More defense dollars over the last five years have been spent in California, Virginia and Texas than in any other state. While each of the three states is home to multiple military posts, such as Naval Base San Diego; Fort Hood in Texas and Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, large defense contracts were the primary driver.
In fiscal year 2020, Texas led the trio with $83 billion in defense spending. Virginia came in second at $64.3 billion while California came in third at $61 billion. It was the first time in five years where California was not the main recipient of defense funds.
“This report is presented as an opportunity for governors, local officials and other leaders to understand the businesses, industries and workers presently supporting our nation’s defense,” Patrick O’Brien, director of the Pentagon’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, said in a statement coinciding with the release last week of the report.
In 2019, the Department of Defense spent $66.2 billion in California while Virginia came in second at $60.3 billion and Texas followed with $54.8 billion, according to Pentagon records. In 2018, California received $57.7 billion; Virginia got $56.2 billion and Texas received $50.8 billion. The rise in Pentagon spending in FY 2020 was driven by production of the F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft; missiles and ship building and repair projects.
Lockheed-Martin is the prime contractor of the F-35 and in FY 2020, the company signed a $72.9 billion deal with the government. General Dynamics received $22.8 billion while Boeing was the recipient of a $22.4 billion contract from the Pentagon, according to Defense Department records.