(Washington D.C.)– Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that that the $11 million she included in a 2010 spending bill to begin construction of a new Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Force Support Complex for the 336th Training Group at the U.S. Air Force Survival School in Fairchild Air Force Base has passed the full Senate today by a vote of 100-0. The new facility will consolidate all command training and support functions into a centralized headquarters to improve command and control capabilities.
“A new SERE complex at Fairchild Air Force Base will help instructors continue their great work teaching our troops the skills they need to keep safe if they are captured,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This funding will give a boost to Spokane’s local economy, while at the same time providing essential, lifesaving services to our military. Our men and women in uniform deserve the best and most up-to-date training to protect themselves overseas, and I am pleased that this new facility will provide them with the resources they need.”
The current facility is more than fifty years old and is unable to support the needs of a modern SERE training program. In addition, the existing buildings have become increasingly costly to maintain as they grow older, with current yearly costs exceeding $140,000. The new facility will be more energy efficient and safe, will save money over time, and will greatly enhance the ability of SERE instructors to provide proper, lifesaving training to those who use the Air Force Base.
The funding was included in the fiscal year 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill, which having passed both the House and the Senate will now go to a conference committee. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee.