New Mexico air bases, including Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo and Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis, received millions of dollars in federal funding through an annual draft expenditure approved by Congress and sent to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also provided funding for Kirtland Air Force Base near Albuquerque and the White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces to support U.S. defense operations for fiscal 2022.
The bill also provided for a 2.7 percent pay increase for service members and civil servants in the military.
More:Drone crash reported at Holloman Air Force Base, no casualties reported
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), chairman of the Senate Funding Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Allied Agencies, said the bill shows strong support for military facilities and the people who work in New Mexico.
“This bill is making huge investments to equip our armed forces with the cutting-edge equipment they need to stay one step ahead of our adversaries and advance our leadership in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, directional energy and hypersonic,” said Heinrich.
Holloman Air Force Base
The NDAA included $ 2 million in federal funding to expedite the construction of a test facility in Holloman to evaluate new radar detection technology.
More:A village of “peace and hope” for Afghan refugees living on Holloman Air Force Base
Such a facility already exists at the base, but it required updates and repairs.
Technologies tested at the facility measure an aircraft’s radar characteristics to investigate its susceptibility to enemy detection and to detect enemy aircraft from a long distance.
The funding should allow the Air Force to begin planning and building the facility early.
More:FBI Hosts Crisis Negotiation Training For Law Enforcement Agencies at Holloman Air Force Base
Approximately $ 175 million was spent on the Air Force’s work to combat per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) groundwater contamination at Holloman and Cannon Air Force Bases.
Cannon Air Force Base
About $ 5 million was sent to Cannon Air Force Base to build a new 192-bed dormitory for enlisted airmen on the base to help alleviate the housing shortage in Clovis and Portales.
The bill also included $ 6 million to build a staging processing center that should cut wait times for staging around the world starting in Cannon. The facility will combine parachute rigging and airdrop operations into a single facility.
More:Under Secretary of State of the Air Force visits Afghan refugees at Holloman Air Force Base
Kirtland Air Force Base
In Kirtland, about $ 5.6 million was earmarked in the NDAA to complete construction of the Wyoming Gate project, which will improve perimeter security at the base.
An additional $ 5.3 million was sent to the base through the NDAA to set up a Space Rapid Capabilities Office that will develop satellite technologies for use in space.
The base’s Pararescue training facility also received $ 810,000 in NDAA funding. Airmen trained in this facility carry out rescue missions for soldiers around the world.
More:Holloman Air Force Base welcomes Afghan refugees
White Sands missile range
White Sands Missile Range received approximately $ 29 million to build its White Sands missile assembly support facility, which develops and tests new, more accurate, long-range ammunition and weapons.
Another $ 5 million that will be sent to White Sands via the NDAA will help build a hypersonic test and evaluation installation through a joint project with New Mexico State University.
The project will focus on testing interceptors to repel hypersonic missiles.
Adrian Hedden can be reached at 575-618-7631, [email protected], or @AdrianHedden on Twitter.