WASHINGTON D.C. (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved $366,099,000 for military construction projects in Hawaii including $181 million to build new housing at Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield, $5 million for a C-130 rinse facility at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and $24 million for a waterfront operations center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.
The money is included in the Fiscal Year 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Appropriations bills.
The committee approved both measures today by a vote of 30-0 for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and a vote of 27-3 for Homeland Security with Chairman Inouye voting in favor of each. The bills now go before the full Senate for consideration.
The Military Construction bill also includes language instructing the Department of Veterans Affairs to closely scrutinize and report on the costs associated with requiring veterans living in Alaska and Hawaii to fly to Mainland facilities to receive medical treatment.
The Homeland Security bill includes language directing the Department of Homeland Security to promulgate regulations governing the admissions and residency of migrants from Compact of Free Association states.
"Today, as America's defense posture shifts to account for the challenges in the Asia Pacific, the military's mission in this region is as important as it was when I served in the Army many years ago," said Senator Inouye. "These measures provide the funding necessary to build the infrastructure and housing we need in Hawaii to support our men and women in uniform. I will see to it that the government continues to provide whatever the military needs to perform their duties and return home safe to their families and loved ones. The construction projects included in these bills will also create much needed jobs for Hawaii's construction industry. The Committee's action on the Department of Veterans Affairs budget continues our efforts to improve care for our veterans, many of whom will be returning to Hawaii as we wind down the war in Afghanistan. Finally, I am pleased the Department of Homeland Security bill supported requests which will help keep our communities in Hawaii safe by supporting the Coast Guard's many missions and preserving Federal Emergency Management Agency grants for the state and county governments in Hawaii. I would urge my colleagues in the Senate to quickly approve these measures, " said Chairman Inouye.
"I applaud the Appropriations Committee for approving these vital construction projects needed to keep Hawaii's military facilities up to date and provide critical construction jobs in the islands. I am pleased the committee included the provision Senator Inouye and I requested directing the Department of Homeland Security to write clear guidelines for admission from Freely Associated States and help Hawaii properly care for COFA migrants by reducing the disproportionate impact on our state's budget. At my Veterans' Affairs field hearing on Oahu last month and during oversight trips to the neighbor islands, we heard about the unique hurdles Hawaii veterans face living in an island state so far from the mainland, so I am very pleased this legislation contains a provision specifically directing the VA to study the challenges facing Hawaii and Alaska veterans seeking care. I look forward to working with Senator Inouye and our colleagues to bring these provisions and projects into law," said Senator Akaka.
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill
All of the projects that received funding in Hawaii were requested in the FY 2013 President's Budget.
POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA
Automated Infantry Platoon Battle Course $29 million
Barracks $41 million
Barracks $55 million
WHEELER ARMY AIR FIELD
Combat Aviation Brigade Barracks $85 million
Army Aviation Support Facility Ph1 $28 million
Aircraft Staging Area $14.68 million
MV-22 Hangar and Infrastructure $82.63 million
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM
TFI - F-22 Combat Apron Addition $6.5 million
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM
SOF SDVT-1 Waterfront Operations Facility $24.289 million
Department of Veterans Affairs