U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today announced that the Fiscal Year 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, which was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee late Tuesday afternoon, includes $101.4 million to improve Tennessee’s military infrastructure. The bill must now be considered by the full Senate.
The bill also includes increased levels of funding for veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a total of $109 billion, an increase of $4 billion over the FY09 level, of which the Veterans Affairs Health Administration, which operates Veterans Affairs medical centers and other facilities, will receive $45.2 billion, an increase of $3.3 billion over the FY09 level. Additionally the legislation provides advance funding for three VA medical accounts - $37.14 billion for Medical Services, $5.31 billion for Medical Support and Compliance, and
$5.74 billion for Medical Facilities. This advance funding would become available on October 1, 2010 for FY2011.
“Our service men and women, veterans, and their families deserve the best we can give them,” said Alexander, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This bill will enhance the training and security of our men and women in uniform while also providing needed resources and support to the families and veterans who have given so much to preserve our freedom.”
“Our men and women in uniform, their families, and veterans represent the best of America and they deserve a commitment from the federal government equal to their sacrifices,” Corker said. “This bill will provide our armed forces with the necessary training resources and infrastructure so they can accomplish their missions and will ensure veterans continue to receive the benefits, medical services and support they need.”
Key Tennessee projects funded in the Senate version of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act include:
• $9.8 million for the 164th Airlift Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard in Memphis. Funding will be used for a new maintenance facility for eight C-5 aircraft which are used to transport personnel and heavy equipment around the world. This facility will also house offices, classrooms and storage space as well as electrical generators for the base which was recently moved to a different location at Memphis International Airport.
• $5.8 million for the Language Training Facility for the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell. Funding will be used for the classrooms, language labs, and equipment at Fort Campbell used to train members of the 5th Special Forces Group in critical foreign languages. More than 25 percent of Special Forces personnel are required to have foreign-language training.
In addition, $85.8 million was included in the bill for Fort Campbell and the Army Reserves:
• $29.3 million for Special Operations Battalion Operations Complex at Fort Campbell
• $3 million for Special Operations Military Working Dog Facility at Fort Campbell
• $8.6 million for the Health Clinic at Fort Campbell
• $5.9 million for the Armed Forces Reserve Center at Fort Campbell
• $14.8 million for the Group Headquarters Building at Fort Campbell
• $8.9 million for the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Chattanooga for the Tennessee National Guard
• $14.4 million for the Installation Chapel Center at Fort Campbell
• $900,000 for the Warrior Rehabilitation and Fitness Center at Fort Campbell