Final Spending Bill Includes Millions for Utah Defense Projects
Congressman Rob Bishop, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has announced that the final Congressional spending bill of the year contains almost $50 million in funding for military construction projects in Utah.
The projects, many of which were included in the President's original budget and all of which were backed by Congressman Bishop, represent significant investment in military infrastructure, predominantly at Hill Air Force Base in Weber and Davis Counties and the Dugway Proving Ground in Tooele County. The funding comes as part of the Omnibus spending bill that is before Congress this week.
Under the legislation, $9.2 million will head to Hill AFB to build a consolidated Munitions Flight Facility for the 388th Fighter Wing. This project, which was specifically requested by Representative Bishop as well as Senator Hatch and Senator Bennett, will increase efficiency by replacing deficient buildings and spaces scattered along the flightline into one modern, consolidated facility. This will result in a safer environment for personnel working with live munitions, as well as reduce the risks of exposure to electrical and environmental hazards.
"This consolidated facility for the 388th is going to really enhance the wing's operations," Congressman Bishop said, "and it'll give them the top-of-the-line outfit and support they deserve to keep doing their job as well as anybody in the entire Air Force."
The legislation also includes $8.4 million for a new state-of-the-art 21,000 square foot facility for repairing and salvaging components for all types of aircraft, as well as $8.4 million for a Hydraulic Flight Control Facility. Both of these projects will lead to cost savings for the Department of Defense which will likely cover the initial expenditures in roughly a two year timeframe.
The Air Force Reserve at Hill will also be receiving some help, in the form of $3.2 million for a Wing Support Facility. This facility will help consolidate operations and assist the troops in mobilizing for military training or operations.
Not to be left out, Dugway Proving Ground is also set to receive a much needed upgrade because of this legislation. Congressman Bishop successfully requested $5 million for new on-base family housing, consisting of approximately two dozen new family units at the Base's "English Village" housing area. The northern Utah lawmaker commented, "This project represents the first major re-investment into Dugway infrastructure and quality of life in nearly two decades – and it's going to add to the quality of life there in a big way."
Finally, the Utah National Guard will also be receiving some much-needed construction funding as part of this omnibus spending bill. $12.1 million has been targeted for construction of a Readiness Center in North Salt Lake. It will provide new space for the 85th Civil Support Team, Engineering and Military Intelligence units, and storage of major military equipment.
"I've said it before, but Utah really does lead the way in so many areas when it comes to our national defense," Congressman Bishop added, "and so this military construction funding headed our way is not just good news for the state but also for the entire country. Our fighting men and women deserve the best facilities and support we can provide."