The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Bingaman & Udall vote to approve bill to fund military construction


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall reported that the Senate has approved legislation to fund key construction projects at New Mexico’s military installations.

The fiscal year 2010 Military Construction and Department of Veterans’ Affairs Appropriations Act sets aside a total of $172 million for Cannon, Kirtland and Holloman Air Force Bases, as well as the National Guard facility in Santa Fe.

“This bill invests millions of dollars in New Mexico’s military installations and ensures that our Air Force and National Guard facilities remain in top shape,” Bingaman said. “It is another way to support the men and women of our armed forces.”

“This appropriations measure is one of the most important bills Congress passes each year,” Udall said. “It provides important funding for New Mexico’s military installations and ensures that our nation will fulfill its obligation to our veterans, including the almost 200,000 in our state.

The legislation contains the following:

National Guard

• $39.0 million for an Army aviation support facility at Santa Fe

Cannon Air Force Base

• $15.0 million for a consolidated communications facility

• $41.27 million for C-130 maintenance hangar facility

• $11.59 million modification to hangers to support CV-22

• $6.0 million for a C-130 ammunition loading ramp

Kirtland Air Force Base

• $16.7 million for two simulator facilities to train pilots on C-130J aircraft

Holloman Air Force Base

• $5.5 million for a consolidated munitions maintenance facility for the F-22 Raptor

Bingaman wrote an amendment, which Udall cosponsored, that sets aside $37.5 million Facilities for upgrades to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Training Wing at Holloman. The amendment would fund alteration/additions to the operations and maintenance facilities to accommodate the UAV training wing, which will continue to ramp up as these improvements are made.

“When these upgrades are complete, Holloman will be training more than 600 airmen and women on UAVs – technology that is becoming increasingly important to the Air Force,” Bingaman said.

“The new UAV training mission at Holloman is quickly becoming a robust program that provides enormous benefits to the U.S. Air Force, and I’m proud that we were able to secure funding for these facilities,” said Udall.

The legislation also included an amendment from Udall, Bingaman and Sen. Kit Bond, (R-MO) to provide additional transitional housing services for our nation’s homeless veterans. Go to for more information.

The spending bill passed today must be reconciled with the version passed by the House of Representatives before it can be signed into law.


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