The cost of renaming nine Army bases that included Confederate references has nearly doubled, according to an Army official.
The projected cost stands at $39 million, according to Lt. Gen. Kevin Vereen, Army deputy chief of staff for installations. Last year, the Naming Commission estimated the cost would be approximately $21 million.
“The Army is trying to solve the funding piece, and we’re trying to solve it internally,” Vereen told a House Appropriations Committee at a budget hearing, according to The Daily Caller. “We’ll take the funds from the department.”
The costs will include removing the prior base names from all areas, from base signage to business cards. The renaming process is planned for completion in 2024.
In May, the Naming Commission released the nine bases that will be renamed along with their new names.
“I fully support the efforts and recommendations of the Naming Commission on this important matter, and I am committed to implementing all of the commission’s recommendations as soon as possible,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated in the announcement concerning the naming changes in October.
“The names of these installations and facilities should inspire all those who call them home, fully reflect the history and the values of the United States,” he added.
The new names include various military leaders, along with the name change of Fort Bragg in North Carolina to Fort Liberty to reflect the Army’s value of liberty. The commission consulted base communities and leaders in the months-long process, with more than 3,600 name suggestions from the public and over 34,000 total submissions, according to The New York Post.
The Naming Commission has also worked on efforts to change the names of locations among other military branches. The estimated cost across all branches was most recently listed as approximately $62 million, according to the Washington Post. Some of the removed items will be kept in museums, while other items will be discarded according to military processes.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the provision to create the name change process as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in 2020. The Senate passed the bill by a veto-proof margin despite concerns from then-President Donald Trump and some conservatives.