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franklin county times

House OKs military funding for Third District

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Sept. 22, 2001
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Friday to spend $3.37 to complete a construction project at Naval Air Station Meridian.
The money, included in a larger proposal funding military construction, would complete an $8.3 million hangar that will be used for maintenance of T-45 aircraft. The U.S. Senate is still considering the bill.
The T-45s will eventually phase out the T-2 jets, also used for training at NAS Meridian. Dickerson said the T-45 will be used exclusively for training by sometime in 2002.
Dickerson said the maintenance hangar is still in the planning stages. He said the hangar will be equipped with a rack to wash the planes and X-ray equipment to test the planes for metal stress a problem that can develop with age.
Also included in the funding bill is $26.5 million, which would help prepare the 172nd Air National Guard Unit in Jackson to receive new C-17 jet cargo planes.
The money would convert hangars to house the planes, build a maintenance hangar and update corrosion control equipment.
Said Pickering: "Investing in our bases in Mississippi helps strengthen their position in our overall national security structure, while at the same time ensuring that our military has the best technology and tools to meet any future challenges."
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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