Tuesday, November 11, 2003

The Defense Bill strengthens the position of Travis

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Bill to benefit Dixon and Travis

By Ian Thompson

-- Two provisions in the Defense Bill that passed the House of Representatives last week will benefit Dixon's migrant workers and Travis Air Force Base, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, announced.

One prohibits premature retirement of older C-5A Galaxy jet transports and the other clears the way for improving migrant workers' housing and living conditions in Dixon.

Tauscher's first provision prevents older C-5s from being retired until a reliability test and the re-engining program is completed with the results reported to Congress.

Travis AFB is home to three dozen C-5s. The newer ones will be modernized while the Air Force plans to gradually retire the older ones, replacing them with 12 C-17s which are slated to arrive at Travis AFB in 2006.

"The Defense Bill strengthens the position of Travis as the preeminent airlift location by modernizing planes and keeping workers on base," Tauscher said of plans to do the modernization work at Travis instead of sending aircraft to a depot.

Tauscher's other provision expedites transferring Navy land to the Dixon, which leased the 40 acres since 1984. Dixon's Housing Authority uses the former Navy base to provide housing and support services to migrant workers who live there part of the year.

A quicker transfer allows the authority to start much-needed repairs on crumbling roads and to upgrade an inadequate water system. It also allows the authority to build more housing.

"I am thrilled that I was able to finish the land transfer, paving the way for the city of Dixon to make improvements that will make a big difference in people's lives," Tauscher said in a press release.

The bill now goes to President Bush who is expected to sign it into law within the next few weeks, Tauscher's office said.

Ian Thompson can be reached at ithompson@dailyrepublic.net.

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