WASHINGTON DC.—U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that nearly $7.2 million for a Kentucky National Guard Joint Operations Support Center in London was approved by a key congressional committee. Funding for the Readiness Center is included in the FY09 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The House Appropriations Committee approved the funding yesterday.
“Kentucky Guardsmen are not only serving bravely in the Middle East, but are also first on the scene at emergencies here at home – be they natural disasters, law enforcement duties, or security-related,” stated Rogers. “This facility will give the Kentucky National Guard a proper staging ground for both land and air operations in our region and improve the execution and performance of critical missions.”
This funding will provide a 28,545 square foot addition to existing construction. This third and final phase of construction will include administrative space, aircraft hangar space, and paving for hangar aprons, taxi ways, and aircraft parking.
When completed, this facility will serve as a regional outpost for training, recruitment, public safety, and counter-drug activities throughout southern and eastern Kentucky. The location, immediately off Interstate 75 and accessible to London’s airport, reduces the logistical demands of the Guard fulfilling its key mission of emergency preparedness. With the new facility, the Guard can more effectively respond to security threats as well as floods, fires, and other potential natural disasters.
The counter-drug unit will support federal, state, and local law enforcement to reduce illegal drug production, trafficking, and distribution throughout the Commonwealth. This move positions the unit to provide year-round support for local law enforcement, the federal Appalachia drug task force and Daniel Boone National Forest personnel.
The Military Construction-VA funding bill is due to be considered by the full House of Representatives later this summer. In addition to today’s action, Rogers has secured $4.1 million over the past three years for the project. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers works to secure funding for important initiatives in the Fifth Congressional District.