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Capps, House OK $30 Million in Funding for State Military Base Projects

$14.2 million would go toward a new education center at Vandenberg, and Naval Base Ventura County would get $15 million for a training facility

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced that key federal funding for the construction of a new education center at Vandenberg Air Force Base and a training facility at Naval Base Ventura County was included in House Resolution 2055, the Fiscal Year 2012 Military Construction-VA Appropriations bill that was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday by a vote of 411-5.

The House-approved Military Construction-VA appropriations bill includes $14.2 million for the construction of a new education center at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The new center will provide facilities to promote the academic and professional development of the officers, airmen and civilian workers at the installation, as well as contain classrooms equipped with distance-learning capabilities, an auditorium, a computer science and engineering laboratory, and a student break room. The facilities currently in use are 50 years old.

The legislation also includes $15.38 million for an E-2D Aircrew Training Facility at Naval Base Ventura County. The new training facility would include an operational flight trainer and combat information simulators and a weapons system trainer, in addition to classrooms, an auditorium and other necessary workspace.

Sustainable design principles would be incorporated into the new training facility, and it would meet LEED ratings, cutting down on energy consumption.

“It’s our country’s responsibility to ensure that our military men and women are adequately prepared, and it is essential that they receive instruction and training in top-notch facilities. These construction projects will provide them with that, and I’m pleased this funding has been included in this bill,” Capps said. “I’ll keep working to ensure these bases receive all the funding they need in the final bill because we have to make sure our troops have the best facilities possible to do the tough and indispensable work we ask of them.”

Capps previously helped secure federal funding for a new Physical Fitness Center and Childhood Development Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base. In addition to funding military construction, the Military Construction-VA bill would fund Veterans Affairs through fiscal year 2013. Under reforms made by Congress, Veterans Affairs is now funded two years in advance to ensure that it has adequate resources for troops.

Funding levels for these projects are not finalized until the Senate passes its version of the bill and differences between the versions are worked out in conference. The legislation would then be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.


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