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Military Quality Of Life Spending Bill Passes House

Location: Washington, DC

Military Quality Of Life Spending Bill Passes House

May 26, 2005

DeFazio Secures Funding for Armed Forces Center, Hydration Tech.

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) today announced that the House of Representatives approved legislation which includes funding for the Lane County Armed Forces Reserve Center and Hydration Technologies' downed pilots hydration system. The funding, requested by DeFazio earlier this year, was included in the Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006.

The legislation approved today includes $4.1 million for the research and development of a downed pilots hydration system at Albany-based Hydration Technologies. The technology will allow pilots and crew to filter any water source to produce a safe, drinking solution. This project will increase survivability for aircrews not only in the military, but for other applications where survival in dire situations is paramount.

"Providing safe, drinkable water for U.S. troops in remote areas has been a difficult task for the military," said DeFazio. "Most effective filtration systems are cumbersome and expensive. Albany's Hydration Technologies, Inc. has found a safe, easy and affordable way to produce consumable fluids from a contaminated water source. This technology will be invaluable to the U.S. military."

The bill also includes $6.132 million to complete construction of the new Lane County Armed Forces Reserve Center Complex. In addition to the funding today, DeFazio secured $12.635 million in fiscal year 2005, $1.14 million in fiscal year 1997 and $8.3 million in fiscal year 2002 for planning and construction of the facility.

"As the U.S. military enhances the role of the National Guard, and increases the responsibilities and burdens placed on these citizen-soldiers, the Federal government has a responsibility to provide the resources so the National Guard can successfully carry out their mission," said DeFazio.

The Armed Forces Reserve Center will replace the current Eugene Armory, which is no longer suitable for Army National Guard training because of its limited capacity and the rapid growth of nearby residential and commercial areas.

In addition to the current Eugene Armory, the new complex will eventually replace two antiquated and grossly undersized Reserve facilities, the Naval Reserve/Marine Corps facility in Eugene, and a closed Naval Reserve/Marine Corps facility in Salem, Oregon. By consolidating all of the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve facilities with the Army National Guard in the new Armed Forces Reserve Center Complex in Lane County, the federal government will save future operation and maintenance funds, while meeting military readiness needs. The consolidation is expected to reduce the operations and maintenance burden by at least 25 percent annually.

It is also important given the increased reliance on National Guard forces and the Pentagon's active duty military operations, that the Oregon National Guard have access to the upgraded training facilities this new center will provide.

Companion legislation must now be approved by the Senate.

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