Air Force Faces Huge Backlog

November 30, 2000 · by James P. Cramer

The Air Force’s civil engineering (CE) program has declined in recent years from 12% of the total budget in the 1990s to 8.9% today, as more money is budgeted for weapons development and military readiness.

The Air Force has 65,000 family housing units that require total renovation, Col. Richard J. Ingenloff, chief of the Air Force’s engineering division, announced to FEDCON audience members. Ingenloff said the Air Force plans to build 14,000 dormitory rooms and replace 5,500 others to provide private rooms to all personnel by 2009. The dormitory program is fully funded and will be contracted out, while about one-third of the family housing program will be privatized.

The Air Force’s civil engineering (CE) program has declined in recent years from 12% of the total budget in the 1990s to 8.9% today, as more money is budgeted for weapons development and military readiness. “There is a direct link between infrastructure and readiness,” Ingenloff said, “and 55% of Air Force facilities and infrastructure has deficiencies that impact readiness.”

“We are targeting our limited funds on urgent needs,” Ingenloff said. The $6.4 billion CE budget for FY 2001 includes $1.6 billion for real property maintenance; $1 billion for military family housing; $1.3 billion for real property services; $40 million for demolition; $935 million for environmental programs; $1.1 billion for military construction; $29 million for nuclear and chemical bio-defense, and $256 million for “Red Horse,” a military hard-core construction team that “can go out on short notice.”

In FY 2001, the Air Force will spend $72 million for family housing replacements at Minot AFB (ND); Mt. Home AFB (ID); Edwards AFB (CA); Travis AFB (CA); Nellis AFB (NV); Cavalier AFB (ND), and Bolling AFB (DC). The contractor will strip the house to its shell and then rebuild to whole house performance standards. Another $174 million will be spent for family housing improvements at bases in the United States and overseas.

While the Army is privatizing all of its family housing, the Air Force’s policy is to consider privatization only where the housing area can be separated from the military facility, and where economically feasible. “By 2010, one-third of our housing will be privatized,” Ingenloff said. The goal is to provide safe and adequate housing for all Air Force families by 2010. “We just can’t take care of 65,000 inadequate homes with the capital we have.”

Ten pilot privatization projects have been authorized to test a range of approaches, Ingenloff said. Lackland AFB (TX) signed the Air Force’s first housing privatization agreement in 1998. Last month Robins AFB (GA) and Dyess AFB (TX) awarded contracts. Kirtland AFB (NM) has a request for proposal (RFP) ready to be issued this month. Patrick AFB (FL) will issue an RFP in January 2001; Wright-Patterson AFB (OH) in March 2001; and Dover AFB (DE), Little Rock AFB (AR), Moody AFB (GA), and Offutt AFB (NE) in April 2001.

The Air Force spends about $935 million a year on environmental programs. For more information on environmental contracting opportunities, check the web page for the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence in San Antonio at http://www.afcee.brooks. af.mil, or the San Antonio RFP and Acquisition Highway (SARAH) web page at http://sarah.brooks.af.mil.

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