I-TEAM INVESTIGATION: Georgia congressman assures Fort Gordon will be removed from list funding border wall

Monday, March 25, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- An I-Team investigation into funding for President Donald Trump's border wall uncovers a potential worry for Fort Gordon.

That worry comes from a list of major projects from the Pentagon. The Pentagon sent that list to Congress, and we have a copy. The list includes all branches of the United States Military with projects all over the world, including a big one in our own backyard.

It looks more like a 20-page receipt, but it reads more like a bill of military projects. None of them have been awarded yet. It includes projects like a machine gun range in Guam and a fire station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Those two projects alone could mean almost $75 million in potential funding for the border wall. The entire list includes $12.87 billion.

We found Fort Gordon on that list.

According to the Department of Defense, $99 million for a planned Cyber Instructional Facility and Network Center could be redirected to help pay for the border wall.

Meredith Anderson sent what she found to Rep. Rick Allen's Office and requested a sit-down interview. His press secretary declined, so Meredith indicated she would meet up with him at a news conference he and Rep. Joe Wilson called about the Lock and Dam.

Did Allen even know about the project being on the list?

"Yeah," Allen said. "Well, the question was brought to my attention. I talked to our staff. They talked to the folks at Cyber."

Allen's staff was able to get answers to our questions. They say their contacts at Fort Gordon let them know the project is safe.

"I had assurances that this was not going to happen here as far as Fort Gordon is concerned," Allen said.

Deputy Chief of Staff Lauren Hodge says money for the project should be awarded soon, though, and that's what will save it.

"From our understanding, it will be awarded in June, and construction will begin in August," Hodge said. "Then it will be taken off the consideration list."

The Department of Defense lists its cut-off date as Sept. 30, 2019, so if all stays on schedule, Fort Gordon should be fine.

For now, though, it remains on this list as a potential funding source for the border wall, and as long as it's there, our I-Team will keep watching.

"We'll continue to follow it as well. We're monitoring it, so we're going to make sure that that happens," Allen said.

Allen says we can't afford not to build the wall. He believes in the end, it could end up saving our country billions of dollars.