In addition to the $1.5 billion slated for Tyndall Air Force Base, the 2020 federal defense spending bill includes more than $120 million in construction funding for Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — While Tyndall Air Force Base is set to receive more than $1.5 billion in construction funding as rebuilding from last year’s Hurricane Michael continues, other local military installations also are claiming a share of military construction funding in the defense spending bill now heading to President Donald Trump’s desk.


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The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes more than $108 million in construction funding for Hurlburt Field, headquarters of Air Force Special Operations Command.


Additionally, more than $16 million in construction funding is headed to Eglin AFB, home to the 96th Test Wing and a number of other units, including Army and Navy operations.


At both installations, the projects to be funded are for the U.S. military’s Special Operations forces, according to a line-item listing in the NDAA, the annual federal defense spending and policy bill.


More specifically, the largest single local outlay, $72.9 million, covers the cost of a maintenance unit and weapons hangar at Hurlburt Field. Both Hurlburt Field and Eglin AFB are slated for $16.5 million in outlays for combined squadron operations facilities. And, Hurlburt Field is scheduled to receive nearly $19 million for a maintenance training facility.


“Northwest Florida’s dynamic military mission is strengthened with the passage of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said in a prepared statement on local military construction and other aspects of the defense spending bill. “Our military members and families constitute the heartbeat of Northwest Florida, and this bill strengthens our military’s initiatives and hardens our readiness.”


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In another item of local interest, this year’s defense bill includes a provision allowing the posthumous promotion of retired Air Force Lt. Col. Dick Cole to the rank of colonel. Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, died earlier this year. He had been one of the 80 airmen who conducted a daring bombing raid on Japan in the early days of World War II. The raid provided a significant morale boost to American troops and the American public following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


The Doolittle Raiders trained for their mission for two weeks at what was then Eglin Field, and Cole had been a frequent visitor to this area in the years prior to his death.


Cole passed away in April at the age of 103, and he was remembered by Gaetz in a recent email to constituents.


“Though Lt. Col. Cole passed away in April, his memory lives on, and his heroism is emblematic of what makes the United States military the greatest fighting force in human history,” Gaetz wrote.