US, Australian DoDs Launch “Stimulus Spending” Infrastructure Efforts
The credit crunch, and ensuing financial system meltdown, have hastened the current recession. The response from many governments around the world has been classically Keynesian, in the form of “economic stimulus” spending. Some countries, like France, have used that spending as a way to accelerate key military equipment modernization projects. The USA and Australia, in contrast, are choosing to focus the small military components of that spending on infrastructure projects of various kinds.
Back in January 2009, “US Stimulus Plan: A Bare Cupboard for Defense?” wondered what military-related inclusions might look like. On March 20/08, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced details of approximately 3,000 military construction and facility improvement projects funded by the military’s $7.4 billion slice of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The $5.9 billion budget for these construction and repair projects represents the bulk of the defense-related funding provided by the ARRA, which was signed into law on Feb 17/09. The 2 largest DoD ARRA projects will be new hospitals at Camp Pendleton, CA, and Fort Hood, TX. A dedicated Pentagon mini-site has been set up to track and publicize associated projects, including weekly update reports.
One area to watch very closely is the $300 million in military dollars for “near-term energy technology research.” It will be coupled with another $100 million for conservation investments.
In Australia, meanwhile, the government has announced an A$ 793.1 million (about $553 million equivalent) construction program for new facilities and supporting infrastructure at Defence bases around Australia, designed to last from 2009-2011. Recent announcements under that program have included a variety of “Enhanced Land Force Stage 1” related projects…
- Lavarack Barracks and the Townsville Field Training Area, for the relocation of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (A$ 385M)
- Blamey Barracks in Kapooka, New South Wales for the Army Recruit Training Centre (A$ 145M)
- Lone Pine Barracks, near Singleton, New South Wales (A$ 40M)
- Hopkins and Bridges Barracks near Puckapunyal, Victoria, for the artillery school (A$ 36M)
- Holsworthy and Steele Barracks, New South Wales, for the local School of Military Engineering and the Trainee Rehabilitation Wing (A$ 23M)
- Campbell Barracks, near Perth, Western Australia (A$ 5M). The amount seems trivial, but the Australian SAS is based there.
Related logistics work will also be undertaken at Australia’s main airlift support base. Work at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland includes facilities for additional RAAF Air Field Defence Guards and the Army’s 21st Construction Squadron (A$ 130M). Work will also be undertaken at: