The Pentagon’s top priorities are to maintain resilient installations and ensure that service members have safe places to “live, work, play and pray,” Robert McMahon, assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, told more than 650 attendees Monday in Miami during day one of Installation Innovation Forum, hosted by the Association of Defense Communities.
McMahon said that if even one percent of military housing units are in poor condition, it means the department hasn’t done its job. He outlined steps the services are taking to improve privatized housing, including inspections of every unit and creating a “bill of rights” for tenants. (Leaders from each service are set to testify on Capitol Hill Wednesday about the issue.)
He also addressed concerns that military construction projects will be put on hold to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, where President Trump has declared a national emergency.
No milcon projects will be canceled – especially if Congress re-appropriates the funding for them – but wall construction is an administration priority, McMahon said.
“My responsibility is to execute the order of the commander-in-chief,” he said.