Senators Biden & Carper Get Federal Funding for Critical Defense Projects in Delaware

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) and Thomas R. Carper (D-DE) today announced Senate passage of a major military funding package. The Military Construction Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2002 contains $7.2 million for a new fire station at Dover AFB and $18.145 million for 120 new family housing units at Dover Air Force Base in next year’s budget. “Dover Air Force Base is an absolutely critical part of our national defense system, and the airmen and airwomen that serve there deserve the best facilities, equipment and housing we can provide,” said Senator Biden. “The current fire station impairs readiness, detracts from unit effectiveness, and degrades morale. With a constantly high operations tempo, Dover needs a first rate facility to enable their firefighters to respond to emergency situations quickly and safely.” Biden went on to say, “These brave men and women deserve quality housing for their families too. We don’t want our aircrews flying to the Middle East and wondering whether or not their roof is leaking. They and their families deserve better and these 120 new units will help show them that we know that and that we care.” “In their service to protect our nation, the soldiers and staff at Dover Air Force Base must be protected themselves by the best in fire prevention services. This new fire station helps enhance our soldier’s safety,” Carper said. “This new housing allows the base to continue expanding its role as the premiere airlift facility in the nation.” Additionally, Senators Biden and Carper are pleased that the Department of Defense is looking at a plan to spend approximately $19.8 million of the supplemental funding passed by Congress last week to build a new 64,600 square foot mortuary at Dover. The new facility will be almost double the size of the current one and will be designed to use space more efficiently and to have a more logical progression of mortuary functions. They are also considering spending several million more for new equipment and furniture. The Senate passed the Military Construction bill by a vote of 97 to 0. The legislation must be reconciled with the bill passed by the House of Representatives before it is sent to the President.