The Louisville District’s Military Construction Program provides service support to 12 Army installations, five Air Force bases and is responsible for managing future and ongoing projects of the nation’s installations and defense systems.
With a robust military mission, the Louisville district’s geographic region spans more than 300,000 square miles in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.
The installations, within the five-state geographic area, identify their project requirements. These projects go through different authorization and approval levels. Once approved, the military construction projects come to the district.
Both active Army and Reserve components have a FY19 billion dollar budget said Cristie Mitchell, Military Project Management Branch chief.
“It’s a good program – pretty steady. The work ebbs and (flows) with the different installations,” Mitchell said.
According to Veronica Rife, military support section chief, the program experienced some lean times before the current boost to the budget.
“Half of this billion dollars is the military program, so we are at $500 million for FY19 compared to about $130 million for FY18,” Mitchell said.
Ohio’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has the most projects for the Military Program and will receive a sizable amount of that funding. Some of those projects include, an Air Force research lab at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, an Intelligence Production Facility Center and Air Force Materiel Command Headquarters – a three-phased project over the next three fiscal years, Rife said.
Other installations’ projects will be considerably smaller.
Due to its unique missions, Fort Campbell has often been a project site for the Corps of Engineers Rife said.
“They received a little extra as a result of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) – just because of their unique missions, like Special Forces, which is a large piece and the 101st Airborne Division,” Rife explained.
Sibling Fort Knox also garners a lot of the Corps’ attention, but for different reasons.
Fort Knox is kind of a quiet installation, but during BRAC, the Louisville District did a lot of work there to include building a Brigade Combat Team complex. Currently, the Corps is working on construction projects at Scott Middle School and a new medical treatment clinic that will replace the Ireland Army Community Hospital, Rife said.
The military project management branch doesn’t just support military projects. It has a “diversified construction project portfolio.”
“We have an International/Inter-Agency Support Program – anything that is non-DoD (Department of Defense), like Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency and Forest Service,” Mitchell said.
While the Corps has the military construction mission for the Army and Air Force, military installations may choose another option when executing their operation and maintenance type projects.
“Under the Sustainability Resilience and Maintenance Program, each installation has the option to come to us or go to their own resources,” Rife said. “This is what we are seeing at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell.”
According to Rife, installations put together their construction project wish list and decide how to direct funds on their project(s) of choice.
“The installation can come to us, either the Corps or district of choice, but they don’t have to. So, we have to prove that we can execute and deliver for them (what) they want,” Rife said. “It’s a constant test for us. If we don’t execute, the customer won’t come back to us (for future projects).”