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2007 budget completes dorm recapitalization funding

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (May 25, 2006) -- The Air Force's fiscal 2007 budget request will complete the funding needed to replace inadequate dormitories for Airmen.

During recent testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on military construction and veterans affairs, William C. "Bill" Anderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics, discussed military construction, base realignment and closure, and environmental stewardship.

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The secretary told senators that taking care of and developing Airmen is one of the service's priorities, and that housing for Airmen in particular is important. In that area, he said, the Air Force is making great strides.

"Our total force military construction, family housing sustainment, restoration and modernization programs are paramount to supporting operational requirements and maintaining the suitable quality of life for our men and women in uniform and their families," he said. "One program that is particularly successful for the troops is eliminating inadequate dorms."

Mr. Anderson told senators that the Air Force is making its final request for funding to finish the dormitory recapitalization program.

"The budget request before you will complete the funding of those efforts," he said.

The 2007 budget request also completes funding for stateside family housing recapitalization and furthers the service's efforts to modernize overseas housing, Mr. Anderson said.

In places such as Ramstein and Spangdahlem air bases in Germany, the Air Force is looking at replacing homes through build-to-lease options, military construction and privatization. The service is also working with local government officials to meet housing needs in those places, he said.

The Air Force is in the process of implementing decisions made as part of the 2005 round of BRAC. The service is responsible for paying for that implementation.

"Our military construction and realignment and closure programs are vital to optimizing our weapons systems capabilities and effects," he said. "The latest round of base realignment and closures will provide more opportunities to improve our Air Force. Our BRAC activities for fiscal 2006 and 2007 are fully funded, and we have begun implementation of these actions."

Mr. Anderson also said the Air Force is meeting its environmental obligations.

"Being good stewards of the environment is another way we develop and care for our Airmen," Mr. Anderson said. "The Air Force is testing and evaluating, purchasing and using green technologies with alternative non-hazardous technology in aircraft painting, de-icing and other operational areas to reduce the generation of waste and eliminate worker exposure to hazardous substances."

The Air Force continues to be the largest purchaser of renewable energy in the federal government, he said. The service also uses or is experimenting with ethanol, geothermal energy and other renewable power sources.

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