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$19.5 million earmarked for Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport upgrade

December 14, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The last project to be funded in the $280 million transformation of Air National Guard operations at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport was included in an appropriations bill that now awaits President Obama's signature, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd's office announced Monday.

The FY 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill passed by Congress includes $19.5 million for the upgrade of a taxiway at the airport, according to a news release from Byrd's office.

The current taxiway was designed for small- and medium-weight aircraft and requires structural upgrades to make it serviceable to accommodate the conversion of the base to the much heavier C-5 aircraft, according to Byrd's office. Ten of the C-5s are now stationed at the base, according to the news release.

"This funding continues efforts to enhance and expand West Virginia's military operations duty and mission- ready capabilities," Byrd said of more than $95 million for West Virginia's military installations included in the legislation.

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"When completed, these facilities will be better able to serve the federal mission of unit training and mobilizations, as well as maintaining its ever-ready status in the event of state and national emergencies."

The appropriation bill also included language that asks the Veterans Administration to provide funding in its fiscal year 2011 budget request for construction projects at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, according to Byrd's office.

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