FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Contained in a Defense Department budget bill approved by the U.S. House this week are seven Fort Wainwright projects totaling about $129 million.
The money would represent a major increase in military construction spending in Alaska's Interior. But the projects still need authorization.
A separate appropriations bill must pass to actually spend the money. And the projects must win Senate authorization and appropriation and be signed by the president.
''Alaska is a crucial piece of America's defense plan, and I am pleased to know that Alaska has been taken care of in this defense bill,'' said Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, in a news release.
The bill, known as the fiscal year 2003 Defense Authorization Act, also approves a 4.1 percent military pay raise.
The Fort Wainwright projects include:
--$1.6 million for an automated sniper field fire range.
--$18 million for a battalion headquarters.
--$910,000 for specialized windows.
--$24 million for an infantry platoon battle course.
--$50 million for a mission support training facility.
--$16.5 million for a vehicle maintenance facility.
--$17.8 million for 38 units of family housing construction.
The bill also approves $28.1 million for pollution control work at the Eielson Air Force Base power plant and $14.4 million to upgrade the power plant at Clear Air Force Station south of Nenana.
Last year, final appropriations bills sent about $70 million to Interior Alaska's military installations, again not counting missile defense.
Missile defense work would see $7.8 billion nationwide under the bill passed by the House Thursday. That's about the same as the current year.
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