Rapid City, SD—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today touted the growth of Ellsworth Air Force Base while helping to cut the ribbon on the new base civil engineering building. Johnson, who secured more than $16 million in the FY08 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill for the facility, highlighted the new jobs that are coming to the base over the next few years.
“I’m proud to be on hand at Ellsworth today as we mark the continued growth of the base with the ribbon cutting of the new Base Civil Engineering Building,” said Johnson, Chairman of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee. “I have no doubt that the quality facilities found here on the base combined with the superb men and women at Ellsworth will help us lead the way to more opportunities in the years ahead.”
Last month, Johnson announced that Ellsworth Air Force Base has been chosen as the site for a new MQ-1 and MQ-9 remotely piloted, unmanned aircraft operation. The decision by the Air Force will bring hundreds of jobs to the base. The squadron of 280 personnel is due to be operational as early as May 2012.
Johnson also announced in May that the Obama Administration’s outline for civilian and military personnel changes at Air Force bases across the country for the upcoming fiscal year will add an additional 53 civilian and 14 military positions at Ellsworth.
“I enjoyed meeting with Commander Taliaferro, Colonel Hiss, and all the men and women of Ellsworth who serve our country so honorably and with such dedication. I will continue to use my Chairmanship and seat on the Appropriations Committee to make sure that this base stays on the forefront and ready for the next mission,” said Johnson.
Johnson has used his Chairmanship and seat on the Appropriations Committee to maintain and improve infrastructure at Ellsworth. Over the last three fiscal years alone, Johnson secured $14.5 million for a new deployment center, $11 million for base entry and perimeter gates and $16.6 million for this base civil engineer administrative facility.
Today’s event is another in a series of events Johnson is holding across South Dakota during the Congressional District Work Period. He will hold additional events in Custer, Aberdeen and Sioux Falls having already visited the communities of Madison and Brookings.
For more information on Senator Tim Johnson visit his website at http://johnson.senate.gov.