Jul 15 2010

Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2011 Military Construction / Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced committee approval of the fiscal year 2011 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.  Included in this legislation is funding for projects in Alabama listed below.  Following today’s action by the committee, the bill will now go to the Senate floor for consideration.

TFI-Replace Squadron Ops Facility - $7.5 Million

The Alabama Air National Guard facility is approximately 40 percent undersized and cannot be expanded because of limitations on site. This project replaces the squadron operations facility based on Air National Guard and Active Duty requirements. 

“The squadron operations facility for the Air National Guard is too small to meet mission requirements,” said Shelby. “Pilots are constrained by the inadequacy of space which limits the time that can be allocated to conduct all necessary briefings and debriefings.  These constraints do not allow pilots to obtain adequate training, severely impacting safety and the unit’s ability to maintain combat ready pilots. It is critical that this facility be expanded in order to ensure our Air National Guard pilots are properly trained and prepared to do their jobs.”

Live Fire Shoot House - $5.635 Million

The Live Fire Exercise Shoot House project will provide the Army National Guard with a facility to train and evaluate a unit during a live fire exercise. The shoot house is intended to support blank fire, Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System/Tactical Engagement System, Special Effects Small-Army Marking System, and installation-approved small arms service ammunitions.

“Currently, the Alabama Army National Guard does not have any live fire exercise shoot houses available to them within reasonable distance,” said Shelby. “Lack of this critical training site impairs the Guard’s readiness, causing mobilizing units to continue training on inadequate ranges and unrealistic environments, or having to travel hours to the next available training facility. Funding for this project will ensure that units will be trained in sufficient facilities to meet the Alabama National Guard’s requirements.”