Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced that the Congress passed the final National Defense Authorization Act yesterday, which includes $53.7 million for the construction and upgrading of several facilities at Fort Drum. These facilities would help address a variety of shortages that have occurred as the base’s population and mission have grown over the past years.
“The funding for these projects that will be a shot in the arm for Fort Drum is nearly signed, sealed, and delivered,” said Schumer. “These projects are going to be a huge boost for the base, helping to ensure that our active duty military have access to state of the art facilities right on base. Soon, hundreds of construction workers will be hard at work building state of the art facilities at Fort Drum, helping to grow our North Country economy along the way.”
“This is a great investment for Fort Drum and would help upgrade our military facilities while creating good-paying jobs right here in New York,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This federal funding would help improve support services for the soldiers stationed at Fort Drum and ensure our men and women in uniform have the very best facilities and opportunities. They and their families have sacrificed for all of us and we owe them for their incredible service.”
The project is expected to create over 340 construction jobs for a year by providing for the following:
- $15.7 million for a new Soldier Family Care Clinic that will provide additional clinical outpatient services and administrative support to provide care for the increasing population of Fort Drum. The facility will primarily help support the Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers and family members.
- $4.7 million for a new Dental Clinic Addition that will address a deficit of 12 dental treatment rooms to support the needs of nearly 3,600 soldiers. The new facilities will alleviate the long wait times soldiers currently experience.
- $5.7 million for improvements to the Ammunition Supply Point that will help address the current shortage of ammo storage facilities and administrative space to support the ammo supply mission. This project will support the 19,000 soldiers assigned to Fort Drum as well as Army National Guard, Air National Guard and Army Reserve units that train at Fort Drum.
- $7.6 million for a new chapel that will address the shortage of seating for religious services. The project will increase capacity by 215 persons, as well as provide additional administrative space for the chaplains and their staff.
- $20 million for a new aircraft maintenance hangar. The construction of the hangar and supporting parking aprons will improve Ft Drum’s ability to support helicopter operations and maintenance at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield.
Federal defense spending must be authorized before money can be appropriated, and Congress passed the authorizing bill yesterday. Passage of the appropriations bill is expected this weekend and then signed by the President.