FAIRCHILD AFB: Funding for New Safety Complex, Vehicle Refueling Facility Included in Final Spending Bill

Dec 09 2009

Funding will enhance lifesaving emergency training for pilot, create local jobs

(Washington D.C.)– Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that that the $11 million she secured 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 been included in the final version of the bill. The new facility will consolidate all command training and support functions into a centralized headquarters to improve command and control capabilities. The final version of the spending bill came out of a conference committee between the Senate and the House and is expected to pass both bodies shortly before being sent to the President for his signature.

 “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 final spending bill also includes $4,150,000 for a Refueling Vehicle Maintenance Facility at the base.

This multi-bay, 5,005 square foot facility would consolidate the service, maintenance and repair functions of the Air Force’s 92nd and the Air National Guard’s 141st’s Refueling Wings for refueling vehicles and related equipment into one facility.  Currently, the Fuels Management Flight at Fairchild AFB relies on fifteen maintenance personnel who service, maintain and repair the refueling vehicle fleet.  They operate in separate, aged, unheated, and undersized facilities almost two miles from the refueling vehicle parking lot.  The construction of the new facility would increase operational efficiency and support aerial refueling missions of the 92nd and 141st Wings by bringing all these functions under one roof

The funding was included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Spending Act. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee.