Utah military installments get lift from Congress

By Lee Davidson
Deseret News
September 28, 2008

The Senate passed and sent to President Bush on Saturday a stop–gap funding bill that included more than $130 million for Utah defense bases and contractors.

That massive bill funds most government agencies through March at this year's spending levels because Congress did not pass most of the 13 separate appropriations bills it considers each year. However, that legislation did include three appropriations bills for next year for military construction, homeland security and defense.

Sen. Bob Bennett, R–Utah, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said, "The projects included in this bill demonstrate Utah's important role in providing your young men and women on the ground with advanced equipment and state–of–the–art facilities to carry out their operations safely."

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R–Utah, added, "The work that is done at Utah's military installations and defense contractors is vital to the security and defense of our country."

Funding includes $61.8 million for facility updates at Hill Air Force Base, including $5.4 million for a new fire station, $36 million for an F–22A Maintenance Facility and $20.4 million for a hydrant system to deliver fuel. Also, $5 million was for Hill and ATK for an Automated Composite Technologies and Manufacturing Center.

Some of the more interesting projects among the many approved for Utah, according to Bennett and Hatch, are:

  • $800,000 for a Friction Stir Welding program at Brigham Young University, to develop innovative welding techniques that could be used in naval ships and other military hardware.
  • $6 million for Utah State University's Space Dynamics Lab for reconnaissance systems and imagery processing work.
  • $1.6 million to Utah State University's Space Dynamics Lab for Intelligence Community Academic Outreach. This program will prepare students for intelligence careers while using the lab's research and technical capabilities.
  • $650,000 for Brigham City for pre–disaster mitigation of the city's Carnegie Library.
  • $2.4 million to Dugway Proving Ground, Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory and ITT, for work on a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system to detect chemical and biological agents.
  • $800,000 to the Tooele Army Depot and contractor Battelle to design and build a system to dispose obsolete ammunition at the depot, including depleted uranium projectiles, ordnance contain smoke mixtures and explosives.
  • $4 million to Dugway Proving Ground and General Atomics for Advanced Ship Self–Defense Technology testing, including developing and testing the Navy's new rail gun technology.
  • $17.5 million for an Ammunition Supply Point at Camp Williams.
  • $7 million to Utah Air National Guard and L–3 Comms West to boost the ability of the Senior Scout system to transmit large amounts of data.
  • $1.6 million to Rockwell Collins of Utah to purchase more ARC–220 radios, which work at longer distances, for Army National Guard helicopters.
  • $2.4 million to Rockwell Collins in Utah to purchase additional ARC 210 radio system for the F–15E fighter aircraft.
  • $10.7 million to Colemek Systems Engineering in Utah for a new generation Phalanx, a defense against rockets, artillery, aircraft, boat and anti–cruise missile threats at sea.

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