Senate Committee Advances Military Construction and VA Appropriations Bill with Hawai‘i Priorities

Senator Schatz Worked to Include $444 Million for Military Construction in Hawai‘i

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, worked to include $444 million for military construction projects across Hawai‘i.

“The $444 million in funding for military construction projects that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved today reflects the long-term investment that the Department of Defense is making in Hawai‘i,” said Senator Schatz. “Hawai‘i has long been recognized as an essential link to the Asia-Pacific region; and militarily, our location, training environment, and knowledge of the Asia Pacific are central to the Defense Department’s strategic engagement in the region.  This appropriations bill ensures that the military will have the facilities, capabilities, and infrastructure it needs to sustain Hawai‘i’s long-term role in the rebalance to Asia.”  

Funding for Hawai‘i military construction projects in the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill is approximately $16 million more than the House version and $200 million above the enacted FY 2015 omnibus bill.  Projects in Hawai‘i include: 

  • $30.6 million to consolidate the electric grid at Kauai’s Pacific Missile Range Facility, a crucial step toward ensuring that the base can manage its load requirements to support Ballistic Missile Defense testing and other Navy missions;
  • $46.0 million for a new F-22 fighter alert facility at Hickam-Pearl Harbor to strengthen the readiness of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard;
  • $123.8 million for a new Behavioral Health and Dental Clinic at Schofield Barracks that will help improve the capacity of the base to help service members get care they need; and
  • $122.1 million to replace Kaneohe Bay’s Medical/Dental Clinic which would improve health services for service members and their families.

The bill will now be reported to the full Senate for consideration.