By From Staff Reports, 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 25, 2021
Val Verde County government was awarded two grants on Laughlin Air Force Base’s behalf Monday morning.
The grant will fund $2,465,447 for new airfield lighting, making the airfield safer. The T-1 fleet will get a dozen new sunshades, creating a better work environment for maintainers, and protecting the vital fleet from the elements, as the state is anteing up 70 percent of $1,576,433.
This is part of a $16.3 million front of funding through the Texas Military Preparedness Commission’s Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant Program.
“This is a huge day for our base,” said Col. Craig Prather, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “We really appreciate the State of Texas supporting the Air Force’s premiere pilot training base. Words can’t express how much we appreciate our community working together on this grant for our base.”
The state was awarding $16.3 million of grants this year. A joint team of Laughlin members, Del Rio Chamber of Commerce and community members with expertise in community planning, grant writing and various areas of construction worked together on the -- page application.
“These projects were both vital for our wing,” said Prather. “There’s not much airfield lighting in the Air Force older than ours. New sun shades are key for our aircraft longevity and for our maintainers trying to take care of our aircraft, especially on days when it’s 105 degrees on our flight line.”
Laughlin is one of the only bases ever that received funding for two projects and this is the fourth project the state has funded over the last 10 years.
They funded the base's Defense Control Center and a previous sunshade project. The State of Texas’s leadership feels supporting bases like Laughlin is vital for the state’s economy.
The following entities will receive FY2020-2021 DEAAG reimbursements:
· Val Verde County – $2,465,447; airfield lighting update at Laughlin Air Force Base
· Val Verde County – $1,576,433.; additional aircraft sunshades at Laughlin Air Force Base
· Austin Community College – $4,985,070; Software Factory and Innovation Center with Army Futures Command
· City of El Paso – $4,500,000; aquifer storage and recharge supporting Fort Bliss
· City of Abilene – $1,888,700; flight line security at Dyess Air Force Base
· City of Corpus Christi – $901,952; replace natural gas system at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi
"Now more than ever as our economy rebounds, support for our military communities in Texas and the jobs they create is vital,” said Greg Abbott, Texas Governor. “Not only are the 15 major military installations and Army Futures Command in Texas critical to our nation’s defense, they also add over $123 billion to the state’s economy and support, directly and indirectly, more than 633,000 jobs in communities across this great state. That is why I will continue to work with the Texas Legislature and TMPC to ensure that our military installations continue to add unmatched value.”