Navy Welcomes Local Investment In Bases
By Dan Cohen
360 Defense Communities Daily
December 10, 2015
With funding for military construction and facilities maintenance under tight constraints, the Navy’s top installations official says it’s a good idea for states and communities to invest in infrastructure upgrades at military bases.
“It is a great win-win partnership. There’s benefit to the state and the local communities. There’s benefit, certainly, to the United States Navy and the Marine Corps where states are doing that,” Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment, said last week. He was interviewed by the AP at Naval Submarine Base New London following a ribbon-cutting for a $4.65 million dive locker paid for by the state of Connecticut.
McGinn acknowledged that local investments in an installation would improve its standing in a future BRAC round.
“The No. 1 criterion for maintaining a base, instead of closing it or realigning it, is military value,” he said. “And the military value of the naval submarine base is enhanced by having, in this particular case, a dive locker.”
To date, Connecticut has spent $14 million to support the submarine base through investments in its on-base infrastructure and training facilities, but many other states are investing in local bases as well. A little more than half of the two dozen states that participated in an ADC survey last year said they provide funding for on-base infrastructure projects.
Last year, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) signed a landmark $177 million bond measure to invest in the commonwealth’s six bases. In one of its first uses of the funds, the state contributed $9 million to a runway improvement project at Barnes Air National Guard Base.
Rhode Island could be the next state to lend a hand to a military installation. Its Legislature last year passed a measure to invest in Naval Station Newport. The state, however, has not yet committed any of those funds.