Governor Greg Abbott today announced a new round of grants totaling $14.1 million from the Texas Military Preparedness Commission’s (TMPC) Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG) program awarded to various military communities across the state. This program assists defense communities that may be positively or negatively impacted by a future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. The grant money will be invested in infrastructure projects and other initiatives to increase the military value of military installations in Texas and protect jobs.
"The strength of our military communities in Texas is unparalleled in part because of state support like the DEAAG program,” said Governor Abbott. “Not only are the 15 major military installations and Army Futures Command in Texas critical for the defense of our nation, they also add over $101 billion to the state’s economy and support, directly and indirectly, more than 224,000 jobs in communities across this great state. Now more than ever, this support is critical. That is why I will continue to work with the Texas Legislature and TMPC to ensure that our military installations continue to add unmatched value.”
The following entities will receive FY2020-2021 DEAAG disbursements:
• City of Abilene – $616,389; Security Control Center expansion at Dyess Air Force Base brings additional capacity to the security center
• Alamo Area Council of Governments – $5,000,000; Project reinforces and hardens power distribution across San Antonio and Joint Base San Antonio
• City of Corpus Christi – $919,500; Flight line security and safety enhancements at Corpus Christi Army Depot
• City of El Paso – $2,050,000; Expansion of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant, serving El Paso and Fort Bliss
• City of Texarkana – $516,670; Robotic Vehicle Program preparing Red River Army Depot for the Army’s new robotics mission in partnership with Texas A&M-Texarkana.
• Tom Green County – $5,000,000; Project Resiliency funds power infrastructure, human resiliency and communications infrastructure, benefiting San Angelo and Goodfellow Air Force Base.
Texarkana’s award will provide Red River Army Depot with funding to develop the necessary skill sets and establish the capability to support state-of-the-art weapons platforms. This project will support the Future’s Command and the Department of Defense (DoD) Robotic Vehicle Campaign Plan. The collaborative partnership will also include an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Pratt Miller, that has been awarded the contract to design and develop the Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV).
“The Future’s Command in Austin has made it clear that the strategic direction is to keep war fighters out of harm’s way if at all possible. One method is to develop autonomous fighting vehicles. Since this is the strategic direction, then the RRAD will need to develop technologies to service these types of futuristic vehicles,” explained Dr. Gary Stading, Dean of the College of Business, Engineering and Technology at Texas A&M-Texarkana. “This grant has been awarded to the Red River Army Depot in partnership with the community and the educational institutions to begin to develop the equipment and the knowledge to service these futuristic needs.”
“The successful implementation of this award will serve as a springboard for the creation of new technological jobs in both the public and private sector in our community,” added Dennis Lewis, Texas Military Preparedness Commissioner representing Red River Army Depot.
The TMPC is part of the Governor’s Office and advises the Governor and the Legislature on defense and military issues and ways to strengthen the position of Texas military installations in preparation for a potential BRAC and other defense-related issues. The commission is composed of 13 members serving six-year staggered terms, typically representing an installation in their community.