Monday, February 18, 2019

Florida Military Bases losing end of the deal for "national emergency"

Florida military bases could lose up to $177 million to Trump’s border wall

Tampa Bay Times
Steve Contorno and Howard Altman
February 18, 2019

President Donald Trump will pay for his much coveted wall at the southern border in part by taking $3.6 billion from military projects across the country and the world.
LUIS SANTANA | Times A-10 Warthog jets from the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Indiana Air National Guard taxis out of Macdill Air Force Base in Tampa. Increased jet noise and activity surrounding the base are from several jets that are being hosted at Macdill Air Force Base on Dec. 6, 2018. President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency and plans to divert $3.6 billion from military construction to the southern border for a barrier. A $3 million project at MacDill is one of many that could be cut.

The decision means Florida bases could lose up to $177 million for planned construction, more than all but eight other states, according to a list of eligible projects compiled by the House Appropriations Committee and provided to the Tampa Bay Times.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the influential Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies subcommittee, said the move is an indication that Trump feels the wall “is a higher priority than these projects.”

Among the projects in jeopardy are $3.1 million to relocate KC-135 Stratotanker pilot flight simulators to MacDill Air Force Base. The KC-135 are refueling planes “critical to the joint warfighter and our allies,” Gen. Carlton D. Everhart said in a June 2018 press release, and the simulators would allow pilots to experience realistic training of these aircrafts and practice emergency protocol.

Other projects that could lose funding include: $83 million for Littoral Combat Ship support facility and $29 million for Littoral Combat Ship operational training facility at Mayport Naval Base in Jacksonville, and $35 million for a F-35A training center and $28 million for a F-35A student dormitory at Eglin Air Force Base in Okaloosa County.
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