SEATTLE — Washington state’s attorney general sued President Donald Trump on Thursday over his plan to shift more than $3.6 billion in military construction funding to help build a border wall.
In Washington state, Trump’s plan would divert $89 million from a pier project at a submarine base west of Seattle.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Trump and other administration officials, saying it was a “misuse of his presidential emergency powers to accomplish an ideological political goal.”
The cuts stemmed from a Feb. 15 declaration by Trump that a national emergency exists at the border that requires the use of the armed forces.
The cut to the project at Naval Base Kitsap in Bangor is one of more than 120 military construction projects in 23 states, three U.S. territories and 20 countries that will lose funding under the move.
Naval Base Kitsap wanted to build a pier for the Maritime Force Protection Unit, which guards submarines transiting Puget Sound.
Ferguson noted that lawsuits were previously filed by 20 states. He decided to go forward with his legal action after authorities confirmed that the Bangor project would lose money, he said.
Trump committed an unconstitutional abuse of power by shifting money previously approved by Congress, Ferguson said.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet of ballistic missile submarines is located at the Bangor base.
The $89 million was intended to build a pier, maintenance facility and berthing for two vessels that escort and provide security for submarines.
Navy Times editor’s note: According to the MCON Book, this project was designed to construct a pile-support reinforced concrete berthing pier for two 250-foot Blocking Vessels, with integrated wave screens to protect adjacent shoreline from waves and underside pier utilities from floating debris, plus shelter Transit Protection System small craft during storms.
It eventually will have a reinforced concrete access trestle to the pier and a boat shop with high bay, pedestal jib cranes and enough slab on grade to support 30 small craft. There will be a diesel fuel station and workers will need to add lines for potable and storm water and sanitary sewers and systems for fire protection and collecting industrial waste.
As mentioned above, these facilities are required to support MFPU Bangor’s mission to escort submarines when transiting between the homeport and surface/dive points in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and test range. That’s mandated by the National Security Presidential Directive and Instructions through the Nuclear Weapons Security Program.
Military planners wanted this project because the 250-foot BVs are in a constant “nomadic state,” shifting berths due to a lack of adequate pier space. In Bangor, officials estimate they need berthing spaces about 253 days per year. They apparently moor now at Marginal North Pier in the restricted area, if space is available.
As for BV maintenance, the program has less than half the space it requires and it’s spread across multiple facilities. Small craft maintenance occurs in three facilities and seven temporary storage structures.
The crews draw their fuel from a converted Ship Waste Oily Barge, which costs about $800,000 per year for up to 14 weeks of dry-docking overhaul and tank inspection and repairs.
To resupply the SWOB, workers spend 12 hours towing it from Defense Logistics Agency Manchester and back.