Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the entire Puget Sound area are set to benefit from the FY 2014 defense budget that President Obama singed in December. The News Tribune looked at defense spending and the Seattle, Wash. defense jobs market. The report notes that the two year budget agreement reached by Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray allocates less than the $526.8 billion in the budget that the President signed. Differences will have to be worked out in Washington.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord
The base is set to receive $153.1 million in FY 2014 for new projects. The Army is expanding a helicopter brigade at the post. The Army is also creating a community care unit at the base as it transitions from the warrior transition unit model for caring for soldiers wounded in combat. The News Tribune also points to a new Puget Sound military health care network, to be headquartered at JB Lewis-McCord, that is intended to consolidate medical services for the Air Force, Army and the Navy in the area.
One of the premier defense contractors. Boeing has a large footprint in the Puget Sound area. Two contracts in particular will be affecting the region. Boeing will be finishing the submarine-hunting Poseidon P-8As in Renton, WA, as part of a $3.2 billion deal. In addition, Boeing is to receive $1.6 billion for continued development of the Air Force’s KC-46A refueling tanker, with the test aircraft being built in Everett, WA.
Two local naval installations receive money for projects in the FY 2014 budget. Naval Base Kitsap receives $43.2 million for improvements to water treatment and at an explosives handling wharf. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island received fund to replace a fueling pier, and to improve their EA-18G Growler facility. The air station is also funded for a P-8A Poseidon hangar and training facility. NAS Whidbey Island garnered $127.7 million for these projects.
The Ryan-Murray budget deal restores most, but not all of the cuts made due to sequestration. It is expected that the differences between the 2014 budget and the Congressional deal will be worked out through reallocation of funds. The 2014 budget signed by the President does forbid another round of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission’s work, and Puget Sound military installation are safe from closure for now.