MARTINSBURG, W.Va. ? A $50 million allocation to upgrade the West Virginia Air National Guard base in Berkeley County for a larger fleet of planes was included in a bill approved by Congress and now is pending President Bush's approval, according to an official familiar with the project.
Capt. Melissa Shade of the 167th Airlift Wing said Wednesday she was told that the money was approved to outfit the unit's base at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport for the C-5 Galaxy airplanes.
In New England for the holiday, Airlift Wing commander Col. Roger Nye was unaware of the announcement, which was reported Wednesday by The Associated Press.
"It sounds like a nice Christmas present for the 167th from Sen. Byrd," Nye said.
In September, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd announced the $50 million allocation had cleared the Senate. The base conversion project includes a parking apron, a fuel cell maintenance hangar and shops and squadron operations facility, and other infrastructure upgrades.