by Congressman Michael Turner (OH-03)
The House recently passed legislation that will impact the nation as a whole and benefit our community in Southwest Ohio. In May, the House overwhelmingly passed the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act, which was named in honor of my friend and colleague, former Armed Services Committee Chairman and retiring Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA). In addition to funding projects across the armed forces, the Defense Authorization Bill authorizes more than $51 million for important projects at the Miamisburg Mound and at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The Defense Authorization Bill includes a provision that I introduced to authorize an additional $10 million for the remaining cleanup of the Miamisburg Mound. Congressman Dave Hobson and I previously worked to secure $30 million for the Miamisburg Mound cleanup in 2005. The $10 million authorization would work toward the final cleanup and eventual reuse of the property. Completing the cleanup will be a great accomplishment for the people of Miamisburg. The Mound cleanup is important for both the continued health and economic development of our region. Once the cleanup of the Mound is complete, our community will benefit for many years to come.
This recently passed legislation also authorizes more than $41 million for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the largest single-site employer in the State of Ohio. The FY2009 funds will be used for five different projects at Wright-Patterson including: the construction of a new Security Forces Operations building; an initiative to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of metal part production; the development of a mobile Army foundry; funding for an affordable and reliable engine starter generator system; and funding to train and utilize displaced Ohio workers and accept intelligence requirements from various federal government agencies. In addition to these projects, Wright-Patterson also recently received more than $230 million following the successful Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process which is expected to produce more than 1,000 jobs at the base.
The largest authorized project is the construction of a new Security Forces building at Wright-Patterson. Currently, Security Forces at Wright-Patterson are located in a facility originally constructed in 1934 as a garage. After undergoing numerous renovations, the decaying facility lacks a separate prisoner entrance, processing room, and crime scene investigation training area. The new Security Forces building will consolidate operations for the 88th Security Forces Squadron near a primary base entry gate, greatly improving the response time of the Security Forces to many areas of Wright-Patterson.
The projects we have authorized funding for are good for both the future of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and all of Southwest Ohio. Wright-Patterson is vital to our military success and is key to our region’s economic success. This funding is an investment in our future. This legislation will ensure our advantage on the battlefields of tomorrow.
In addition to our important local projects, the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act provides a 3.9% pay increase for all service members and increases the size of armed forces by 7,000 Army soldiers, 5,000 Marines, and authorizes additional medical personnel hiring in the Navy and Air Force. The bill authorizes $531 billion for the Department of Defense as well as $70 billion to support ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The legislation also authorizes funding for up-armored tanks, mine-resistant vehicles, additional C-17’s, and intelligence means to counter explosive devices.
I was proud to support the Duncan Hunter Defense Authorization Bill to provide funding for important projects at Wright-Patterson, the Miamisburg Mound, and for our men and women in uniform across the nation. This bill ensures that our service members will have the equipment necessary to continue fighting for our freedom and that our community can continue the work we have done at Wright-Patterson and the Miamisburg Mound.
# # #