Ft. Polk’s JRTC could win big in Biden’s new budget

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 11:04 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KALB) - President Joe Biden’s budget plan for the 2022 fiscal year calls for a record six trillion dollars in total spending. Some of that money would come to Fort Polk.

Fifty-five million dollars of that would go towards building a new joint operations center at Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center. The joint operations center is the hub for all communications and movements during JRTC rotations. Right now, the post uses a facility built in 1993 as a temporary center.

On Wednesday, June 23 at a House Armed Services Committee meeting on Capitol Hill, 4th District Congressman Mike Johnson discussed those plans with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley:

“And to that end, I appreciate the budget requesting a new Joint Operations Center at Fort Polk,” Rep. Johnson said. “The current JOC is decades overdue for an upgrade and a new facility will make sure our soldiers are equipped with the best possible training and experience, so they’re at the ready if and when they’re called upon. In the 40 seconds I have remaining, would one of you comment on the importance of that Army readiness and where we stand on that?”

“I would say as former Chief of Staff to the Army, the readiness of the Army is critical,” Milley said. “It takes a full joint force synergy of air, land, sea, space and cyber to prevail in combat. And wars are often started from afar, from long-range weapon systems, but they’re always ended somewhere on the ground. And the last bullet of a war is usually fired by a Marine or Army infantryman. So, it’s critical to maintain the readiness of the United States Army.”

“Hopefully, we can host you at Fort Polk sometime soon. I’d love to see you there,” Rep. Johnson said in response.

“We’ve been hosted there quite a bit, and I would say that it’s a pretty valuable capability,” Austin said.

Overall, the president’s new budget is asking for 715 billion dollars for the defense department, an increase of 1.6 percent from this year. The U.S. Army would see 172 billion dollars in spending.

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