Hagan touts area benefits in defense spending bill

Published: Monday, December 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM.

Hagan pushed to continue that biofuels public-private research partnership and shepherded a bipartisan compromise to remove two provisions from last year’s Defense Authorization Act that could have meddled with a longtime balance of work between Cherry Point’s Fleet Readiness Center East and private businesses.

She said the Senate bill would help ensure that FRC East can keep providing Navy and Marine Corps aviation support, thus helping protect Cherry Point and its $2 billion annual economic impact on the area.

The act authorizes nearly half a billion dollars for military construction at bases in North Carolina, including $45 million at Cherry Point for construction, Hagan said. That would build an air support squadron command center for liaisons between pilots and ground crew and a new weapons storage facility.

The 16 projects authorized at state bases also include special operations forces facilities at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg, a medical clinic at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, and buildings at New River air station. They must now be funded through the annual appropriations process, she said.

Another provision would require the Department of Defense to issue defense-wide guidance on tracking and handling possible environmental contamination exposure on military installations. Hagan and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., pushed for the provision as it relates to water contamination concerns at Camp Lejeune.

Also as part of the bill, TRICARE deductibles will not increase, and the defense department would not be permitted to establish TRICARE enrollment fees. Other provisions would require the defense department to help exiting service members find civilian career opportunities, and to address post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and sexual assault prevention. 

1 2

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top