Installation facilities are suffering under budget constraints, officials say

Tough budget decisions are forcing the services to take risks by putting off needed projects for installations, officials told senators Thursday.

About 15 percent of facilities in the Department of Defense inventory are in “failing” condition, and about 12 percent are in “poor” condition, according Pete Potochney, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s panel on military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies.

Officials “are doing the best we can in making sure dollars are spent wisely and to compete for those resources in this budget environment,” he said. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 caps overall defense spending. Potochney noted that “facilities degrade more slowly than readiness, and in a constrained budget environment, it is responsible to take risk in facilities first.”

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