Fort Detrick to receive $27.8M for new building through defense bill

By HEATHER MONGILIO | The Frederick News | Published: December 19, 2019

FREDERICK, Md. (Tribune News Service) — Fort Detrick will receive $27.8 million as part of the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act.

The $738 billion defense bill was passed 86-8 by the Senate on Tuesday and 377-48 by the House of Representatives on Dec. 11. It now goes to President Donald Trump’s desk to be signed. Outside of money for military presences in Maryland, the bill authorizes the creation of a Space Force and 12 weeks of parental leave.

The money going to Fort Detrick will fund a new building at the post, which will house U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity staff, spokeswoman Chelsea Bauckman said in an email. The research acquisition activity is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command.

The building is not 100% confirmed even though the funding is in the bill, she said. A contract still needs to be negotiated with the Army Corps of Engineers and needs to be approved as part of the fiscal 2020 budget.

Bauckman did not know yet where on the post the building is planned.

Together, the defense organizations in Maryland garnered about $599 million in the National Defense Authorization Act, according to a press release from Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s office.

The National Security Agency at Fort Meade received $426 million.

Joint Base Andrews received $101 million.

Naval Support Activity South Potomac got $18.5 million, with the one in Bethesda receiving $13.8 million.

The Army National Guard’s combined support maintenance shop in Havre de Grace got $12 million.

Outside of funding, the National Defense Authorization Act also provided a honorary promotion for Col. Charles McGee. McGee recently celebrated his 100th birthday by co-piloting two flights from Frederick Municipal Airport, according to the press release.

The defense bill included provisions for improving housing conditions in privatized housing on military bases.

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