Durbin: Scott AFB Named As Finalist To House Critical New Defense Facility
[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, announced today that the Department of Defense has named Scott Air Force Base as a finalist to house a new facility for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The current NGA facility – which includes multiple buildings located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri – is more than 100 years old. The aging buildings at the NGA’s current location require high maintenance costs, and do not meet either force protection standards or seismic safety standards. The NGA will continue its current operations at a facility in Arnold, Missouri.
“The aging National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency facility in St. Louis can no longer meet the demands of the agency’s critical and technologically advanced operations,” Durbin said. “Today’s announcement confirms the NGA’s commitment to keeping this facility in the region. As one of our nation’s leading defense installations, Scott Air Force Base would be a natural choice to house the work of this critically important agency.”
Funding for environmental analysis of all six candidate sites for the new facility announced today was included in both the Fiscal Year 2014 and Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Appropriations bills. As the Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Durbin oversees funding for the military and intelligence community, the nation’s national security requirements and the daily needs of over two million active duty and reserve service members. All told, the Subcommittee controls more than half of the nation’s annual discretionary budget.
In June, Durbin announced two new cyber protection squadrons at Scott Air Force Base. Durbin received a call detailing the new acquisition from Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. Contingent on an environmental analysis completed by July 14, the project development will begin this fall, and the positions will be filled over the next two years.
James joined Durbin and other elected officials at a visit to Scott Air Force Base in April of this year. They toured Scott’s Air Operations Center and the 126th Air Refueling Wing and met with civic and business leaders from nearby communities to discuss the strong local and regional support for the base. Also at Durbin’s invitation, in March, Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh visited Scott Air Force Base for a similar tour and series of meetings with officials.
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