A new Air Force infrastructure strategy aims to address the service’s $33 billion maintenance backlog, according to Jon Henderson, the service’s assistant secretary for installations, environment and energy.
“You can’t milcon your way out of this,” he told On Base and other news outlets Friday.
The “Infrastructure Investment Strategy” — also referred to as “I2S” — calls for demolishing about 5 percent of facilities around the world and investing in ongoing maintenance to keep other buildings usable for longer. The 30-year strategy relies on metrics the service has compiled on all its infrastructure worldwide.
The Air Force has in the past determined maintenance and repair projects with a “worst first” formula, overlooking incremental upgrades that keep facilities in better shape throughout their lifecycle. The new strategy would adopt private sector practices such as smart building upgrades and economy-of-scale acquisition with guidance from base commanders, Henderson said.
“We can only take so much risk in there before the readiness of the infrastructure impacts the readiness of the Air Force,” he said.
The service has requested $2 billion in fiscal year 2020 to start implementation and would need Congress to continually fund the plan in operations and maintenance accounts. Henderson predicted lawmakers will take to the strategy, calling it the “feasible get-well plan” Congress has long wanted to see.
Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mya M. Crosby