Texas will invest $15.4 million to support six military infrastructure projects, including the improvement of water supply and rail operations at military installations. Gov. Greg Abbott recently announced the new round of grants from the Texas Military Preparedness Commission’s (TMPC) Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG) program.
The DEAAG program is designed to assist military communities in their response or recovery from either a termination or reduction of defense contracts. Grants are invested to support Texas military communities and protect jobs from the impacts of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) — a process designed to increase efficiency by closing some installations following the the Cold War.
The grant program operates under the TPMC, a 13-member body typically representing a military community that advises the governor and Texas lawmakers on defense and military issues.
Harker Heights’s Fort Cavazos will receive a $5 million grant from TMPC for the Railhead Energy Resiliency Project to support the conversion of one of the base’s switch locomotive from diesel to electric at a total cost of $12.3 million. Belton City Council membersw signed off on the project in 2023, saying the investment will improve rail operations with increased capability, while reducing operational and maintenance costs. Fort Cavazos will pick up the remaining $7.3 million for the project, which also calls for a 2.4 megawatt mobile backup battery to continue rail operations in the event of a power outage.
TPMC will also bolster military water supply with a $4.5 million award to El Paso’s McGregor Range to replace a booster station built in 1958. The booster is part of a system that is the lone water source for the desert and arid mountain training range of the U.S. Army’s 1st Armored Division. Although project figures were not disclosed, El Paso Water has said it will pick up the balance of replacing the system.
The remaining tranche of grants for FY2024-25 include $3.6 million in support of Val Verde County’s project to build aircraft sunshades at Laughlin Air Force Base. Shades or sun shelters have been built on the base previously to house aircraft and have drawn praise from Laughlin personnel for improving training and quality of life for those working on the flightline.
The TexAmericans Center Red River Army Depot will invest $1.5 million for enhanced logistics capabilities, McMullen County’s Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi will spend more than $464,000 on a Relocatable Over the Horizon Radar (ROTHR) Road Access Project, and Fort Worth’s Naval Air Station will get $300,000 for an Anti-Terrorism Protection Security System.
Including this round of funding, the TMPC has awarded more than $129 million in DEAAG grants have been awarded to military communities since 2015.