Army gets green light for $2.6B plan to upgrade Hawaii facilities

Army gets green light for $2.6B plan to upgrade Hawaii facilities
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Army is set to kick off a $2.6 billion, 32-year plan to build and upgrade facilities across the state.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, announced the funding Tuesday, saying the improvements are "critical to Hawaii, to the Army's success, and to our national security."

"Fulfilling this plan will require timely and predictable funding, and the Department of Defense has my commitment to provide just that as we get back to the regular business of passing appropriations bills on time," he said, in a news release.

The first phase of work will be a $350 million, five-year investment to improve the shortfall of aviation facilities at Wheeler Army Air Field that are necessary to support a number of new aircraft, including AH-64 Apaches with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade.

In later years, planned infrastructure improvements will focus on strengthening Army readiness with repairs to or construction of new aviation, operations, maintenance and training facilities, Schatz said. Plans include improvements to all Army installations in Hawaii, including Schofield Barracks.

Paul Cramer, deputy assistant secretary of the army for installations, housing and privatization, said the funding for the plan will begin in the next budget cycle.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.