new base on Guam. The air force request addresses several new missions and includes over 200 million for projects Supporting B 21 bed down 444 million in funding for the ground based strategic deterrent infrastructure. We know that each of these programs will require many years of dedicated funding. I am pleased that the request includes 553 million for the energy resilience and conservation investment program or worship the highest amount since the creation of the program. The request underscores this administration’s commitment to investing in critical critical energy resilience projects and a clear understanding of their tie to readiness. I will also note that the future years defense program shows continued increases to the Earthship account year over year. Given the clear demand for and increased complexity and cost of projects, I expect the department to hold to that plan. I’ve been vocal about the need for the United States to embrace and accelerate electrification and I am encouraged by the Army’s commitment to install a micro grid on every installation by 2035. While each service and indeed installation is unique in its energy needs. I expect that each of you is looking closely at how to build a more resilient, efficient and clean energy and water for that matter systems. I look forward to hearing from you on that subject today. The request also includes significant investments in our overseas posture for design and construction of infrastructure supporting the European Deterrence initiative. The request provides $430 million. The administration also asked for over 1.2 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. At the same time, the need for recapitalization of existing facilities continues to grow. This year, we received unfunded priority list from the services and defense wide agencies that totaled nearly $4 billion. Many of the projects that were pushed out of the budget, support enduring missions and support enduring missions and quality of life investments such as construction of new troops and family housing, child development centers and critical training and maintenance infrastructure. We continue to see facilities age often held together by short term maintenance fixes. While the complexity of our infrastructure grows and global market volatility. Volatility drives up costs. The vulnerability of this aging infrastructure to climate cyber and energy threats also cannot be understated as such. I must note that the request once again clearly prioritizes new mission infrastructure over current mission and existing facility recapitalization and I look forward to hearing about the installation investment strategies across the department. With that. I will thank our witnesses again for being here today and I’ll turn things over to ranking member Bozeman for his opening statement. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman and I also would like to extend a a warm welcome to our witnesses here today and just thank you for you and the audience. You know, you look out and see all of these uniforms. Just thank you for your service to our country in so many different ways it’s greatly appreciated. I was pleasantly surprised to see this year’s budget request at $12.2 billion $9.8 billion. It’s one of the highest milk on request in years but it’s also an 18% decrease from the fiscal year 20 to 2022 enacted level Of 14.9. The fiscal year 2022 bill included unprecedented funding levels which was necessary as the Milken portfolio is routinely underfunded and has been taking on increasing levels of risk for years. Unfortunately this trend doesn’t seem to be changing as this year’s request remains only 1.5% of the total D. O. D. Budget. I’m also concerned about multiple aspects of this year’s budget that further compound the challenges presented to mill con and quickly dilute this year’s increased request further I would like to address increments not that long ago $100 million dollars was an expensive price tag and increments were the exception rather than the rule. Now we’re looking at projects that exceed $1 billion dollars with increments and becoming a common way of doing business. Nearly one third of this year’s request $3.5 billion is for 27 27 instrumented projects and we know more will be added in future request. We’ve known for years that more complex and large scale projects would start to take up a greater share of the budget but without corresponding top line increases and already constrained budget is squeezed even further to accommodate increments for these expensive projects. Another challenge is the impact of inflation, inflation and supply chain issues on the construction market and the corresponding increased cost of projects. One of the challenges of milk on is the delay between budget development and project execution with the current environment exacerbating this issue greatly. I’m concerned about market volatility, supply chain disruptions, worker shortages, the cost of fuel, unprecedented increases in material cost and record inflation and how these impact the projects in this budget as well as projects currently in execution. I’d like to know what the department is doing to address these issues and incorporate these variables in the budget estimates and project execution. I know it’s a big task. We’ve already been notified of projects in this request whose costs are outdated, which doesn’t bode well for the health of the program. I look forward to working with the department to address these issues and continue uh the work needed to ensure a successful milk on program. And with that I yield back. Mr. Chairman. Thank you. Senator Bozeman. Um we will now proceed with witness statements starting with Mr. Kramer uh then Admiral Williamson and finishing with General Banta Mr. Kramer. You’re recognized for your opening statement and your full written testimony will be included in the record. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. Ranking member Bozeman. Distinguished members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to present the president’s fiscal 2023 budget request for the department’s energy installation and environment programs. While my full written statement has been submitted for the record, I will highlight a few areas are installations remain one of our primary weapons systems. But the stark reality is that we we must ensure that our installations are not only postured to support the joint force but they’re resilient against the full range of natural and man-made threats. Our 2023 budget request supports our efforts to address mission requirements, Uh ensure service members have a safe place to live and work and also addresses resilience challenges. We requested 29.2 billion for military construction and sustainment restoration, monitors, modernization, funding for our facilities to address critical mission requirements and life health safety concerns within the current fiscal environment. This funding will be used to replace, restore and modernize enduring facilities To enhance the resilience to climate events and promotes elimination of excess and obsolete facilities. The department is also addressing a range of technical operational and policy initiatives to enhance the use of energy in warfighting are 1.9 billion requests for insulation, energy resilience and energy conservation initiatives will ensure our energy supplies and methods of supply are resilient, sustainable and affordable. The backbone of these efforts is the Energy resilience and Conservation Investment Program, which provides a full support, a full range of projects and technologies but will increase focus on building cybersecurity microgrids that incorporate energy energy generation and power storage technologies. Our request is uh for this vital program is $553 million. Nearly double our FY 2022 request and reflects the increased planning and design work required for the more complex projects in the program. The key focus of this year’s budget request is addressing climate change. The changing climate will continue to amplify operational demands on the force degrade installation and infrastructure, increase health risks to our service members and require modification too much of our existing and planned equipment. Extreme weather events are are already costing billions of dollars and those costs are likely to increase our resilience investments are guided by the Department of Defense climate adaptation plan, which provides a roadmap for D. O. D. Activities and investments to enable operations to continue under changing conditions while preserving operational capability and enhancing the natural and man-made systems essential for the department’s success. We are also committed to protecting the quality of life for our personnel and their families. Our primary focus here is to ensure access to safe, high quality, affordable family and unaccompanied housing. Our budget includes 1.9 billion to support our worldwide non privatized family housing inventory, which includes more than 34,000 government owned and 50 800 leased units with regard to privatized housing. The department continues to prioritize actions that improve the tenant experience and rebuild tenant trust. Our initial phase was predominantly focused on implementing the MHP I tenant bill of rights and the N. D. A. Origin’s embedded within those rights. The department will now ensure the oversight measures that have been put into place are being put into action at each of our installations. We appreciate Congress and the support you’ve given us in fy 22 budget. Uh and we continue, we appreciate your continued support as we work together to provide the best possible support for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and guardians. I look forward to your questions. Chairman Heinrich, Ranking member Bozeman and distinguished members of the committee in conjunction with the other members of the panel. I appreciate the opportunity to provide an update on the quality and resilience of our Navy installations On behalf of our sailors and their families. Thank you for your continued support of the Navy, its military construction program and our 71 installations around the world which enable us to strengthen readiness and to support delivery of new and more lethal platforms. Additionally, thank you for your ongoing focus on the Navy’s quality of life programs which are critical to the overall success of our Navy. In December of last year, the Chief of Naval Operations issued a call to action for every Navy leader to apply a set of Navy proven leadership and problem solving best practices that empower our people to achieve exceptional performance. We have embraced this call because this is how we have always conducted our business constantly self-assessing as part of an effort to get real and self-correcting our discrepancies to get better to meet the challenges of strategic competition and evolving theater environment. We must enable global logistics. We resilient short infrastructure and be honest about our current performance, maintaining our advantage at sea requires transformational change ashore. To support and sustain the fleet of the future. We recently released the naval Global Strategy ashore, which is the Navy strategic direction for the uh Navy shore enterprise. Aligned with the National Defense Strategy. Our Navy requires short platforms to be capable of supporting full spectrum multi domain conflicts with near peer competitors while also protecting against responding to and recovering from attacks or disruptions intended to degrade operations. This strategy provides a roadmap for identifying and re sourcing all shore operations activities and investments, enabling fleet warfighting capabilities that are aligned to the CNS navigation plan. Navy installations located in the United States and around the world are essential shore platforms from which naval forces train, deploy and maintain forward presence to enable geographic combatant commanders to meet operational requirements and modernized and ready. Organic industrial base is a vital component of readiness. The Navy is leading the efforts to take an enterprise wide approach to optimize infrastructure at the shipyards, depots and logistics complexes that repair and modernize our ships, submarines and aircraft. The shipyard infrastructure optimization program, Saya, is a critical program to prepare the nation’s for public shipyards to meet the further needs of the Navy’s nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carrier force funding applied to our installations, also supports climate resilience, which is an important component of installation readiness. The Navy works to ensure installations and infrastructure are resilient to a range of challenges, including extreme weather. It is a privilege to testify before the committee today and I look forward to answering your questions. Chairman Heinrich, Ranking member Bozeman and distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Marine Corps’s FY 23 military construction budget request today. First, I’d like to thank you for the funding of last year’s budget request and our unfunded priorities list. That funding, which totaled over $2 billion title 10 obligations now and in the future. Our installations play a key role in meeting the challenges facing our nation, the rain course. Overseas installations are especially critical as advanced naval bases in support of naval and joint operations. We need modernized infrastructure that is resilient against threats ranging from Connecticut tack to cybersecurity breaches, to damage from extreme weather. To meet these challenges, the Marine Corps has requested over $1.2 billion 23. This year’s request has a broad focus and includes projects that invest in several key areas, including life, health and safety issues, quality of life projects and infrastructure support for new platforms. Over half of this request is focused on the pacific including four projects in Guam that will help posture the 22,000 marines located west of the International Date line in a fighting stance. The quality of life of our marines, sailors and their families is integral to the readiness and effectiveness of our force. A new child development center at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar will be complete this summer and three more projects are planned in the fit of the Marine Corps is in the process of renovating 12 barracks in Fy 22 we plan to renovate 15 more in Fy 23 which will improve the lives of approximately 4000 marines last year. The Marine course focused on family housing included implementation of the remaining provisions of the tenants bill of rights. The Marine Corps continues to work with its housing partners and the other services to ensure that our housing is safe and meets the needs of our residents. This year we plan to invest over $230 million dollars in family housing, construction and operations, including building family housing units in Guam. The Marine Corps strives to invest in resilient installations that enable operational readiness. Recent infrastructure investments include projects that reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and off based energy grids. For example, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany is the first Marine Corps net zero installation. The base generated more power through green energy sources than it consumed in calendar year 2021 provided about eight megawatts back to the local grid. The Marine Corps has also invested in microgrids at five installations that can power mission essential functions for more than two weeks ensuring continuity of operations. Finally, the Marine Corps is investing in the modernization of its organic industrial base. These projects optimize existing facilities, construct new facilities and improve workflow processes and productivity at the Marine Corps is to depose the rain core is currently undergoing a significant transition and how it is organized, trained and equipped to meet current and evolving threats from pure adversaries are operational capabilities are adapting to meet threat changes and we need to invest in next generation infrastructure to match our evolving capabilities. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today and for your oversight input and support as we determine the infrastructure requirements that will best position the Marine Corps for mission accomplishment. I look forward to working with you to sustain our warfighting capability and the readiness of our power projection platforms. I look forward to your questions. Thank you. Thank you general. We’re gonna uh take a brief recess while the two of us go and vote and then we’ll come back and start five minute round questions. Mhm Call this hearing back to order um and start standard five minute rounds. I will begin by recognizing myself and then we’ll go to Senator Bozeman and treat it back and forth. Um Mr. Kramer I mentioned in my opening statement that I was encouraged by the Ursa request in this budget and of particular interest is the the increase in planning and design funding which should help build out the projects there that are ready to execute in in the coming years. It’s also my understanding that the er set program is undergoing some reforms to improve planning and execution. Can you talk a little bit about the need for uh significant planning and design request and how the department is improving how it identifies requirements as well as how it develops and executes her set projects? Yes, Senator Thanks for that question. Yeah. So it’s a source, it has a has a long history of of getting to where we’re at today. Uh It used to be a pro program that was lump sum funded and we developed the projects and the projects would then take uh four plus five years in order to to actually get under contract and executed a lot of cases the projects would fall off. And so over the years we’ve been trying to get er ship to look more like the milking process where we have a fight up. Uh And and so this year is the is is for the first years we’re actually gonna see that effectuated because we’ve got the leadership commitment to to fund the PMD. So the 200 plus million dollars uh is a surge that’s gonna allow us to get More projects to that 35% design marks so that we can get projects awarded in the year of appropriation. I think that’s where you know, you’ll see where the inflation cost of living growth eats away at our ability to do projects that we’re just not quite frankly ready. And so what what the surge in P. And G. Is gonna allow us to do is build a fight up for Earthship projects and we’ve done the notification. So you can see some of that types really going after the micro grids that are going to make a difference on the installations. And so without the without the P. And D. We’re not gonna be able to then get the the energy projects that we need in in the time that we needed and that’s more to the left, not to the right. So we were really going to rely on the on that P and G. To get to get ownership fight up and I’ll let my two colleagues uh answer if they want Cabral. Yes sir. Um we’re very excited about um Mhm particularly from improving our theater posture. Um We have $133 million dollars right now going in for a projects. A large portion of those are in Guam in addition to that keeping the operational output and the resilience of our bases, uh it fits very nicely into that as well. North Norfolk Naval Shipyard, we’re looking at a project their joint base, Pearl Harbor Hickam the same. In addition to that, we also um we are taking a look at controls. One of the other things Ursa we can leverage and bring into it um is also cybersecurity. Those three things go very much hand in hand. We take that take a look at that holistically. Uh not only from an investment of the infrastructure but also from a logistics perspective, anything we can do to help with our energy consumption allows us freedom of maneuver In addition to that taking full advantage of electrification, also related to a kind of looking at the whole package if you will were increasing from 1300 roughly vehicles electric vehicles to 1600 this year. In addition to that we’re putting another 1200 outlets in that allows us now to take a look at how we support GMO Andy HBO in the pacific working with Ted and his team. In addition to that, I also think assessment in uh something my chief taught me a long time ago, you must be proficient. So we’ve also incorporated a handbook which we’ve given to our base commanders. We do exercises now which actually test the electrical infrastructure to help highlight potential areas for us to invest in. I’ll turn it over to Ted thanks Ricky. Um Senator, thanks for the question. So similar to to the navy, we’ve really appreciated the opportunity to use the Earthship program to improve the resiliency of some of our installations. I mentioned in my opening statement about the micro grids that we’ve developed on five of our installations right now. Quite a bit of support from the Earthship program to develop those and uh it really improves our operational readiness and our operational resiliency not only here in in Conus but also as we move further west into the pacific into the pacific and what we would call our advanced naval bases. Uh So we’ve made pretty good use of the program, seven projects from Fy 18 to 22. We’ve got one in Fy 23 for a micro grid at Bridgeport. Uh and then we’ve got five more in Fy 24 we’re looking at trying to develop seven more in fy 25. So tremendously valuable. It’s been helpful to us. It’s not just and it’s not just microgrids, it’s also controls as Admiral Williams and mentioned. So, thank you for the opportunity to comment sir. Absolutely. And I’m I’m really uh thrilled to see the use of of storage in particular within those micro grids. Um we’ve come a long way in just a couple of years. So with that ranking member of Bozeman, thank you. Mr. Chairman. What I’d like to do is trade with Senator Collins. Thank you very much. I very much appreciate that Senator Bozeman and Mr. Chairman Admiral Williamson. This year’s budget requests more than $500 million for the third increment of the multi mission dry dock number one extension at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery Maine. This project, I don’t have to tell you, it’s vitally important to the readiness of the submarine fleet beginning in 2020 for scheduled Virginia class maintenance availabilities at the shipyard will exceed its capacity and failure to complete this project would result in 20 deferred maintenance Availabilities through 2040. This project simply must be completed on time or we will risk our submarines not being available to accomplish their missions. We are faced with high inflation, as far as labor costs and construction materials are concerned and they have an impact on this project. Is the Navy committed to ensuring that this project remains on track and on time. Yes, ma’am. Absolutely. We’re committed for all the reasons you just said as we look at it costing as going forward, applying lessons learned from the first time out the gate. Obviously we’re gonna be very important to maintain our ability to stay on scope, stay on costs and stay on schedule as uh we mature our area development plans as we build our dry docks as that vision is getting um much clearer now. We’re beginning to find opportunities to push things to the left without and caused any risk to either maintenance critical path or the C. I. A critical path. And so we’ve taken into account costs for inflation, material costs, uh costs of labor. We’re using 3rd Party estimators and economists now to help us better refine that. So and also within our budget. You will also see us ask for the money to make up some of the difference from the projects from 22 but we are committed to that, Ma’am, thank you. I’m very glad to hear that. As you know, the Portsmouth Naval shipyard is considered the gold standard among our public shipyards and we’re very proud of the contribution that the Portsmouth Naval shipyard makes to our Navy and our national security Mr. Kramer. I just returned from a Senate trip to Kiev in Ukraine uh to Sweden and Finland. So I am particularly interested in the European defense or deterrence initiative. The department’s budget request also includes $746 million for infrastructure projects in Europe to help deter Russian aggression against NATO and to reassure our allies. This includes Milk Con for two training complexes at Grafton war Germany which I visited in France in France in March, uh, to observe the training operations of army units that deployed in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. How is the department planning for infrastructure changes that may result from adjustments to our force posture in Europe following Russians invasion? Senator? It’s a it’s a it’s a great question and I’ll be honest, speaking out of my lane if I talked about force posture, but I but I can uh I do wanna extended thanks to the to to Congress for the past Funds that were provided under the EDERE. Going way back to 2014. So our ability to surge in Europe today in the current crisis was based on all of those investments that we’ve done over the last eight years. And so I think what you’ll find is the investments going forward, will will expand upon previous investments that are going to allow us to then shape the force to the way that the Secretary and the President want to do as we go forward. I don’t know that we’re at the position where we can commit to force structure or force posture. But but we we have capitalized on previous investments that allow us to surge to the to the point where we’re we’re we’re quite successful today. Thank you. Senator Tester. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, appreciate the work you and the ranking member do on this committee. Mr. Kramer, your opening statement talked about military housing privatization initiative. Even as private housing is privatized, housing has seen has been faced with challenges recently. There’s still critical housing shortage for our service members. Does this budget support any new privatized housing projects? So uh Privatized housing, as you’re aware as the new houses are funded through basic allowance for housing, the private partner except in the cases where we have some projects and and the Air Force has these mainly as they have funds within their budget that are going to then support their projects going forward and that within support new housing construction and specific bases to to support the air force. But specifically the current budget does not envision new houses directly for privatized housing. Uh we do have house dollars in there to build. Arms are skinny D. O. D. Owned housing and the Marine Corps as General Vance had mentioned and in the army and the Air Force we do, I’ll get within our own and owned inventory. I’ll get to that in a second. Um so I’ve heard from many of the secretary is that um it’s hard to meet the goals of where we want to be as far as for strength and for strength. The housing issue. My guess is it’s the same in Arkansas and the same in New Mexico as it is in Montana. Uh there’s no houses off base, there’s just none and their officers that are off base, the rents have gone through the roof. So so the question is if if we’re going to expect or demand that Air Force Army, Navy Marine Coast Guard the Works um meets there in strength, how is it even possible without housing? So it’s as your reference senator. Yeah, the housing shortage is not just specific to the department, it’s a nationwide issue. And so what? Well within the department offense are another undersecretary office PNR actually runs the BH program and that’s a survey of the rents in order to set that allowance so that we can afford, our service members can afford to rent off post. It doesn’t do much for the inventory. Uh you know, and actually to expand the inventory. Uh it’s gonna be a couple of years down the road. But but we we do have a mechanism within to allow to get the right entitlements in in service members pockets. Secretary did approve some temporary BH increases prior uh to the end of last year that in certain areas where we saw the high cost of rents. This is the time of the year. We started doing the B. H. Surveys for next year. Uh So so the military installations are are part and parcel within the contractors that go out and test that rent. So no it doesn’t, it doesn’t help ease any housing crisis today, but it allows the entitlements to match what the what the projected housing costs are going to be going into into next year. I’ve got you. I think it’s um, and I appreciate everything that’s been done because I think it’s stuff that has to be done. I think the problem is we don’t have inventory. We just don’t have inventory. And and if we bring up your counterparts and beat the hell out of them because they don’t have their own strength where they are, I think we’ve really put them in a bind really no place to live. And by the way they know it. I mean they know it and so let’s talk about the the on base stuff more because that’s where the young service members, single service members live and and in that environment for them from a recruitment and retention standpoint is also very, very important, much less very important for the job that they do and making sure that they’re able to do the job that they’re assigned. So give me an idea about what’s in this budget for the D. A. O. D. To improve the living conditions for a young unaccompanied service members. So I would think I was gonna say so we we we do fund within our normal, I’ll just start with the topline message, our sustainment restoration modernization funds do have funds in there to sustain the inventory. We’ve, we’ve, we’ve put in a number of projects and general band had mentioned some for the Marine Corps and, and, and the navy for this panel. But uh, we do have an investment, uh, it’s, it’s a continual investment in our unaccompanied housing. I’ll defer to just before you start Lieutenant general. So sustainment is important, but growth is also important. So I want you to address both of them if you could. Thank you senator. So, um, The secretary is correct that we have made investments in both growing are the EQ bachelor enlisted quarters capacity. Um, but also looking at what will it take to sustain it very quickly. A total of 680 barracks across the Marine Corps. The vast majority are actually in in pretty decent shape. Either Q1 or Q2 on the facilities condition index. Uh, and that’s about 84% of them. That’s not to say that there’s more work to do. And we have done work over the years to include investing 3.3 billion from fiscal year 08-23. Moving forward. We’ve got 12 renovations that are underway this year and then we’ve got 15 additional renovations planned for fiscal year 23. So as far as just the Marine Corps, correct? That’s just for the other services have equivalent or more. I would defer to, to the other services. Senator. We’ll assume they are. And then I would just say for, for the for the projects in actual new construction. We’ve got two bachelor enlisted quarters in fy 23 over in Japan, one on Kadena Air base and one on Camp Butler. And then um we we have requested for additional B. E. Q. S on our unfunded priority list to help expand capacity at basis at our recruit depots as well as Hawaii. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. I apologize. No worries. Thank you. Member of Postman. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. I mentioned earlier the the many economic factors facing the department and budget development project execution such as extreme market volatility and record inflation. Vice Admiral Williamson and Lieutenant General Banta. I’d like to know one how How these are impacting your fiscal year 23 budget estimates and your plan to address cost increases and to the impacts you’re seeing on project execution and what you’re doing to mitigate the issues and and very importantly, is there anything that we can do as a committee? Yes sir, thank you very much for the question. Um I’ll start with the projects that are in execution now from Fy 22. Uh we’re experiencing somewhere between a 16-33% uh increase due to inflation. Uh We’re working um very diligently to make sure those projects stay on schedule but obviously there will there will be some impacts from that. Uh projecting forward. How do we handle this going forward, looking at 20 fy 23 projects and beyond. We’re estimating right now, somewhere between 9 to 17% increased uh to the price due to interruptions in the supply chain, increase the cost of fuel, increased cost of material, increased cost to um the workforce. Uh So we’re monitoring this very closely. As I said earlier, we’re pulling some of the lessons we learned out of Sion Uh and using 3rd party assessors and economists to help us stay ahead of these things so that we can plan better. In addition to that, we also found that by putting more money into planning and designing helps us get closer this uh cost schedule and scope which will allow us to maintain uh uh stay ahead of those issues. Um you asked, you know, what would benefit, I think increasingly reprogramming thresholds. I think that would give us greater flexibility to execute the projects, particularly reprogramming within the milk on to stay on the schedule. In addition to that, a lot of projects are also uh f srm omen related multiyear funding I think would also allow us uh not only to deal with um uh inflation but continuous resolution and things like that that would give us the flexibility to stay on on track. Thanks Admiral. So um Admiral Williams and I both draw from the same data sources here from nav facts. So the inflation estimates that he referenced, we agree with and and we have the similar concerns, I would say in terms of where it helps us. Um He specifically mentioned the F. S. R. M. And O MMC being a multiyear appropriations for the reasons he said that would be tremendously helpful. Give us more flexibility and the ability to plan and then execute over a long period of time and mitigate the impact of continuing resolutions. So I think that would be helpful. Uh we do have a number of homes that were currently constructing over on Guam the area cost factor. There is significant and then compounded by inflation. So there’s been a significant cost to increase with those that were looking at as well. Thank you sir. If you don’t mind, just just just put a finer point on. So you mentioned incremental funding and that actually helps us then hedge some inflation because we’re not having to pay that full bill during high years because uh as as most of the data will show high inflation is always followed by some lower number. And so what you know, excess today turns into bid savings later on. And so you know, we can we can do split funding to account for a lot of that as we go forward. Incremental funding is, is a definite help going forward. Very good. Have you gotten any guidance put out by osd addressing this? So we’re we’re, we’re now in trying to analyze this as we’re looking to 23 because that’s the budget in front of us but 22 is also going to have an impact on it. So we’ve done some some analysis of General Admiral Williamson and General Bandit mentioned with nah fax, looking at it, the Corps of Engineers is also looking at what’s the cost of construction uh in the in the A. N. S. Side. Our acquisition folks are looking at what’s the greater, you know, cost of growth Within all of our programs because 22, what we have, what we do or do not get done in 22 will affect 23. And so we’re not only looking at at, you know, the projections we’ve done for fiscal year 23 but we have to be informed about what we’re going to actually get done this year and split funding and milk on allows us to have some of that bet. But you know, not all of it. As we said, Oh, what am funds are we’ve got to get all those done this year and what we don’t buy we then by next year. So it’s a compounding effect. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. Thank you. Um in the interest of getting to the second panel, we’re gonna skip a second round but Admiral Williamson, I have a couple of questions for the record regarding the situation at Redhill. Um the lack of cost estimates and ongoing assessments, given some of the commitments that have been made there in particular with the Hawaiian Department of Health. So I’ll get you those for the record. And you can get back to me. And with that we can uh let our our first panel go and ask our second panel to take their seats at the end. I think I’ll be submitting some too. So we’ll give you all some homework to do so. Thank you all. Mhm. I’d like to welcome. Our second panel representing the army is Lieutenant General Jason Evans, Deputy Chief of Staff G nine installations from the Air Force. We have Lieutenant General Warren Barry, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection and Mr. Bruce Hollywood. Associate Chief of Operations Officer for the United States Space Force. We will ask our witnesses to make opening statements beginning with General Evans followed by General Barry and then Mr. Hollywood. Uh General Evans, you can proceed with your opening statement, Chairman Heinrich, Ranking member Bozeman And distinguished members of the committee on behalf of one million soldiers and 2.2 million family members. Thank you for your continued support of our army and for supporting our budget. Request for Fy 23 and for providing additional billion dollars in funding for key programs such as barracks. Childcare facilities, housing the army’s budget for installations are aligned with the priorities set by the army. Senior leaders, people, modernization, readiness, Alliances and partnerships and this year’s FY 23 budget. We are requesting $818.1 billion Army’s installation infrastructure. 1.9 billion of that is military construction. 6.2 billion is facilities sustainment restoration and modernization. Our milk on request is focused on improving soldier and family quality life. That also includes projects to improve readiness and modernization for all components at various locations throughout the United States. To make the best use of funding allotted to the army. We are working to balance the statement restoration, modernization and demolition across all components, especially as projects typically have a faster impact on improving our facilities. Rather than just the pure Milk con solution, we must continue to ensure our soldiers and their families have access to safe and high quality housing by remaining focused on improving our privatized housing portfolio and by continuing to implement measures to increase the safety quality and habitability of the privatized housing by ensuring military privatized housing companies are accountable for project performance. During February of 2022 the army released a comprehensive climate strategy that is well nested with D. O. D. S. Climate adaptation plan. The Army Climate strategy directs actions to enable are forced to operate and changing environments, strengthens the resilience of our installations and increases the capabilities of our force while also reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. We also continue to leverage the defense climate assessment tool to identify potential hazards caused by climate change and inform our mitigation planning efforts. I appreciate this opportunity to discuss the importance of the Army’s military constructions initiatives at every army installation. We endeavor to take care of soldiers, their families by ensuring access to quality facilities, housing, barracks and childcare. And to do that, we need your continued support by providing timely adequate, sustainable and predictable funding so our installations remain ready and resilient and provide the quality of life that our soldiers and families deserve. Again, I appreciate this opportunity and look forward to your questions. Good afternoon. Chairman Heinrich wrecking member Bozeman. Distinguished members of this subcommittee. I’m honored to appear before you today to discuss the fiscal Year 2023 Air Force military construction and family housing programs. I’d like to begin by thanking the subcommittee first for your steadfast support and generous military construction funding contained within the Fy 22 consolidated appropriations Act. I’m also thankful for the Fy 22 nd a technical amendment which enables us to award over a billion dollars of natural disaster recovery projects at Tyndall Air Force Base in the next few months. I look forward to working with the subcommittee on our fiscal year 2023 Air Force military construction budget request and tackling new challenges to improve this vital program. Our nation faces an array of complex challenges in a rapidly evolving global environment. In addition to the threat imposed by pacing adversaries and other non-state actors. Trans boundary challenges such as climate change, also demand our attention. Our fiscal year 2023 military construction budget request supports the 2022 National Defense Strategy by investing in our airmen and their families, accelerating the recapitalization of two legs of the nuclear enterprise and supporting combatant command infrastructure requirements across the European and the indo pacific theaters. Our fy 23 request is consistent with last year’s request. We’ve taken great strides and process improvements to create a more stable military construction program that will yield an increase in the number of projects awarded in the year of appropriation and better defined cost estimates, reducing potential project delays through reprogramming requests. However, we continue to work through numerous external influences affecting this portfolio, be it from increased global market prices for commodities and labor, ongoing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic or from the effects of a changing climate. In the face of these challenges. The air force continues to balance risk and installation investment with the necessity to modernize and meet our most critical mission needs. Over time though, this has resulted in atrophied facilities and infrastructure. In order to mitigate some of this risk, we optimize our use of military construction as well as the operations and maintenance funding accounts. These two funding streams serve as the foundation of sustainable air and Space force installations through a combination of well-timed military construction projects and continued facility, sustainment restoration and modernization funding. We are able to recapitalize when required and sustained through day to day maintenance and repair. In order to maximize the lifespan of those facilities. Lastly while we remain focused on the health of our infrastructure, we keep in mind that our installations are more than just where our airmen work. It is where many of them and their families call home. Our fiscal year 2023 request includes $678 million dollars for efforts which directly supports service members and their families, including housing, construction improvements, operations and maintenance and privatized housing oversight and the continued construction of our basic military training dormitories at joint base san Antonio lackland infrastructure investment in our critical quality of life facilities plays a vital role in ensuring the well-being of our airmen and is integral to mission success. Again, thank you for your continued support and the opportunity to testify. Today we look forward to your questions. Good afternoon Chairman Heinrich, ranking member Bozeman and distinguished members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss Space force installations and our military construction program. The capabilities and benefits provided in and through space are vital to our way of life and a critical prerequisite to effective military operations across all other domains. Over the past two decades, the space domain has shifted from a benign environment to one that is contested where our adversaries are increasingly active and disruptive. We are our nation’s newest military service, purpose built to organize, train and equip space forces to protect America’s interest in the space domain and provide critical capabilities to the joint force. In accordance with the 2022 National Defense Strategy. Our installation investments through military construction and operations and maintenance funding are especially vital to the Space Force mission because the bulk of our forces are employed in place and our installations serve as our power projection platforms. Our Space Force bases and stations also served as home to many of our Guardian supporting airmen and their families. We work ceaselessly to provide them a comfortable and safe place to live as one of two services within the Department of the Air Force. And in line with the department’s guiding principle of one team one fight. We will remain partnered with the Air Force as it provides foundational installation support to the Space Force to remain a lean and mission focused service as directed by Congress and in accordance with our Chief of Space Operations planning guidance, the Space Force will continue to rely on the Air Force for infrastructure, logistics, security, medical services and a host of other support functions at our bases. Formal agreements and implementation plans are in place to codify stakeholder roles and responsibilities. We plan resilience into our mission operations and protect the guardians, airmen and families stationed in locations at risk from severe weather. Additionally, we’re active partners in the department’s facility and infrastructure readiness initiatives and participate in the energy and water resilience conversations being disgraced across the department this past year, the Space Force developed an independent process for prioritizing requirements through a deliberate collaborative planning effort that accounts for our operational and community priorities. We are focused on infrastructure improvements in areas to reduce risk to mission while simultaneously simultaneously reducing risk to the force by improving the quality of life for our guardians, supporting airmen and their families. Our installation investments through the military construction program and our operations and maintenance accounts and our collaborative relationships across the Department of the Air Force, especially with Lieutenant General Barry’s office are critical to performing our mission into the well-being of our guardians supporting airmen and their families. Thank you for your time and continued support. I am truly honored for the opportunity to testify today and I look forward to our dialogue. Thank you Mr. Hollywood uh for General Evans and General Barry. In our fiscal year 22 bill we included 125 million for design and both minor and major construction of laboratory infrastructure to modernize our research, development, testing and evaluation base. This funding helped by down unfunded requirements at installations across the country including at white sands missile range. Still we know there to be a significant need for such funding as it pertains to military construction. How are you identifying and prioritizing laboratory infrastructure, sir? Thank you for the question. Laboratories, as you articulate, are very important. Um We have to um laboratories in Walter reed Dietrich area that D. H. A. Will fund for critical medical research. We’ve got two laboratories on the couple um for Vicksburg and Redstone and then we have another five in the fifth step. So a total of think eight there sir. So this is vitally important to us general. So Mr. Chairman of the Fy 22 section 1 29 The Air Force got about 25 million of the 125 million that was Appropriated from that 25 million we have in place. We’re still working to spend plan. Uh but it looks like we’ll be able to get to about seven test projects that we will do planning and design um across the air force to get after some critical capabilities for the testing evaluation enterprise. Um I think if you look across our our fight up as well, you’ll see that for example, just in hypersonic test infrastructure across the Fy 23 fight up, we’ll put about $336 million into that test infrastructure, not all facilities. Obviously there are other things that the test infrastructure needs but that is a huge investment for us. And recognizing the importance of that mission set for general Evans, the the Army Climate strategy released earlier this year lays out a Pretty ambitious objective of installing a micro grid on every installation by 2035. Uh indeed most of the earthship funding for the army over the past few years has focused on microgrids. How are you determining the order in which installations are prioritized and what are some of the most significant challenges that you anticipate facing in trying to get to that objective? Uh Sir. So um right now um the installations through their internal energy and water plants do the assessment and determine um the criticality or the need for the microgrids. We’ve we did five last year were scheduled to do 12 verse of programs this year, 11 of which are micro grids and then another five next year. So um we’re absolutely invested in this technology. Um as you as was mentioned before, it’s good for energy conservation. We think it has applicability to the electrification as we pursue electric evasion of the vehicle fleet. So so we’re all in it’s um it’s my understanding that there’s design funding included in the Earthship requests this year for a micro grid at white sands missile range. Is that something you can confirm? Yes sir. We do have approximately $29 million dollars for planning design for a micro grated white sands missile range. Mr. Hollywood last year. I included designed funding. Um I included design funding the space rapid capabilities office at Kirtland Air Force Base and I’m pleased that full funding for the construction project has been identified in the fifth step and hope design is able to get away get underway soon. Um I understand that the Space Force now has dedicated obligation authority within the Air Force top line as the Space Force Carves out its um its own military construction program. Could you discuss how you’re identifying, developing and prioritizing those projects within that program. Thank thank you for that question sir. And thank you very much for the funding for the space our CEO um that’s going to be an important piece of of our technology and and building going forward. Um as as we work within the Department of the Air Force Milk on its a a single uh funding stream. Uh And that that gives the secretary of flexibility to perhaps give us more on those times when we need a little bit more uh and to balance it across. But sir, the way that we prioritize is by trying to reduce the the risk to mission and effectiveness of the mission by looking at resilience readiness and uh in our training and infrastructure and then by reducing the risk to our people by working on our quality of life initiatives. Ranking member. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. I asked this question to the first panel and I’d really like to get your input also because it’s so so very important really, Just in a unique time right now how our economic factors such as extreme market volatility and record inflation impacting your fiscal year 23 budget requests and project execution. What’s your plan to address the cust EGE increases and and very very importantly, you know, what can we do to help you Sir? Thank you for the question. Um we’ve experienced over the last year about a 24% increased for milk on projects which is really attributed to labor. Um the supply line and materials now we’re experiencing with a 6% increase in fuel approximately 30%. We work closely with the corps engineers. What this has done is um we’re no longer having the contractors hold their bids before they have them hold their bids for about six months until we got the authorized threshold reprogramming. That’s no longer the case. So um what you’ll see in the 23 you pull is about 22 costs of completes. That’s about half of the 46 projects and that’s a result of the cost increases. Um We believe like the Navy that we can work with your staff and osd too probably get the authorized threshold reprogramming raised and probably try to reduce that time. The whole the contractors in place to to get the bed on the milk on. Very good senator. Thanks for the question. I think my answer will mimic a lot of what my Navy and Army counterparts have said. Right, so certainly continuing resolutions are are not helpful for us because it delays our ability to advertise an award and construction business time is money and that does tend to lead us to higher bids than what we would have originally anticipated. That’s definitely noted. Yes sir. Um uh Clearly uh as I mentioned, my opening comments were doing a lot more planning and design being much more rigorous in our process for planning and design to get projects to 35% so that they’re more mature. So we come to you for funding, we have a higher confidence level that what we’re going to build will cost, what we think it will cost, but without a doubt, there are inflationary pressures on us today that we haven’t seen before. Uh and while we have taken a large portion of our professional engineers, about 1200 so far and put them through some cost estimating uh courses and improve their capabilities, their to do cost estimating. Uh Sometimes you can’t predict all of those inflationary pressures and they are real. Uh Steel is up 110% plan. Uh Aluminum is up about 34%. Um and it just comes to comes to roost right. When uh when the contractors give their bids or cost to complete as as general Evans said, um I’ll echo what Admiral Williamson said as well. I think it may be time to look at the reprogramming thresholds. Uh I think the last time we did a reprogramming threshold change was in 1982 For reference. I was a high school senior. Uh I am not that anymore. I think gas was a dollar, 30 a gallon. Uh so it’s uh it’s not hard to exceed a $2 million air force would welcome a conversation about looking at those reprogramming thresholds again. Thank you. Very good sir. There’s really not a whole lot to add to what’s been said. We benefit from all the hard work the Air Force is done in recent years on refining their bidding process to get that as right as it can be before they even begin construction. But any help with uh, multiyear funding, with incremental funding and with increasing the uh, the thresholds would be extremely helpful even as small as we are. We’ve got projects that have been impacted by having to come back and and be delayed during a reprogramming action. Very good. Thank you. Lieutenant General Evans. Over the last few years there have been multiple issues with privatized housing really following up on, on Senator Tester’s remarks earlier and you and I’ve had some great discussions about this. I know that nobody cares more about this than you do taking care of the men and women that are serving. But but again, privatized housings and barracks In the last few weeks, armies had some tough pointed questions and other hearings on their quality of life investments or lack thereof. Can you share the army’s investment strategy and what you’re doing to improve housing for soldiers. Yes, sir, Thank you for the question. So we talk about housing. We talk about both privatized housing. Army owned housing and then barracks and that’s the number one priority under the Quality Life Initiative for for the army. We’ve currently for barracks, we’ve got a 10 year mill con R. N. M. Plan that will address over 1600 barracks. And to date from 21 to 22 we’ve That will be about 10.3 billion were about 2.3 billion into that. Now we’ve got to barracks in in the in the program for 23 along with 78 R and M. Projects because we believe the R. And M. And sustainment is just as important as the military construction for the privatized housing. We continue to hold ourselves accountable as well as the private partners for performance. Um, we’ve implemented the the 18 bill of rights across the 40 for installations that have privatized housing right now, we have a couple of partners that have invested about $3 billion dollars to build new homes Uh, that worked for has started for Lynn leases in places like Fort Hood, about 506 homes in places like um Fort Campbell Um for army owned housing, which the proponents about 93% of that is overseas. Um we’re investing about $1.5 billion dollars in that and much needed places like the Vicenza housing area. Um and so um to, to add to that, I’d like to throw in also the childcare because that’s an important um facility investment or a capacity issue that we have in the army. And we thank the committee for their support for three of the one of the childcare facilities in 21 that are in high weight areas or high demand areas like Alaska and two in Hawaii. And then last year On a couple you gave us one for Leavenworth and one for 4 knocks. And then we have set up more in the program. So we’re very appreciative of the support of the committee. And then we think we’re on a good path to increase increase capacity with childcare along with incentivizing staff, incentivizing family childcare homes by providing $1000 for people to get in that the fee assistance program Uh that monthly will raise and um the the assistance for folks who take advantage of that from 1500 to 2 1700. and so we’re static about where we’re going with increasing the capacity um for all of those good. That’s a good story. Uh Senator Murkowski, thank you Mr. Chairman and General Evans. I was glad to hear your response to Senator Bozeman’s question here. Obviously housing um key priorities, but but the focus on child care and what we’re doing to provide for our for our families there. The number one item listed on armies. Unfunded priorities list is a new multipurpose fieldhouse physical fitness facility. Um I think we recognize maybe it’s not so apparent in a place like Arkansas where your weather is is more decent most times of the year, but we require a level of readiness and um you can’t just be out Jogging when it’s 40 below and and and getting getting the fitness training that you need without without appropriate um facilities. And so I appreciate the focus and the attention that has been made to this, this field house or this fitness facility. We’re all very, very targeted on what we’re seeing with alarming rates of suicide. And we recognize that when, when we provide for certain quality of life initiatives, whether it’s child care, whether it’s fitness centers, um these are just not nice to have this, this is part of, of what our, what our soldiers need. I had an opportunity at a recent Sakti hearing to hear from the secretary as well as the Chief of Staff of the Army on the importance of this particular facility up north. And I asked the question about why this Fitness facility is needed, why it’s number one on the unfunded priority list. And and also I asked about the price tag because we sit here on the appropriations committee and its $99 million dollars and that figure will get the attention of folks and I I would like you to for the record provide to this committee, um why it is your number one unfunded priority. And and to the issue of, of cost, we recognize that it is just more expensive to build up north. Um but I don’t want people to think that this is this is some gold plated Taj Mahal. What we’re doing is we are we’re building a necessary facility. But I would like you to speak to that if you would. Yes ma’am, thank you for the question. First of all, I had the opportunity to travel to Alaska during the winter months with the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. It’s kind of dark. Yes, ma’am. Uh it’s kind of dark there for a longer period of time and it’s kind of dark hair and it’s the extreme weather conditions do not lend themselves to soldiers performing physical exercise outside. Um It’s the Physical Fitness center gets directly to soldier resiliency as well as fitness and the ability to um be ready. Combat ready, physical ready because you can perform the army combat physical fitness test indoors. Um the price tag mammy, the area cost factor is much higher there in Alaska because only um from early spring to early fall When that’s the only time that you can really conduct construction. Um we’re in the planning and design phase now and we anticipate construction in early 24 and completion and we’re just ecstatic about this. This is the chief of staff. So the number one priority is that physical fitness center because it gets directly to our number one priority of of people and supporting soldiers. And you mentioned the issues, we’ve had up there and we think this is something that gets right at that in terms of resiliency and fitness for the soldiers appreciate that. And um, now that we’re looking forward to, to seeing that completion, let me turn to you Lieutenant General Barry with Allison Air Force Base. Now home to the 54 F 30 five’s. Um, where we’re looking at at areas within the milk on budget request. And there’s, there’s an absence in my view when it comes to increase storage and coverings to protect um, from these, these winter climates. You not only can’t, your soldiers can’t train out there, but it’s not really, it’s tough on those air airplanes. It’s tough on the aircraft. Um, we’re gonna get four additional KC 1 35 in addition to the F 30 five’s. But what I’m hearing is that we just don’t have enough hangers and storage to to safely accommodate this influx of aircraft and equipment. Um, I’m told that Air Force often uses off base civilian storage to rent space for large exercises when we have things like arctic edge, but it’s becoming more challenging. I guess it’s less reliable as the civilian companies are, are increasingly utilizing their own space. So, um, I don’t know if you can speak to whether or not the Air Force currently has a plan to address this shortfall through future military um, construction projects. If you’re looking at the issue of hanger and storage space in the arctic and what you can share here. Thank you senator. I’ll see you in in the 2017 appropriations, we had 100 and $61 million to build 2 16 bay weather shelter facilities for the F 30 five’s. Those are in place. There are another 18 parking locations indoors for F 35 And when necessary, the wind can clear out some more space to make room for another four, which handles all 54 of the F 35. So from from what we see, we don’t see a uh shortfall of storage locations for housing F 30 five’s indoor uh, if you’re hearing something different, we’ll probably need to go reconcile that and we’ll go back up to the folks at I also to make sure we have the same sight picture, but that’s how we view the situation up there. At Eielson. We also had an Fy 20 a project to build storage facilities for the support equipment that goes for the F 30 five’s as well. Um, so that project is, is underway to provide some indoor storage for those support equipment requirements for the F 35 KC 1 35. We’ll have to take a closer look uh and see what that requirement will be. Those airplanes won’t start arriving right now until Fy 23. Uh, so we’ll go back to Wilson and make sure that we have that ground covered as well and then as far as arctic edge, I will have to get back to you on that when I had not heard that is a concern for off base storage for that particular exercise, but we’ll go back up and make sure that that’s squared that quarter as well. I appreciate that. And particularly as it relates to to the uh to the to the KC 1 35 there and just anticipating their their arrival. Um But thank you for that. Um MR Chairman, I’m out of time but I do want to just note to to Mr. Hollywood, my appreciation That this year’s budget request does include this dormitory to house 84 Guardians at Clear Air Force station. Um I think it was recognized in the budget that this this uh this place clear is one of the most strategically important installations in our country. We know that. Um but we also have to have a place to house um How’s our guardians there at Clear Space force station? The community just doesn’t have a lot of housing and I certainly know that and I’m sure that you do as well. So we were pleased to see that edition. Thank you for your support. Senator. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, Senator Hoban. Sure you’re the chairman. Now I thought you were the ranking. Remember when did you switch parties behave? Thank you. Mr. Chairman. Uh My first question is for general Evans um we expected the Jamestown readiness center, Which is 8 17 engineer company. Sapper Company. We expected that they would be in the fire dept. Can you tell me how come they’re not and when they’re gonna be. Thank you for the question sir. So we prioritize based on the Army simulators and and the the top line. Um I will go back to see where uh that project is for for 24 sir. Yeah that was their number one asked. So we need to get him into fire dept. So I appreciate that very much if you would. And then also the line of communications bridge. Can you tell me where you are in terms of uh the LCB training capability? Are you familiar with that sir? I’m not but I can get you the answer to that question. Okay, because we have included uh the in the approach bill report language directing you to establish a training pipeline for that program. So if you would uh check on that and let us know, will you? Okay? Um Thank you. General uh General Barry um Minot Air Force Base is the only base that it has a dual nuclear mission. Both The bombers, B 52 bombers with the outcome nuclear weapon. But also then the I. C. B. M. S. And so we need a new weapons generation facility. And uh I guess my question is where are we in terms of the design and then getting that new facility underway. Yes. Senator. I think uh we agree with you. Uh there there is a need for weapons generation facility at my not it is not yet in our fit up. Um as we discussed I think last year the complexity of this particular weapons generation facility having to deal with both the large missiles and the bombers. Make it a uniquely difficult program and project to design and then build. So our our strategy is to learn the lessons that we can learn from the big missile bases. I. E. F. E. Warren. We’ve learned some lessons uh in that design on on blast containment and fire suppression. Those are informing future designs so that we can correct those and make sure that we have robust designs in the future ones. And then with the bomber bases such as barksdale. Again learning from those construction efforts as to what what will be a a good design for something that gets very complex because of my night. Which will have both missions. So we will we will get to it. We are committed to do a W. G. F. At Minot. But we our strategy is to learn those lessons first. Yeah but you’re you’re actually moving forward on both. So it seems to me unless you tell me you’re gonna build somehow either a deficient facility for the I. C. B. M. S. Or a deficient facility for the nuclear bombers. I don’t understand why you don’t use those designs and and proceed with ours. We are seems like more of a reason to push it back in the fight actually. We are going to use those designs to inform the Minot designs. So for starting when uh we don’t have it right now in the fight up. So I think we still need to mature the design on Barksdale and Ellsworth to understand what that facility looks like and what a good design is. So when we did the warren, as I said, we learned some lessons there with blast suppression, I’m sorry, blast containment and fire suppression. That actually changed the design at Malmstrom. Uh And so so those lessons I think are very important for us to learn before we start putting designs together for a complex facility like North Dakota, the ranking member here now, acting chairman, I guess. Uh and I worked very hard to support the B 21. So now you’re putting weapons generation facilities on the basis that will get to be 21 Which moved him ahead of minor Air Force base where we’re reengineering reengineering the B- 52 as part of that whole process, but which will carry that same weapons system. Now they’re all ahead of us in terms of getting new weapons generation facility as well as the other missile bases. And I keep getting these rationales that we’re gonna learn from everybody else. Well why don’t we start building something in the minor air force base and learn from the Minot Air Force base. We can’t be that we’re the only dual nuclear base and we’re behind everybody else and we keep getting pushed back. That’s not acceptable senator. What I can do is I can offer to come talk to you and have our team come talk to you about the lessons that we are learning and why we think that’s a good strategy. We’d be happy to dive into those details for you. Let’s do that. Okay, thank you on the Gray Wolf. I guess this one you are progressing on and I do thank you for that. And if you could please give me an update on the Hanger for the Gray Wolf helicopter also worked very hard with Senator Tester to make sure we funded new helicopters for those missile fields. So we need a place to house them. The current hueys are older than the fantastic Air Force pilots that are flying. Yes, sir, sadly. True. Um The facility is currently out for bid. Uh And so those bids should close the end of May for that for that facility. Uh They’ll go through the source selection process. Uh We think that will be done later in the summer. Unfortunately, last year I told you that we were trying to reconcile the bids because it was coming in higher than we thought for some of the inflationary pressures and we’ve added after the 1st 66 million, we added another five plus million. We did. and we think we’re going to be higher than And we think we’re gonna be higher than that. So I’ll drive another reprogramming much to the inflationary process will work with you to get it. But you’ve got to prioritize it. Yeah, sure we will. We will we will absolutely prioritize that. But we expect it to be awarded uh in March of 23. And with the first helicopter coming in FY27 we think that’s pretty good timing. But we are committed to that. And again this is the only dual nuclear basis. We we do need some more security work on the front gate which is another thing we’re working with you on. Yes sir. And we’ll continue to work with the installation commander up there to understand the requirements to make sure they get programmed. Yes sir. That being said, can I just thank all of you for and tell you how much we appreciate you and all you do. You do an incredible job and we really appreciate it. Thank you so much for your service. Thank you Mr. Chairman thank you um on behalf of the Chairman Heinrich and myself, we wanna thank both panels of witnesses and the senators who participated today in today’s hearing. I look forward to working together on this year’s appropriations to ensure we are providing the department service members and their families with the military construction and family housing resources that they need and I know you all are totally committed in that regard. Also, finally, we will keep the hearing record open for one week. Many members who would like to submit written questions for the record should be able to do so by five o’clock, five o’clock p. M. Wednesday May 25th. We appreciate the department responding to them in a reasonable period of time and again. Thank you all very much for being here. Thank you for all you represent. With that we’re adjourned.

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