PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — President Trump’s plan to divert money already authorized for military construction to build the border wall could jeopardize projects in the works in Hampton Roads.
Hampton Roads has several projects on the current military construction plan for fiscal year 2019. Any of those that are not under contract when the wall construction is funded, as well as any projects not under contract as far back as fiscal year 2015, are vulnerable.
In this year’s construction plan, Dam Neck has nearly $40 million worth — including the expansion of an intelligence, surveillance and recon facility. JEB Langley Fort Eustis has an Air Force targeting center and a cyber ops facility planned, totalling $90 million. President Trump’s plan to fund the border wall puts those projects at risk.
“Those military departments would take a look at those projects that are unobligated so far, not under contract, and they would do a prioritization,” said Craig Quigley, Executive Director for the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance. “Something would be number one and something would be number last, and you would cut from the bottom.”
Last year’s plan included a small arms testing and evaluation center at JEB Little Creek Fort Story, a ship repair center training center in Portsmouth, and bachelor enlisted quarters in Yorktown. Any of those not under contract when it comes time to fund the wall would also be at risk.
“We will see how things shake out in the court system over time,” Quigley said.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring joined 15 other states in suing to block the diversion of military construction funds, calling the plan unlawful and the declaration of emergency “fabricated”.
Quigley says the legal battle over the plan means nothing will happen any time soon. In the meantime military managers will look closely at projects on the books, and determine what they can afford to let go.