More than $3.6 billion in federal money that was slated to go to a series of military base facility projects in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, among other states, is instead going to be used for continued border wall construction.
The Department of Defense has announced that funding will be taken from a total of 127 base projects in order to build around 175 miles of new border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
In announcing the decision, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the funding shift is necessary in order to build eleven wall projects along the border. Those projects, Esper said in a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, “will deter illegal entry, increase the vanishing time of those illegally crossing the border, and channel migrants to ports of entry.”
The funding shift will take away $30 million that was slated for the construction of an equipment building inside southern Arizona’s Fort Huachuca.
New Mexico will be losing $85 million for the construction of an unmanned aerial vehicle training facility at the Holloman Air Force Base, nine miles southwest of Alamogordo.
Another $40 million will be taken from the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico that had been intended for the building of a new information systems facility.
In Colorado it means $8 million for Peterson Air Force Base in metro Colorado Springs will be delayed. That money was to be used for the building of a space control facility.
Construction on border wall segments located on land already owned by the Department of Defense is expected to begin in January or February of next year.
It has not yet been announced when border wall work will begin on land not owned by the Defense Department.
By Garry Boulard
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