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Murkowski: Senate Passes Defense Appropriations Bill That Includes $27.94 Million for Alaska Projects

Alaska Training Range to Receive $19.58 Million

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate on Dec. 19 passed a $636 billion defense appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2010 that includes $27.9 million for key Alaska projects, according to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Included in the bill is $19.58 million for enhancements to the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex in Interior Alaska. The bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 88 - 10, now goes to President Obama who is expected to sign the measure.

"With these funds, the U.S. Military will be able to accomplish a number of projects including improving the road infrastructure throughout the range complex, conducting environmental impact studies and procuring and installing instrumentation and equipment," Murkowski said. "These efforts will result in better access throughout the area as well as aid in providing U.S. and allied forces with the best training in the world when stationed in or deployed to Alaska to participate in Red Flag Alaska Exercises."

In addition to the training range project, the bill provides funding for the following items important to Alaska:
  • Alaska Air National Guard, Eielson AFB -- $1.3 million for the renovation and retrofit of 168th Air Refueling Wing hangar and support facilities to enhance its critical mission of providing the air bridge to the Pacific for U.S. Military Forces.
  • Fort Greely Post enhancements -- $1.1 million for Security and Information Technology enhancements. These enhancements would help Fort Greely to better carry out its mission of protecting the nation from foreign missile threats through the operation of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System.
  • Alaskan Command, Elmendorf AFB -- $1.56 million for improvements to the command and control capabilities of the Alaska Command.  This will allow for better communication and alignment with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and enable the Alaskan Command to more effectively protect the sovereignty of U.S. airspace.
$2.4 million for Homer-based Kachemak Research Development which develops and fields security systems that scan the under carriage of vehicles as they enter secure areas/facilities; and $2.0 million for Anchorage-based Venture Ad Astra for its development of a system/network to enhance precision location, guidance and navigational capabilities of U.S. weapons.

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