U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-1) announced that both the Senate and House have approved funding for the construction of a new maintenance hangar at Hill Air Force Base for the F-35 stealth fighter jet. Operational maintenance will be performed inside the hangar by the 388th Fighter Wing based at Hill. The funding was originally included in the 2014 National Defense Appropriations Act, but was removed in the Omnibus Bill. Hatch, Lee and Bishop have repeatedly pushed the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the House Armed Services Committee and the House Appropriations committee, respectively, to allow and approve the Department of Defense to reprogram funding needed for this construction. Now that all relevant committees have approved the reprogramming of funding, the U.S. Air Force can begin construction on the complex. Hill Air Force Base is a shining star in the Air Force and this new facility will ensure that the hard-working personnel on the base have the resources they need to maintain the military’s next generation aircraft, Hatch said. There’s much more work to do and I look forward to working with our congressional delegation and state and military leaders to continue to ensure that Hill remains a world-class facility. I am pleased that this funding has been approved and that the Air Force can finally start construction at Hill, Lee said. The arrival of the F-35 in Northern Utah next year begins a significant new chapter for the Air Force and our state, and having the facilities ready for this delivery is of utmost importance to protecting and maintaining the taxpayer’s investment in this weapons system. We are excited that the future of military innovation and technological advancement is continuing to be forged in our state. I am glad that we have been able to secure approval for the funding of this very important project at Hill Air Force Base, Bishop added. The modernization of the hangar is necessary to support the new F-35s, which are scheduled to arrive at Hill next year. Just as we fought diligently to ensure funding for the hangar, we continue to work with our colleagues in the House and Senate as well as the Department of Defense for approval of a new fire station that will be strategically located to support the F-35 and other infrastructure at the base.
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