House bill pumps extra $71.9M into Defense IT

Included in the emergency supplemental spending bill the House passed last week for military and humanitarian efforts in the Balkans is $71.9 million for military communications and command and control facilities in Europe and the Middle East.

The Navy would receive $37.8 million for improvements to an operations control center on Bahrain Island in the Persian Gulf and a base-level communications facility at Sigonella Air Station in Italy.

Four Air Force facilities, including two in the United Kingdom and one in Germany, will receive a total of $23.3 million for upgrades. The Army's share, $10.8 million, is earmarked for a communications command center in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Senate and House plan to meet May 11 to iron out the differences in their spending bills.

The House bill provides the following IT funding:

* Navy - operations control center, Southwest Asia Administrative Support Unit, Bahrain Island, $34.7 million; base-level communication facility, Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Italy, $3.1 million.

* Army - U.S. European Command communications command center, Stuttgart, Germany, $10.8 million.

* Air Force - combat communications squadron complex, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, $12 million; consolidated communications facility, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, $2.1 million; communications facility, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom, $5.2 million; communications facility, RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom, $4 million.

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