• Wichita Falls Proposes Beautification Project at Entrance to Sheppard AFB

    Wichita Falls Proposes Beautification Project at Entrance to Sheppard AFB0

    In an effort to improve the streetscape outside the main entrance to Sheppard Air Force Base in northern Texas, the city of Wichita Falls is proposing a $3.5 million project calling for the demolition of abandoned buildings and expanded bus service for base personnel. The city will apply to the state’s defense economic adjustment assistance grant program for a $1.75 million grant, reported the Times Record News. The Texas Legislature earlier this year allocated $30 million in assistance for defense communities in the state’s budget for the fiscal 2016-2017 biennium. On Wednesday, the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corp. approved a $1.25 million loan, which would be paid back through local sales and use taxes …

  • $25M in Levee Improvements Needed to Protect Offutt AFB0

    The state of Nebraska, DOD and the communities neighboring Offutt Air Force Base are being asked to contribute to a $25 million levee improvement project needed to protect the installation from flooding. The cities of Bellevue and Omaha, and Sarpy County are each being asked for $2.3 million for the project, which would increase the height of 19 miles of levees along the Missouri River by two feet. The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, which is spearheading the effort, has pledged $4 million. The district is asking the state to pitch in $10 million, and DOD for $4 million. The improvements are mandated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency even though the Army Corps of Engineers, which built the levees in the 1970s and 1980s, says they meet existing standards …

  • New Bridge to Secure Future of West Virginia Air Guard Base0

    State and local officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday for a $6.2 million bridge that provides a new access route to Charleston Air National Guard Base, W.Va. The bridge over the Elk River will improve security for the 130th Airlift Wing by allowing the closure of the current public road serving the base. That route passes right by the Guard base and poses a security risk, a factor local leaders believed could jeopardize the installation in a future BRAC round. The bridge also provides a new entrance for a county park, reported MetroNews. “It’s a win-win for the parks and we got the security that we needed as well,” said Lt. Col. Melissa Shade, public affairs officer for the West Virginia National Guard. The West Virginia Air National Guard 167th Fighter Squadron Memorial Bridge is dedicated to 21 National Guard members who died in an airplane crash in 1951. The bridge’s dedication comes 10 years after the Guard base staved off closure in the last BRAC round.

  • County Pushes for Local Contribution to New Gate at Ft. Gordon0

    Richmond County, Ga., leaders are trying to persuade voters to contribute $1 million to the cost of a new gate at Fort Gordon through a special purpose local option sales tax on the ballot in November. The new gate, which would replace two existing entrances, is needed to accommodate an influx of military and civilian personnel coming to the post along with new missions, say Army officials. Fort Gordon is one of only two Army installations experiencing significant growth; the other is Fort Meade, Md. “The growth is going to continue to happen,” said Thom Tuckey, executive director of the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon …

  • New Year Ushers in New Funding for Texas Program Supporting Installations0

    With state funding to help support local installations available for the first time in years, defense communities in Texas are eager to apply for the state’s defense economic adjustment assistance grant program. Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature allocated $30 million in assistance for defense communities in the state’s budget for the fiscal 2016-2017 biennium. The Ellington Field Task Force, for instance, is seeking funds to upgrade the air traffic control tower at Houston’s Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, reports the Texas Tribune. “With all the refineries and chemical plants around the Port of Houston, we’ve got major national security assets in the Houston area that really need to be protected,” said John Martinec, chairman of the task force …

  • Biloxi Looks to Raise Millions for New Gate at Keesler AFB0

    The mayor of Biloxi, Miss., has launched an initiative to finance a new gate at Keesler Air Force Base, an attempt to boost community development as well as shield the installation from a future BRAC round. A new entrance on Division Street would improve access to Keesler, and provide a more secure and attractive gateway, Mayor FoFo Gilich told WLOX. A recent meeting of the committee Gilich formed to advance the initiative was attended by 22 individuals, including state lawmakers and officials. “So we’ve covered all the grounds that we think identify what are the obstacles and each person was truly excited about this thing coming back alive …