Thursday, May 10, 2007

Travis Funding Part of Defense Appropriation

Travis Funding Part of Defense Appropriation
By Danny Bernardini/Staff Writer

Funds for a squadron facility at Travis Air Force Base are included in the National Defense Authorization Act which moves to the House floor next week, according to Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Solano.

The act, which includes $10.8 million for a Global Support Squadron Facility, was approved Wednesday by the House Armed Services Committee, Tauscher said. Also included are funds for the production of 10 new C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft.

Kevin Lawlor, Tauscher's director of communications, said it is much too early to determine how many of the new complement of C-17s could end up at Travis. The base already had been allocated 13 of the aircraft, 10 of which have arrived.

The new facility at Travis would involve 130 personnel and would be used to speed up training an deployment of troops for both battle and humanitarian efforts overseas, according to Tauscher's office.

The building would be the first Global Support Squadron Facility on the West Coast

"Travis is a vital installation, and I am proud that this reshaping reflects that by delivering crucial funds that allow the men and women of the base to complete their missions more effectively," Tauscher said in a press release. She called the base the "backbone of our community, the gateway to the West for our military, and a critical hub for military airlift and strategic transport."

In regard to the prospect of additional C-17s, Lawlor said, "This is a good sign that the military and Congress want to produce more. It looks like we are going to continue."

Lawlor said that the impact of bases closing throughout the world and the growing reliance on strategic airlift have made Travis a major factor. He also said Travis would likely benefit from the production of the new aircraft. Plus, the new planes aren't a hard sell.

"C-17s are the Cadillac for strategic airlifts," he said. "When people hear how vital they are (in strategic airlift), they realize how important they are."

Danny Bernardini can be reached at

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