In the first half of 2020, the U.S. military will spend $11.7 billion on its new air bases, the Pentagon said Monday.
That compares with an initial $4.3 billion for the first quarter of 2020.
The total, which is the first of its kind since the Pentagon’s inception in 1952, includes about 8,000 square miles of new airspace and facilities.
The Pentagon said the new facilities, built by Boeing, are designed to improve air safety, reduce fuel costs and provide greater flexibility for ground operations.
“These facilities are essential to ensure our ability to protect our air and ground forces, as well as to support our allies and partners,” Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.N. forces in the region, said in a statement.
The new bases are designed for air power, which the Pentagon sees as the key to its air dominance in the Middle East and beyond.
The Pentagon also plans to purchase two new airfield facilities for military aircraft.
The first is in Djibouti, home to the U .
Navy’s Seventh Fleet, and the second is in Qatar, where the U ,S.
Army is based.
The United Arab Emirates is also planning to purchase the facilities, and Saudi Arabia plans to build two more.
The $3.2 billion in new airfields is the largest single acquisition since the Air Force began construction in 1950 on its first fleet of aircraft carriers.
The Defense Department said the bases will also serve as a staging ground for the US.
Special Operations Command’s Delta Force.
More than 3,000 troops are deployed in the bases, which are located in the Arabian Gulf and central Asia.
The facilities, which were approved in April, include a new base in Djibeh, Oman, to house the United States’ second special operations force, the Special Operations Task Force-Delta, and two in Qatar and Oman.