|U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. Yonhap|
The United States plans to redirect nearly US$70 million to U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) that had previously been diverted from its defense spending to fund the now defunct project to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, the Defense Department said Friday.
The department said the cancellation of the border wall project will free up a total of $2.2 billion in funds originally earmarked for defense projects at home and abroad.
The plan "is documented by the attached funding plan, which describes how the Department will use the $2.2 billion of available unobligated military construction appropriations to restore funding for 66 projects in 11 States, 3 territories, and 16 countries in FY 2021," said a memorandum signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, and released by the Pentagon.
According to the department's funding plan, over $69 million will be redirected to USFK ― $21 million for a command and control facility and $48.7 million for an unmanned aerial vehicle hangar.
The U.S. currently maintains 28,500 military personnel in South Korea.
The White House said the redirection of funds will provide the support the country has committed to its military.
"To build a wall along the Southern border, the previous Administration redirected billions of dollars Congress provided for supporting American military personnel and their families and for investing in military installation infrastructure and vehicles, aircraft and ships," it said in a released statement.
"The Biden Administration is committed to properly equipping American military personnel and caring for their families." (Yonhap)