34 Alaska Business | September 2018 www.akbizmag.com
T I O N Building Alaska
Momentum, and History
billions of dollars
to Interior projects
By Isaac Stone Simonelli
Military modernization and Alaska’s trategic importance in the world are bringing more than a billion
dollars of construction projects to the Interior.
Construction in the area was bolstered
when the military and veteran affairs budget
for federal Fiscal Year 2019 cleared the
Senate Appropriations Committee in June
with approvals for continued investment in
Alaska military installation and programs.
“This funding bill is critical to providing the
resources that we need to grow the military’s
strategic presence in Alaska,” Senator Lisa
Murkowski said in a statement. “The Air Force
has identified Eielson’s new F- 35 mission as
one of its top funding priorities, and I am
pleased to see that they are putting substantial
investments toward that mission.”
Ahead of the approval, Lucian Niemeyer,
assistant secretary of defense for energy,
installations, and environment, toured military
construction projects in the Last Frontier.
“Because of the magnitude of the investments we are spending in the Fairbanks area,
I felt it was important to come up here and
get a first-hand look at what we are delivering
to the warfighter and in time to meet their
timeline,” Niemeyer said.
MF4 at Fort Greely
During his June visit, Niemeyer took part in
the groundbreaking ceremony of the Missile
Field Four (MF4) construction project at Fort
Greely, near Delta Junction. Construction on
MF4 is underway to add twenty new Ground
Based Interceptors (GBIs), which would bring
the total deployed GBIs at Fort Greely to sixty
by 2023, Fort Greely public affairs officer Chris
“The FY2018 Defense Appropriations Bill
allocated $568 million to initiate the expansion
of MF4 and $393 million above the request to
accelerate the development and fielding of twenty GBIs with a modern kill vehicle/new missile
field at Fort Greely,” Maestas says, noting that
not all the funds will be going to Fort Greely.
Watterson Construction Company, headquartered in Anchorage, secured nearly $29
million of the budget for the construction of
MF4’s mechanical electrical building.
“The Corps selects contractors based on
the proposal that provides the best value to
the federal government in accordance with
the Federal Acquisition Regulation,” says
John Budnik, public affairs specialist USACE-Alaska District.
In addition to Watterson Construction,
three other contractors are prequalified to
complete the MF4 work: Bechtel National,
Davis Constructors and Engineers, and Neeser
As of early August, “Other MF4 infrastructure has not been awarded yet. However, it is my
understanding that it will be awarded before the
end of the calendar year,” Budnik says.
Maestas points out that Fort Greely will have
additional contractors that will utilize goods
and services within the Fort Greely/Delta
Junction community during the construction
phase. However, an estimate of the economic
impact within the local area has not been
Additionally, Maestas notes that the number
of employees, warfighters, and security forces
to maintain, operate, and secure the system
once it is completed is still being determined.
On June 5, Lucian Niemeyer and representatives for the Missile Defense Agency, Air Force, US Army Corps of Engineers, and construction contractors
gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony at Fort Greely near Delta Junction. The event celebrated the start of construction for the $200 million Missile