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Federal stimulus package to aid Airmen

WASHINGTON, (AFPN) -- Improvements in dormitories, child development centers and energy conservation plans will come to fruition as the Air Force receives about $1.7 billion in Defense-related appropriations through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, military finance officials said.

"The Air Force fully supports the administration's commitment to invest Recovery Act dollars with unprecedented transparency and accountability so Americans know how and where their tax dollars are being spent," said Audrey Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial operations.

With a focus on Airmen care, families and environmental stewardship, the Air Force's portion of the stimulus will spur about 1,500 military construction and facility improvement projects, including quality-of-life upgrades and renewable-energy research.

At Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, ARRA funds will be used to upgrade fire alarm systems, install ventilation systems and improve lightning protection systems on launch pads.

"We welcome the American Recovery and Revitalization Act funding and the associated transparency to the public," said 45th Comptroller Squadron Commander Maj. Brent Hatch. "These funds will go towards needed repair and maintenance of the Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS infrastructure, thus improving the quality of life and safety of the Airmen, civilians and contractors who make up our Team."

ARRA funds will also be used to support high-priority programs such as fuel-cell, wind and solar research and energy security. Air Force leaders support national and Department of Defense efforts to achieve greater energy independence through funding these critical military energy research programs.

"ARRA funds are being used for high priority maintenance and repair projects as well as new child development centers, military family housing and dormitories," said Air Force Civil Engineer Maj. Gen. Del Eulberg."This is consistent with Air Force goals to improve the quality of life for its Airmen and their families."

Officials specifically identified the locations with the greatest need based on previously conducted facility and requirements studies to maximize the benefit of ARRA funding.
According to the general, ARRA funding will enable more than 1,500 maintenance and repair projects valued at $1.1 billion in addition to $260 million for Air Force military construction and housing: $100 million for four dorms, $80 million for seven CDCs, and $80 million for two MFH projects. Additionally, Air Force engineers will construct four Energy Conservation Investment Program projects using $17 million provided to the Department of Defense.

Ms. Davis said the Air Force is committed to following secretary of defense guidance to meet critical accountability requirements while ensuring efficient execution of the projects.

(Additional information provided by Airman 1st Class David Dobrydney, 45th SW Public Affairs)