Concord National Guard center to get $6 million upgrade via defense budget 

  • The New Hampshire National Guard base in Concord pictured here in a file photo. ALEXANDER COHN

Monitor staff
Published: 12/16/2019 2:25:59 PM

New Hampshire’s National Guard’s Army aviation flight facility is poised for a $6 million upgrade after a bipartisan defense budget bill passed the House and Senate last week.

The upgrade, tucked into the annual defense legislation, would expand the Concord facility by building a 14,755-square-foot training extension on top of the existing facilities off of Airport Road.

That extension would make what the U.S. Army says are necessary upgrades to a training program they say is running out of room.

“This project is critical to the state of New Hampshire due to the current situation of overcrowding in a readiness center that houses five ARNG (Army National Guard) units,” an application made by the military to Congress states.

Expanding the facilities will allow aviation soldiers to be “co-located with their aircraft,” the Army said, which will “significantly enhance strategic readiness.”

There are also health concerns, the Army has said. The existing facilities have lead levels of 200 micrograms per square foot, as well as high humidity levels – neither of which meet Army standards.

In addition, the buildings are over 56 years old and “require modernization,” the Army said.

The appropriation was added to the 3,500-page National Defense Authorization Act. That bill includes $738 billion in funding to the Pentagon, as well as the authorization of a national Space Force and a paid parental leave policy.

The bill, which attracted bipartisan support in part due to those add-ons, passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it.

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