Camp Gruber to get money for training center

Friday, August 2nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ The U.S. Senate has approved a defense appropriations bill that includes a $3.75 million Homeland Security Training Center for nearby Camp Gruber.

The $355.4 billion bill, which passed 95-3 on Thursday, will go to a joint House-Senate conference committee.

Camp Gruber, located in Braggs, has barracks that can presently handle up to 700 military trainees at a time, said Col. Pat Scully, a spokesman for the Oklahoma National Guard.

The center, still in the initial planning stages, would be the premier training facility for Homeland Security, Scully said. It would include training environments and lesson plans, he said.

Construction funds are included in the bill but specifics are not yet available, Scully said. The funding would allow the Oklahoma National Guard to upgrade the communications systems and facility at Camp Gruber for training exercises, said Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla.

Military and civilians would be trained at the center, Nickles said.

The defense appropriation also includes $10 million for the Institute for Creative Technologies Training Transition and Evaluation Center that will support moving a field site to Fort Sill in Lawton, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said.

The measure also includes $3 million equipment and $10 million for demilitarization of ammunition at the McAlester Ammunitions Plant, Inhofe, R-Okla., said.

Other funding includes $22 million for the Airborne Infrared Surveillance System, which will benefit Aeromet, a Tulsa-based company.

Another $2.5 million will be set aside for Composite Materials for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which will benefit Advanced Composites Materials Co., based in Tulsa.

Uniformed personnel will receive a 4.1 percent pay raise.