Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s construction priorities survived a year of talk of budget cuts on Capitol Hill and remain funded in the defense spending bill the Senate is debating today.
The House passed the bill yesterday. It includes $519 million for military construction in Washington State, with $296 million reserved for work at Lewis-McChord.
Lewis-McChord would get $56 million to replace the dated headquarters building for the 4th Stryker Brigade, $82 million for Army aviation improvements and $21 million for a Special Forces facility.
Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma, touted some of the bill’s highlights in a press release yesterday. He praised its enhancements to behavioral health programs, tougher policies against military sexual assault and 1.6 pay increase for troops.
“It continues to make counterterrorism a priority and makes significant investments in all branches of our Armed Services, ensuring that our military is prepared to meet the threats of today as well as the future,” said Smith, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Lewis-McChord officials over the past year have said they were relatively confident they would receive funding for anticipated construction needs through 2013.
“We’d love to count on it,” said Lewis-McChord garrison Chief of Staff Tom Knight, referring to the $296 million in the defense bill. “That’s what we’re anticipating.”