The Army’s Costs to Eliminate Its Deferred Maintenance Backlog and to Renovate and Modernize Its Buildings
CBO estimates that the total cost to eliminate the deferred maintenance backlog for buildings in use on Army bases in the United States, and to renovate and modernize the Army’s buildings, would be $54 billion (measured in 2020 dollars).
The Army has more than 500,000 buildings and other structures on its bases in the United States and other countries. Those facilities cost billions of dollars each year to maintain, but the condition of some of them has degraded because funding to maintain them has been persistently less than the amount that would have kept them in working order according to the Army’s standards. The additional costs of renovating and modernizing them for future use may be significant.
In this report, the Congressional Budget Office analyzed roughly 49,000 buildings in use on Army bases in the United States that the Army’s active component is responsible for maintaining. CBO then estimated two types of costs:
The cost of eliminating the maintenance backlog and returning the buildings to standards matching the Department of Defense’s goals would be about $19 billion (in 2020 dollars), and
The cost of renovating and modernizing the buildings within their current footprint (the area they cover on the ground) to fully provide users with the capability to fulfill their missions would be an additional $34 billion.
CBO based its estimates on the most recent data available from the Army, which were current as of September 2020. Since then, the prices of goods and services have risen considerably in the United States, so the costs have probably increased as well—and may continue to rise, especially if inflation persists. In addition, CBO’s estimates do not incorporate any effects that the Army’s ongoing efforts to develop new weapon systems may have on its facilities, which may need to be upgraded or modernized to accommodate those systems.