BREMERTON, WA- A U.S. House subcommittee has approved eight additional military construction projects at Washington State military bases, endorsing legislation containing a total of $278 million for facilities in Washington in the next fiscal year, says U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, a Bremerton Democrat. Of that total, $147 million is slated for West Sound improvements.

A key project added to the 2003 budget was the $3 million for the purchase of 1.8 acres Downtown for the construction of a six-story, 1000-space parking structure for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The facility is expected to rise on the corner of Fifth Street and Park Avenue.

“I was determined that any expenditures planned for future years in Washington State that are related to security and force protection should be accelerated to address the new threat of terrorism,” Dicks says. “While this added requirement has resulted in a significant boost in military construction funding next year in our state, I believe it is a prudent investment at this crucial time which will enhance the safety of all of our military installations and the communities surrounding them.”

Added to the military construction appropriations bill at Dick’s request this week were:

– $10.5 million for the construction of a 40,000 sf “Undersea Warfare Systems Dependability Center ” at NUWC Division Keyport. Originally planned for the 2004 budget, the construction supports the growing mission at Keyport for testing and validating the next generation of undersea warfare vehicles.

– $16.4 million for a small arms training center at Sub Base Bangor — $2.2 million for a ship movements office and control tower at Naval Station Bremerton, related to safety and security.

If approved by the House, Senate and eventually President Bush, the money will be available Oct. 1.

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