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Monday, April 19th, 2021

Air Force takes new approach to investing in infrastructure

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The U.S. Air Force launched a new Infrastructure Investment Strategy (I2S) that marks a significant shift in the way the Air Force maintains its facilities.

In this new approach, the Air Force is using new analytics and practices that better predict when work must be done. In essence, it changes the “worst is first” approach to facilities prioritization that the Air Force has used for years. Now, the Air Force will maintain infrastructure before it becomes very expensive and demolish the oldest 5 percent of infrastructure.

“This new approach is going to make a difference on our bases for decades to come,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said. “We’ll get more out of every dollar we are spending and, over time, we will improve the quality of life of our Airmen and their families.”

The Infrastructure Investment Strategy will require every base to have a plan where projects are prioritized based on mission need. Further, the new strategy calls for the Air Force to fund 2 percent of replacement value of its buildings each year. Advanced modeling shows that these three main components — a base level of funding, prioritizing projects, and destroying 5 percent of the worst infrastructure — will result in significant improvements in facilities condition over the next two decades.

The Air Force requested $2 billion in additional spending for infrastructure for fiscal year 2020 to implement the strategy.

“We will commit to a base level of funding and use data to inform decisions,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said. “Ultimately, this is about making targeted investments at the right time and in the right place. As an Air Force, we fight from our bases and must keep them ready to meet our national security challenges.”

This will also help tackles the infrastructure maintenance backlog that has built up across the Air Force.

“Between budget challenges and competing priorities over the last several years, leadership at times was forced to postpone and re-prioritize infrastructure maintenance,” John Henderson, Air Force assistant secretary for installations, environment and energy, said. “I2S is a necessary improvement of our existing approach to infrastructure investment to ensure maximum benefit amid limited funding.”