Alexander to Air Force: Make Long-Term Plans to Ensure Arnold Engineering Development Center Stays at “Very High Level, With Cutting Edge Technologies”

Says 50-year-old facilities need “maintenance and modernizing”

Posted on March 14, 2012

“We all know, as I’m sure you do, that there has to be a long term plan to ensure that critical testing facilities, such as that, are at a very high level, with cutting edge technologies.” – Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON – At a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing today on the Air Force budget for fiscal year 2013, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton A. Schwartz the Air Force should make plans to ensure that the testing facility at Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tullahoma, Tenn., “remains capable of its mission over the long term.”

Alexander said: “I was talking with Colonel [Michael] Brewer, who is the base commander at Arnold. Looking way down the road, he reminded me that the facilities at the base are 50 years old, and I know at a time of less money and restructuring that it’s tempting not to spend money on long-term planning for maintenance and modernizing, but we all know, as I’m sure you do, that there has to be a long term plan to ensure that critical testing facilities, such as that, are at a very high level, with cutting edge technologies. What plans have you undertaken to make sure that the testing facility there remains capable of its mission over the long term?”

General Schwartz said that “among other things, we have invested in energy initiatives at Tullahoma in order to reduce the cost of operation there and to have a more efficient footprint” and “many of these test facilities are very energy intensive and one of those major efforts underway is not only to make them modern in terms of their test capacity but importantly how we manage the energy consumption at that installation.”

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