Defense budget proposal seeks working dog facility for Fort Bragg
By RACHAEL RILEY | The Fayetteville Observer | Published: February 11, 2020
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — The Department of Defense released its proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year on Monday, showing an increase in Fort Bragg spending from the 2020 budget that was adopted in December.
President Donald Trump's budget request for the department is $705.4 billion compared with the fiscal year enacted amount of $704.6 billion, officials said Monday.
If approved by Congress, the 2021 fiscal budget would mean more than a $113.8 million increase in Fort Bragg military construction funds.
The proposed budget carries over projects from the 2020 budget that includes special operations forces facilities and a dining facility.
New proposed projects include a $17.7 million military working dog facility for special operations forces, a $53.1 million special operations group headquarters, and a $43 million special operations forces facility.
The proposed budget also requests more than $12.1 million to replace a special operations forces maze and tower and more than $20.25 million for a special operations survival, evasion, resistance and escape training laboratory.
The maze and tower and training lab complex are in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
In a Tweet, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said the proposed 2021 budget reflects a commitment to the National Defense Strategy.
"We are seeking investments to increase lethality and readiness, while realigning mission and operations around the globe and ensuring accountability for every taxpayer dollar," Esper said.
At a news conference Monday, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquis said the department's budget holds flat with no growth for inflation.
It focuses on "every domain," to include air, land, sea, space and cyber, Norquis said.
The 2017-18 budget focused on readiness and recovery, the 2019-20 budget focuses on modernization and training, and the proposed 2021 budget focuses on all domain operations, said Elaine McCusker, acting comptroller for the department.
McCusker said the proposed budget also reflects a 3% pay raise and an 82% increase for military housing oversight, compared with the 2020 budget.
Vice Adm. Ronald Boxall, director of force structure, resources and assessment for the Joint Staff, said it shows an $18 billion investment for space and the newly created Space Force.