UPDATED 9:29 AM PT — Thursday, March 28, 2019
The Air Force is pleading for billions of dollars in additional funding to repair two of its bases damaged by natural disasters. Tyndall Air Force Base outside of Panama City, Florida was ravaged this past October by Hurricane Michael. Additionally, Offutt Air Base outside of Omaha, Nebraska was badly flooded earlier this month.
During a speech Wednesday, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said the military branch desperately needs supplemental funding to recover from the disasters. Wilson added, the Air Force has already been forced to defer funding from over 60 different projects in 18 different states due to lack of money to repair both bases.
Officials have warned if the military is not provided funding before May or June of this year, the military branch will have to halt even more of it’s projects.
“They have literally spent all of their operations and maintenance money,” said Panama City Representative Neal Dunn. “And if they don’t have help from us before the Easter break, they have to stop doing things they need to do just to operate.”
The Air Force is asking for $1.2 billion in additional funding for 2019 as well as $3.7 billion in 2020 to 2021 to rebuild both bases
This comes after similar pleas from U.S. Marine Corp General Robert Neller, who released a memo last week that said billions of extra dollars are needed for repair costs after Hurricane Michael.
Congress is supposed to vote on a bill to secure the funding for the Air Force this week. If the bill is not passed, work at Tyndall will completely halt on May 1, 2019.