Appropriations Chair Leahy Announces More Than $21.5 Million For Vermont Military Construction Projects In Appropriations Bill Approved By The Committee On Wednesday

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, Aug. 5, 2021) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced more than $21.5 million for Vermont projects in the annual Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill advanced by the Committee on Thursday.  The funding would accelerate construction of a readiness center in Bennington, Vt., and support a new family readiness center at Camp Johnson, on land formally referred to as the Ethan Allen Air Force Base.

Leahy said:  “I was proud to support this funding for the women and men of the Vermont National Guard.  This funding will speed the construction of a modern facility for a modern force in Bennington and provide the greater Bennington community with use of the historic, former building.  I have also always said that we must support military families, and I’m proud that we took a step forward in providing our Vermont National Guard families with a space that supports their needs.”

Leahy secured $16.9 million for a new Readiness Center in Bennington.  The Vermont National Guard has long called for a new facility to replace its current, nearly 100-year old facility, which fails to meet modern standards for soldier accommodations, mission performance, and force protection.  The facility is currently home to B Troop and the 1-172 Mountain Cavalry who are deployed to the United States European Command and responded to the nation’s capital in response to the January 6 insurrection.  The funding will provide facilities for a modern force and community use of the old building. 

Leahy, supported as well by a request from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), also secured more than $4.6 million for the Camp Johnson Family Readiness Center.  The Vermont National Guard currently uses two facilities at Camp Johnson that were built in 1925.  The out-of-date facilities make it more difficult to families to utilize services provided by the Vermont National Guard and the funding secured by Leahy would support a modern facility tailed to families and the services they need.  Sanders also supported this funding. 

Leahy, as Appropriations Committee Chairman, led in restoring the practice of Congressionally Directed Spending this year, with new reforms and an unprecedented level of transparency.  More about these reforms is available here.  The Senate Fiscal Year 2022 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill will now be considered before the full Senate.  A full summary of the bill can be found HERE.

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