Many states and communities across the country support the mission of the Department of Defense. Some are home to military bases, while others manufacture the products and provide the services necessary for national defense. When a defense program change occurs, it can have a major impact on local and regional communities.
The Office of Economic Adjustment leverages capabilities of state and local partners through grants and technical assistance to enhance readiness of our installations and ranges, and to deliver safe places for our members and their families where capabilities in Department of Defense do not otherwise exist. OEA’s program portfolio is presently comprised of over 200 separate grants, exceeding $1.3 billion, and represents partnerships between the Department and most states and communities that host Department of Defense installations. Many of these grants require years of monitoring following award.
At the same time, the Office of Economic Adjustment works with states and communities to help them respond to changes driven by the Department of Defense. By leveraging the full capabilities of the Federal government, the Office of Economic Adjustment helps towns, cities, and states plan and carry out a future that is both sustainable and in alignment with the military mission.
To help support defense communities’ efforts to respond to Department of Defense decisions, the Office of Economic Adjustment also provides value back to the Department of Defense by ensuring:
OEA supports the National Defense Strategy by:
Click here for the National Defense Strategy.
A number of different Federal agencies help communities respond to economic shifts connected to defense program changes. The Office of Economic Adjustment helps link communities with the full breadth of these Federal resources.
Defense communities face several challenges as they grow and evolve while the nation’s defense priorities change. The Office of Economic Adjustment supports defense communities as they work to continue their collaboration with the Military Services, defense industry, and others. Below are a few examples of the ways that the Office of Economic Adjustment has assisted defense communities.
Military Installation Sustainability
As a result of a $985K Military Installation Sustainability investment from the Office of Economic Adjustment, the City of Killeen and Central Texas Council of Governments created a local land use decision tool to ensure proposed civilian development is compatible with critical live fire, maneuver, and mechanized training at Fort Hood. The community is also working closely with the Garrison to identify the feasibility of a joint-use civilian/military multimodal truck/rail cargo transfer facility to create additional deployment capabilities and improve its force projection.
As a result of a $3.3M Industry Resilience investment, Allen County, Ohio, assisted the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center to maintain and upgrade critical skill sets among its workforce which were needed to construct the Army’s new M-1A2C Abrams Main Battle Tank. A production hiatus from 2014 – 2017 left the Center at risk of losing critical workforce skills. This program helped to preserve and update the local workforce during the hiatus when traditional workforce development assistance could not support the training required for these higher skilled positions.
As a result of a $335K Growth Management investment through the Community Investment program of assistance, the Fairbanks North Star Borough has planned improvements to public services, including schools, public health, workforce training, child care, and more, as well as infrastructure (utilities for new housing, transportation linkages, etc.) necessary to support the Air Force’s strategic basing of two F-35A squadrons at Eielson AFB and the accompanying 2,765 military personnel and dependents.
Grant assistance within the Office of Economic Adjustment is designed to specifically address the challenges of communities that support the defense mission. There are currently four grant categories.
The Community Investment program enables states and communities to undertake necessary investments in public services and infrastructure to support the readiness and resiliency of installations, as well as to provide safe places for our service members and their families to live, work, and play.
Department of Defense force modernization, whether through the Base Realignment and Closure process or other actions, can have negative impacts on state and local economies. The Downsizing program of assistance enables state and local governments to anticipate and respond to these changes.
The Industry Resilience program assists communities as they respond to defense changes, specifically a cancelled contract or the failure to proceed with a previously approved weapons system. In some cases, a reduction in defense spending that impacts the defense manufacturing base can also trigger assistance provided under this program.
The Military Installation Sustainability program of assistance is designed to provide technical and financial assistance to states and local governments to analyze and implement actions necessary to foster, protect, and enhance military installation sustainability. The program enables states and local governments to assist installations to optimize their mission, sustain their installation, and enhance the long-term readiness and military value of the power projection platform.
Defense actions that impact communities can have repercussions for a number of different economic development issues, including workforce, housing, education, energy, and transportation. In addition to partnering with other Federal agencies, the Office of Economic Adjustment has relationships with non-governmental organizations and associations that provide expertise in specific areas that defense communities find valuable.