December 11, 2009

Key Spending Bill Contains Millions for New Mexico Air Force Bases

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today reported that the final version of a key spending bill contains funding for numerous upgrades at New Mexico's military installations and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate as soon as this weekend, and be sent to the president for signature. The legislation also included an amendment from Udall, Bingaman and Sen. Kit Bond, R-MO, to provide an additional $6 million for transitional housing services for the nation's homeless veterans. Click HERE for more information.

"New Mexico is essential to our national defense and this spending bill ensures our military installations are able to achieve their missions," Bingaman said. "Additionally, this bill funds key initiatives that support our nation's veterans. This is a good bill for our state," Bingaman said.

"Through this bill, we support key defense initiatives in New Mexico that are vital to the safety of our country - and that reaffirm our state's unique leadership role in maintaining our national security," Udall said. "We also take an important step forward in combating veterans homelessness through increased funding for transitional housing that will get our veterans off the streets and help them begin rebuilding their lives."

The legislation contains the following:

National Guard

$39 million for an Army aviation support facility at Santa Fe

Cannon Air Force Base

$15 million for a consolidated communications facility
$41.27 million for C-130 maintenance hangar facility
$11.59 million modification to hangers to support CV-22s
$6 million for a C-130 ammunition loading ramp
$450,000 for design of an airmen dormitory

Kirtland Air Force Base

$16.7 million for two simulator facilities to train pilots on C-130J aircraft
$5.8 million for additional operations space at the Space test and Development Wing

Holloman Air Force Base

$5.5 million for a consolidated munitions maintenance facility for the F-22 Raptor
$37.5 million to fund alteration/additions to the operations and maintenance facilities to accommodate the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Training Wing
$10.4 million for fire/crash rescue station

Department of Veterans Affairs

$6 million increase in the Homeless Grant and Per Diem program, which brings funding to the full authorized level of $150 million