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House OKs bill giving Fort Stewart $430M
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The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that includes more than $430 million in federal funding to help Fort Stewart prepare for the new infantry brigade combat team headed its way.
As part of the Army's initiative to become a lighter, more modular fighting force, the installation was chosen by the Pentagon in December to be the beneficiary of a new infantry brigade combat team, which is due to arrive on the base in 2011.
With officials expecting the new brigade to bring about 3,900 additional soldiers to the base, the funds will be used to help with the costs of building the facilities necessary to house and train the new troops.
The construction projects include a $30 million brigade complex, a $36 million brigade/battalion headquarters, a $22 million physical fitness facility and a $2.3 million shoot house.
Another $20 million in the bill will go toward building a new child development center to ensure that soldiers' children are cared for.
The bill also includes $3.5 million to replace a fuel-storage tank at Hunter Army Airfield in order to improve efficiency and prevent leakage.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, whose congressional district includes both Fort Stewart and HAAF, said the 3rd Infantry Division sites "are transforming to become first-class international training centers" and the new funds guarantee the division and its surrounding communities will only continue to grow.
"This investment in their future is part of the preparation for the new brigade, but it's also another sign that Fort Stewart is on track to be the next Fort Bragg," Kingston said. "Our prime location and the great community support for these installations are vital to the continued growth."
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