Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Committee Approves Funds for E-6a Project at Tinker / $11.8 Million

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Committee Approves Funds for E-6a Project at Tinker / $11.8 Million

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Approval of $11.8 million to begin building facilities for the U.S. Navy's E-6A submarine communications aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City was granted Thursday by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

"The next step will take place next Tuesday, when the full House of Representatives votes on the military construction appropriations bill for fiscal year 1988," said Rep. Mickey Edwards, D-Oklahoma City. Eventually, the facilities are expected to cost $85.5 million.

The announcement followed approval by the appropriations subcommittee on military construction two weeks ago, and passage of the Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 1988 by the U.S. House of Representatives in May.

"With almost certain passage next week, our focus turns to the Senate," Edwards said. The Senate Appropriations subcommitee on military construction has completed its hearings and may mark up its bill by the end of the month, he said.

The Senate Armed Services Committee reported its version of the Defense Authorization Act in early May. That measure also contained full funding for basing the 15 aircraft at Tinker and the land acquisition account, Edwards said.

Location of the E-6A has been a topic of much debate since Edwards first announced last summer the support of Navy Secretary John Lehman for basing the aircraft in Oklahoma City.

Edwards, who met Wednesday with Lehman's replacement, newly-appointed Navy Secretary James Webb, said the new secretary also is supportive the base being Tinker field.

The Navy has prepared a new report presenting additional documentation for its selection of Tinker as the principal basing site for the E-6As, Edwards reprorted.

The E-6A operation is expected to provide 1,400 military and civilian jobs at its home base - a factor that has interested more than one legislator. …

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