Kirtland Air Force Base, on the southeast side of Albuquerque, is poised to see new construction with the passage of the massive National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.
That $738 million legislation includes $15.5 million to build the Combat Rescue Helicopter Simulator Facility at Kirtland.
That long-planned facility will be specifically designed to house the equipment used by the 58th Special Operations Wing, including the new HH-60W simulators.
Also in line for work at Kirtland: a UH-1 replacement facility designed to house simulators used for flight crew training.
The UH-1 replacement aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to the 58th Operations Wing by the end of the 2022.
Funding for the Kirtland projects was earlier this year at risk when the appropriation was diverted to pay for a part of the construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The bill, now passed by both the House and Senate, has restored that funding.
In a statement, New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich said the defense bill provides “major investments to ensure our Armed Forces are equipped with the most modern technology so we can stay ahead of our adversaries.”
The full Senate has approved the defense authorization legislation on an 86 to 8 vote. It is now awaiting President Trump’s signature.
By Garry Boulard
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