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Uncle Sam was generous to military forces this year, with every project requested for Europe receiving full funding under the fiscal 2006 military construction appropriations act.

The act became law Nov. 30 and gave Department of Defense facilities in Europe $372,258,000 for projects ranging from new housing to fuel pipelines.

“We are receiving 100 percent of the MILCON and family housing funding we requested,” Col. Pat Mackin, U.S. European Command’s public affairs deputy director, wrote in an e-mail response to Stars and Stripes. “We’re very happy about that.”

This “significant” investment in EUCOM’s main operating bases, he wrote, “reflects wide support for our theater transformation strategy.”

One of those key bases, Grafenwöhr, received the largest amount of this year’s funding, receiving more than $84 million. Construction projects there include barracks, a live-fire facility and an urban assault course.

Signs of the area’s coming importance were highlighted in a 2004 Congressional Budget Office report, which cited an Army briefing that the base needs construction projects totaling almost $400 million.

The report stated that the “$400 million figure covers a wide assortment of buildings and infrastructure needed for a brigade-sized unit (about 3,400 soldiers in all), including headquarters facilities, maintenance shops, storage facilities, and improvements to utilities and other infrastructure.”

But Grafenwöhr isn’t the only place benefiting under the act — three other bases will receive at least 100 new housing units each.

“[This] reflects the commitment by the [DOD] and by Congress to sustaining and improving the quality of life of servicemembers and families stationed in Europe,” Mackin wrote.

Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will use its nearly $63 million for 101 housing units; Incirlik, Turkey, will spend $22,730,000 on 100 housing units and RAF Lakenheath, England, will get 107 new housing units for $48,437,000.

Some other projects include:

Defense Logistics Agency projects:

¶ A new $7 million fuel pipeline will be installed at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete, in the coming year, replacing an existing 35-year-old pipeline that, according to the project funding request document, “is deteriorating and [is] in danger of rupture due to corrosion and encroachment by the public. …”

Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe projects:

¶ At Naval Station Rota, Spain, nearly $8 million will go to a multipurpose building at the elementary school. The building will include a stage, kitchen, music classrooms, storage and offices. The previous multipurpose building was demolished for fiscal 2000 funding, but insufficient funds delayed construction until this year, according to the project funding request document.

¶ Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany will see more than $2.3 million to be spent to construct an addition and renovate Vilseck Elementary School. The addition will include a multipurpose room extension and various special-education-related rooms. Funds were requested because of overcrowding at the school brought on by the closure of Amberg Elementary School.

¶ At Landstuhl, Germany, more than $6.5 million will go to the construction of a school addition. Included will be general-purpose classrooms, two kindergarten classrooms, music and art classrooms. Also included in their request is the demolition of temporary buildings, which house 14 classrooms, eight of which had been closed because of mold problems.National Security Agency projects:

¶ Nearly $41.7 million is being spent at RAF Menwith Hill, England, on a new 131,000-square-foot “sensitive compartmented information facility,” which will replace a handful of existing buildings. According to the project funding request, this year’s funds will be used to build about half of the building, with fiscal ’07 funds being used to finish the facility.

Stars and Stripes reporter Leo Shane III contributed to this report from Washington.

Who's getting how muchOf the more than $372 million being spent on military construction projects in Europe this fiscal year, the majority is going to three bases: Grafenwöhr, Germany; RAF Lakenheath, England; and Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Total funding for the three bases alone adds up to more than $212 million.

Despite Grafenwöhr’s more than $84 million chunk, Air Force bases will see the lion’s share of funding in Europe, receiving more than two-thirds of all funding — $259,005,000.

Army bases will see about $100 million in construction projects and two Navy bases — Naval Station Rota, Spain, and Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete, will benefit from about $15 million in projects.

The funds, and a general idea of their use, will go to:

Various military construction projects

Grafenwöhr, Germany $84,081,000

Livorno/Pisa, Italy $5,254,000

Ramstein, Germany $11,650,000

Spangdahlem, Germany $12,474,000

Aviano, Italy $22,660,000

Lajes, Azores $12,000,000

Incirlik, Turkey $5,780,000

Lakenheath, England $5,125,000

Mildenhall, England $13,500,000

School improvements

Landstuhl, Germany $6,543,000

Vilseck, Germany $2,323,000

Rota, Spain $7,963,000

Operations facilities

Menwith Hill, England $41,697,000

Military housing

Ramstein (101 units) $62,952,000

Lakenheath (107 units) $48,437,000

Incirlik (100 units) $22,730,000


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