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JOHNSON LEADS LA DELEGATION LETTER TO SUPPORT FORT POLK INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

July 31, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) – whose district includes Fort Polk JRTC – today led Louisiana’s Republican House delegation in sending a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper endorsing two Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) projects for Fort Polk, La. The DCIP was authorized under the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act to improve the physical condition and quality of life in the communities that surround military installations.

Specifically, the Fort Polk DCIP projects would do the following:

  • Fort Polk Entrance Road: Home of Heroes Trail District will address the lack of sufficient public infrastructure such as plumbing and lighting to improve the quality of life in the community, and will make improvements to the corridor to attract outside business investments.
     
  • Campus Connections and Learning Spaces will enhance the education of students in Fort Polk community by expanding learning space, creating two outdoor classrooms at Leesville Junior High School, and developing a learning facility at Pickering Elementary.

“In the case of Fort Polk, we are uniquely focused on initiatives and opportunities to constantly improve conditions on and off the post, including the quality of education, housing, employment and licensure flexibility. We believe the spirit and intent of DCIP is clearly aligned to a small rural defense community, like the one supporting Fort Polk, and one that is 100% committed to the mission at Fort Polk, ” the letter states.

You can read the text of the letter below and the signed letter here.

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July 29, 2020
 

The Honorable Mark T. Esper
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Room 3E880Washington, D.C. 20301

Dear Secretary Esper:

                The Louisiana Congressional Delegation is pleased to fully endorse the two Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) projects submitted on behalf of the community, soldiers and their families at Fort Polk, Louisiana. As you know, the Army launched a major Quality of Life Initiative in December 2019 that focuses on three installations, Fort Polk, among them. The Army’s objective is to make each of these installations, an “installation of choice” for Army soldiers and families. We applaud the Army for conducting this initiative and for prioritizing Combat Training Centers and believe Fort Polk’s two DCIP projects will align precisely to the Army’s ongoing quality of life initiative.  

                The FY19 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the DCIP program to improve the physical condition and quality of life in the surrounding communities around a military installation. Your Department has specifically stressed the importance of quality of life initiatives as you developed the guidance for DCIP selection, something of importance to the future of Fort Polk, and a motivation driving these two projects. The first proposed project directly confronts the limited consumer options leading into Fort Polk, hamstrung by a lack of sufficient infrastructure systems for public, sanitary, sewer, and lighting. The proposed Fort Polk Entrance Road: Home of Heroes Trail District addresses such issues and will dramatically increase military and family quality of life along a development corridor approximately 2.2 miles in length. DCIP funded improvements will encourage business investments in desirable dining and other business options, such as hotels, banking, and child care facilities.  

                The second DCIP project, entitled Campus Connections and Learning Spaces, directly funds educational improvements that will result in a higher quality of life by expanding learning opportunities, engaging military families, children, and providing the conditions that promote student success. Campus Connections will include more learning space in the form of a Technology Center and STEAM spaces with two outdoor classrooms at Leesville Junior High School, and one age appropriate learning facility at Pickering Elementary.  Additional green space, parking, signage, access points, and cameras will also be included.

                The Fort Polk defense community, the State, and the Delegation appreciates your leadership to support our nation’s defense communities by enabling them, via programs like DCIP, to improve their services to our warfighters and their families.  In the case of Fort Polk, we are uniquely focused on initiatives and opportunities to constantly improve conditions on and off the post, including the quality of education, housing, employment and licensure flexibility. We believe the spirit and intent of DCIP is clearly aligned to a small rural defense community, like the one supporting Fort Polk, and one that is 100% committed to the mission at Fort Polk. 

                Thank you for your Service to the Nation.