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Base to receive $32 million from recovery act

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Air Force Space Command recently announced that Vandenberg will receive more than $32 million as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed by President Barack Obama Feb. 17.

Vandenberg has designated the funds to numerous projects around the base and the local community.

"We have a great process here, led by our commander, to identify areas that need funding," said Maj. Tracy Watkins, the 30th Comptroller Squadron commander. "We identified programs here that needed funding including infrastructure, quality of living, operations and energy."

Vandenberg plans to upgrade the installation's infrastructure and improve the standards of living on base. The expected projects include, but are not limited to, the replacing and repairing of water pipes, roofs, roads and power supplies on the installation. All of the projects selected were chosen to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the base.

"We're thrilled to have over $32 million coming to Vandenberg Air Force Base as a part of the recovery act," said Col. David Buck, the 30th Space Wing commander. "Our experts continually keep an unfunded list or a list of projects that our budget won't support but would enhance our mission if funding becomes available." Vandenberg received funding for 48 of the projects. "Now we're focused on executing these contracts by the end of the fiscal year in order to put this money to work for the economy."

The projects funded by the recovery act will ignite activity surrounding Vandenberg and the local community.

"This money is designed to come to Vandenberg and then go directly back to the economy," Major Watkins said. "As soon as we get the funds, we are going to execute them and push them out to contractors. We are very excited and onboard with President Obama's efforts to reinvigorate the economy."

In approximately one to two weeks, AFSPC is scheduled to receive the funding from Washington, which will then be dispersed to Vandenberg to begin project operations.

The recovery act is a spending bill, enacted by Congress, intended to revamp the American economy during times of economic instability.

"Ultimately, it is all about getting money back into the economy to assure American citizens more jobs are on the way," Major Watkins said.