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Senate OKS $10m for N.H. Air Guard

WASHINGTON, D.C - U.S. Sens. Judd Gregg and Jeanne Shaheen have announced that the Senate has approved $10 million to replace squadron operations facilities at the Pease Air National Guard Base.

This project is the top priority for the New Hampshire National Guard, and these funds will allow the 157th Air Refueling Wing of the United States Air Force to consolidate command communications, and improve coordination and overall operational efficiency.

These funds were included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which now heads to a joint House/Senate conference committee before returning to each chamber for final passage. Funding for this project is included within the Committee allocation set out for Fiscal Year 2010 funding measures.

Gregg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said, "The brave individuals who make up the New Hampshire National Guard continue to make significant contributions to our national defense in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our courageous citizen soldiers deserve the pay, resources, and equipment necessary to carry out their unique missions safely and effectively.

"This new facility at Pease will improve overall efficiency of operations and is the State's top military construction priority. I have strongly supported this funding and am pleased that my Senate colleagues recognize the significance of this project and the importance of the New Hampshire National Guard."

Shaheen said, "We must take care of the brave men and women serving in New Hampshire's National Guard, and this funding will help make sure they have everything they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently. This new facility will give the National Guard the resources they need to carry out their mission, and I look forward to the completion of this important project."

"Currently, our operations group is housed in several different buildings which have become outdated and insufficient under today's 24/7 mission climate," said Maj. Gen. William Reddel, the adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard. "A new facility will allow us to consolidate our command and control as well as give us the necessary room to house operations for our new active duty flying squadron."

"In the long run, the modernization puts the N.H. Air National Guard in a better position to remain relevant to the evolving needs of the Air Force and our national defense. For the state, our citizens get a more efficient operation capable of responding to any homeland security emergency," Reddel said. "Sens. Judd Gregg and Jeanne Shaheen understand and have always supported that."