Sens. Biden and Carper Announce $76.7 Million for Delaware’s Military Projects

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) and Tom Carper (D-DE) announced that the U.S. Senate has approved legislation that would authorize $76.703 million for projects for Delaware military installations, including the Delaware National Guard and Dover Air Force Base.  

The funding is part of the 2009 Department of Defense Authorization bill, which authorizes $612.5 billion in spending for 2009 national defense programs, including $70 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The bill also includes a 3.9% pay raise for military personnel and authority to continue growing the size of the Army and Marine Corps.  The bill also authorizes over $26 billion for military medical care, preventing an increase in TRICARE fees and continuing efforts to improve the care of wounded warriors.  In May, the House of Representatives passed its own version of the Defense Authorization bill.  The House and Senate bills must be reconciled before the legislation can be signed into law.

“We are asking more and more of our men and women in uniform every day,” said Senator Biden. “Our number one priority is to provide them with the support and resources they need to get the job done – the best possible equipment and the most advanced information technology available. This bill bolsters the missions of our soldiers on active and reserve duty and will help ensure our readiness for years to come.”

“Delaware members of armed forces have served their state and their country with honor and distinction,” Sen. Carper said.  “I am grateful that the Senate authorized nearly $77 million in federal support for the Guardsmen at the National Guard Base in New Castle, the Air Force at Dover, and the Reservists in Wilmington.”

The bill includes funding for several Delaware-specific projects vital to the readiness and morale of military personnel serving in the First State.  Specifically, the bill provides a total of $76.703 million for the Delaware National Guard, Dover Air Force Base and Delaware Reservists.  The projects include:

The Delaware National Guard:

$11.6 million to replace the Air Guard’s under-sized and out-of –date 1952 C-130 maintenance shops

$28 million for the Army Guard’s Aviation Support Facility to protect, maintain, and operate UH-60s

$3.2 million to provide a secure facility for the Air Guard’s new Information Operations Squadron

Dover Air Force Base:

$19 million for a new fitness center

$3.373 million to bring a 55,000 barrel fuel storage tank into compliance with existing regulations

Armed Forces Reserve Center in Wilmington:

$11.53 million, the Navy’s portion, of this new joint reserve center