Durbin: Senate Approves More Than $82 Million for Military Construction Projects in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the United States Senate has approved $82,257,000 in federal funding for military construction projects in Illinois.


The Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations Bill for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs includes funding for the following Illinois projects:


• Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Facility, Scott Air Force Base. $7,400,000 in funding for a new aeromedical evacuation facility at Scott Air Force Base. The current 50 year old facility is deteriorating rapidly; the heating, ventilation and airconditioning system is inadequate and the roof leaks. Frequent flooding makes the basement unusable and has led to ongoing mold issues in the building. A lack of work space makes it difficult to effectively perform daily and contingency operations. Funding would provide a two-story building that will consolidate into one facility the aeromedical evacuation functions that are currently housed in four buildings. The mission directly supports Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom by transferring wounded warriors to facilities across the United States in order to provide the best care and treatment for each soldier.


• Readiness Center Expansion, Milan. $5,600,000 in funding for the expansion of the Milan Readiness Center. Additional units have been based at Milan and the increase in personnel has resulted in a lack of adequate space at the existing facility. The expansion of the Milan Readiness Center will enhance training efficiency and mobilization readiness, and permit the facility to safeguard equipment in a more sustainable way. Cost effective energy conserving features will be incorporated into design and construction.


• Army Reserve Center, Chicago. $23,000,000 in funding to assist the Army Reserve in providing facilities to support the activation of new units to meet current and future war fighting missions. This project will provide thirteen acres of existing government land and a 600-member training facility with administrative, educational, assembly, library, learning center, vault, weapons simulator, and physical fitness areas for eleven Army Reserve units. The maintenance shop will provide work bays and maintenance administrative support.


• Reserve Training Center, Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, Joliet. $7,957,000 in funding to provide facilities for E Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion as a result of its relocation to Joliet and an increase in personnel. The existing facilities are inadequate in size and scope and the limited footprint is too small to allow for an expansion of the existing facility. Given the specialized training required by the reconnaissance unit, the new, single structure will provide storage for parachute equipment, scuba gear and other equipment and house a rappelling tower and boat shop.


• Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Chicago. $38,300,000 in funding for gravesite expansion and cemetery improvements. The cemetery serves nearly 500,000 veterans in the Chicago metropolitan area, conducting over 2,400 interments in 2007 and over 15,000 interments since opening in 1999. Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery is projecting depletion of casketed gravesites by 2014. This project will develop approximately 20 acres to provide an estimated ten additional years of burial capacity. In addition to the gravesite development, the project will include a roadway system and parking in newly developed sections and improvements to roadways, parking, and walkways throughout existing cemetery; drainage improvements to correct existing burial area groundwater issues; landscape and re-grading to buffer the cemetery from adjacent land use; installation of a new irrigations system; and other improvements.