Tinker Air Force Base to get upgrade funding money

Wednesday, February 9th 2005, 5:44 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Tinker Air Force Base is in line for $32-million in funding from the Pentagon, but one expert says that doesn't mean the installation is closure-proof.

The budget sent to Congress on Monday includes $20-million to upgrade the huge maintenance building at the base and another $12-million for a combat communications squadron.

A story from The Oklahoman's Washington bureau also reports that requests for funding for family housing and a railroad equipment facility for Fort Sill were included in the budget.

There were no Defense Department requests for construction projects at Vance Air Force Base in Enid or Altus Air Force Base.

Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Richard Burpee says the funding is a positive sign, but not a predictor of what the Defense Department will recommend in May during the base closure round.

Burpee once commanded Tinker's massive repair depot and is now working to keep the base off the closure list. He says military construction projects are typically planned years in advance.

Representative Tom Cole says Building 3001 at Tinker is a model for other depots and is a perfect example of manufacturing efficiency and cost-saving techniques.