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Potential funding for Fort Stewart improvements
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Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield could receive over $27 million in funding for improvements and programs, if the Senate approves the 2008 Defense Appropriations bill in an upcoming vote.

The spending bill recently passed through the U.S. House of Representatives by a 395-13 vote.

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) called it a vote to ensure troops defending the country have the finest facilities and training available whether at home or away.

"With the 3rd ID fighting in Iraq, we have to make sure they have the best in the field and at home," the congressman said.

A breakdown of the funding shows $23 million will be used to sustain, restore and modernize buildings on Fort Stewart with an additional $717,000 for improving Army Community Services at both Fort Stewart and Hunter AAF.

"(The bases) are getting $292,000 to right size their Army Community Services, or ACS, and another $495,000 for ACS Mobilization and Deployment Support," Jeff Glenn, Kingston's military legislative assistant, said.

He said $2 million will also be spent on roofing repairs to help base officials catch up on underfunded operation and maintenance needs for at least seven buildings.

Another $1.5 million will go toward updating base live-fire ranges, which are experiencing accelerated wear and tear due to an increase in training as soldiers prepare for continuing deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The legislation also includes $2 million for the Parents as Teachers Heroes at Home project, which provides professional parenting support and child development information directly to the homes of young military families.

"At its core, the program offers child development information, helping parents understand their child's behavior and progress," Sue Stapleton, president and CEO of the St. Louis-based program, said.

According to Glenn, the Parents as Teachers Heroes at Home initiative has been extremely helpful for Fort Stewart's families, as well as families at the 11 other installations that offer the program.

"It's a great parenting support tool for families with infants, toddlers and preschoolers," Glenn said.

Other items in the bill include $2 million for the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah to study obesity and cancer in the military and $1 million for the Joint Logistics Education and Training Testbed.

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