Two military construction projects in Indiana are among those being put on hold following a decision by the Trump administration. The U.S. Department of Defense announced this week it is diverting $3.6 billion from construction projects nationwide to help fund a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
One of the Indiana projects affected by the diversion is a $16 million railcar holding area at the Crane Army Ammunition Activity, which is located at Naval Support Activity Crane in southern Indiana. The other is the construction of an $8 million small arms range at Hulman Regional Airport in Terre Haute.
In a memo released Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said the funds being diverted will be used to for 11 construction projects on the border.
"These projects will deter illegal entry, increase the vanishing time of those illegally crossing the border, and channel migrants to ports of entry," Esper said. "They will reduce the demand for DoD personnel and assets at the locations where the barriers are constructed and allow the redeployment of DoD personnel and assets to other high-traffic areas on the border without barriers. In short, these barriers will allow DoD to provide support to DHS more efficiently and effectively."
In a statement to our partners at WFYI, Congressman Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) said the Hoosier projects affected are minor. "The most urgent construction project for our national security is the border wall. We need and have a right to know who is coming across our southern border."