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Congressman Don Young Announces $21 Million in Alaska-Specific Funding Passed by House in National Defense Funding Bill

“Earmarks” secured by Congressman Young will fund projects at JBER, Fairbanks, and other locations in Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young announced that five of the Member Directed Projects he submitted to the House Armed Services Committee were included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference agreement passed by the House this week. These projects range from suicide prevention efforts to aerospace and permafrost research.

"I am very proud to announce that, following my advocacy, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the FY 2022 NDAA with five of my Member Directed Project requests, otherwise known as 'earmarks.' For too long, my colleagues and I have been unable to directly request funding for specific projects and organizations in our districts. This decade-long ban on 'earmarks' served only to shift Congress' rightful power to appropriate money to the Executive Branch, while denying needed funds to local initiatives. I am pleased that Community Project Funding has returned on a limited, transparent basis and will continue advocating on behalf of projects in Alaska. The Alaskan projects included in this year's NDAA are crucially important to our state. From combating the tragedy of active duty servicemember suicide to enhancing the Alaska National Guard's readiness and standing by our state's aerospace industry, I am proud to have worked with countless Alaskan advocates and stakeholders to get these projects funded in the NDAA.," said Congressman Don Young.

“Suicide among service members in the military is on the rise nationally, but no state is more impacted than we are in Alaska where rates of suicide and suicide attempt far exceed the national average" said Pat Pitney, Interim President of the University of Alaska. "In Alaska, suicide in the military is a public health crisis for young active duty service members in rural locations. We must do more for these service members in Alaska and across the country, and we thank Congressman Young for recognizing the University of Alaska Fairbanks' research to develop solutions for the military."

"The Center for Alaska Native Health Research has been working for nearly two decades to develop solutions to end suicide in Alaska Native communities and through this research have developed successful approaches to mitigate suicide risk in young people." said Dan White, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. "The legislative language provided by Congressman Young allows our researchers to take the best practices learned from their work with the Alaska Native community, and apply it to military populations in rural and remote locations." 

“The Alaska Army National Guard is in need of additional space for Soldiers to perform drill weekends, annual training, emergency response, and ensure mission readiness,” said Brig. Gen. Charles “Lee” Knowles, commander of the Alaska Army National Guard. “The $5 million authorization provides us with the means to plan and design a nearly 50-thousand square-foot readiness center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for our Guardsmen to train and conduct state and federal missions.”

Full list of Community Funding Requests successfully secured by Congressman Young:

• Suicide Prevention: The FY 2022 NDAA authorizes $2 million for the University of Alaska to conduct research to promote resilience and reduce suicide in active and active reserve military service members on rural, remote, and isolated installations.

• Permafrost Research Station: The NDAA authorizes $3 million to help complete the final phase of a multi-year modernization of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Permafrost Research Station, located near Fairbanks, Alaska.

• Alaska Aerospace: The bill authorizes $4 million continue the United States Space Force Rocket Systems Launch Program’s ongoing SRP-4 contract for enhanced flight and logistic planning.

• Alaska Aerospace Spaceport: Additionally, the FY 2022 NDAA authorizes $7 million for a Tactically Responsive Launch/Deployable Spaceport to be developed in Alaska.

• Alaska National Guard: The legislation authorizes $5 million for the Alaska National Guard to plan and design a National Guard Readiness Center in Camp Carroll on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER).

 

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