Jul 19 2001

$30 MILLION FOR CENTER FOR DOMESTIC PREPAREDNESS:
SHELBY INSTRUMENTAL IN SECURING APPROVAL OF MAXIMUM FUNDING FOR TERRORISM TRAINING FACILITY AT FORT MCCLELLAN

Sen. Shelby hs secured funding for the facility each of the last four years

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Committee approval of a total of $30 million in funding at the request of Sen. Shelby to move forward with the development of Fort McClellan as the National Center for Domestic Preparedness.

Sen. Shelby said, "I am pleased that the Committee agreed that the National Center for Domestic Preparedness is the cornerstone of our nations' emergency responder training facilities. The $30 million included in the legislation will allow the Center to reach its maximum training capacity."

"This level of funding is extremely important because it will allow the Center to train 10,000 first responders a year, up from the 3,500 that they are currently able to accommodate. These first responders include law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel who are trained by the National Center for Domestic Preparedness to prevent and respond to incidents of domestic terrorism."

"The threat of a chemical, nuclear or biological weapons attack is real. Should such an attack occur without the proper preparation and training for emergency personnel, the devastation would be horrific. That is why it has been my goal since the inception of the Center, to increase their annual appropriation, allowing them to gradually build their infrastructure and training capacity to a point where they are able to accommodate the maximum number of first responders. The work that is done at the National Center for Domestic Preparedness at Fort McClellan is critical to the safety of our nation."

Army operations at Fort McClellan ended on October 1st, 1999. The base closure would have left McClellan empty and unused. However, Sen. Shelby, recognizing the importance of the site for First Responder training purposes, worked diligently to fund the Justice Department's takeover of the facilities. The Department of Justice has assumed operations and will maintain certain portions of McClellan in active status under the Justice Department's control.