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Alaska Military Projects Funded in Defense Appropriations

Alaska Territorial Guard, Missile Defense among programs supported

Recognizing the importance of Alaska's strategic military location and role in the defense of our nation, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense today approved funding for a number of Alaska projects supported by Sen. Mark Begich on behalf of Alaskans.

The funding of Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations includes restoring retirement benefits to 26 Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) members who served the U.S. during World War II. Additionally, $50 million was included for the ground based interceptor production line to prevent a production line break. These interceptors are deployed as part of the missile defense system at Alaska's Fort Greely.

"Investments in our military and a strong, capable fighting force are some of the best investments we can make right now," Sen. Begich said. "As we ask our servicemen and women to do more every day, we owe it to them to provide the services and equipment they need to safely and effectively get the job done."

Alaska projects funded in the bill and supported by Sen. Begich include:

·         Alaska National Guard Counterdrug Program, $3 million
·         Future Tactical Truck Carbon Composite Shelter & Retrofit of Current Vehicle Shelters, $2 million
·         Flight/Hangar Deck Cleaner, $1.7 million
·         Auto Scan Under Vehicle Inspections (UVIS), $1.5 million
·         Expandable Rigid Wall Composite Shelter, $1 million
·         Permafrost Tunnel, $500,000

Additionally, the committee supported language in the bill that will restore retirement benefits to the 26 ATG members whose payments were abruptly ended earlier this year when the Defense Department determined the law allowing the payments had been misinterpreted and they weren't legal. The bill fixes the language in the law ensuring the time in the ATG is counted as active duty military service.

Under the leadership of Sen. Begich, the language was supported by the full Senate in July when the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2010 was passed.

Overall, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense approved $636.3 billion in new discretionary spending authority for the Department of Defense, including $128.2 billion for overseas contingency operations. For a complete list of funding, go to http://appropriations.senate.gov/sc-defense.cfm. The measure will be considered by the full Senate later this month.

Posted Sept. 9, 2009

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