Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle (USAF, Ret.), president of the National Defense Industrial Association, discusses what redirecting military construction funding to a border wall means for existing projects, and how it could impact readiness across the military.
President Trump declared a national emergency last week, redirecting military funding to the construction of a southern border wall. While several states have sued the Trump administration over the controversial use of emergency authority, the order raises questions about what projects will be sidelined to make way for the wall. Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle (USAF, Ret.), president of the National Defense Industrial Association, says that readiness and training will be hardest hit from the redirects. “When you look at how the money is divided up inside the department, there’s four pots. Personnel, modernization, new stuff, readiness, operations and maintenance and then infrastructure. The key to readiness and infrastructure is that we have always used those as pots of money that we take money out of. As we’re starting to get healthy and you start taking that infrastructure money away, then that’s a readiness challenge,” Carlisle said. “The ability to train, the ability to practice, the hangars to work on jets, the ramp that you’re going to be taxiing on, the range space you’re going to be flying on. All of those are part of that construction money. It’s a readiness discussion that really concerns me.”