DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — The Abilene Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that the Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC) has approved Abilene’s application for funds to upgrade security gates around the flight line at Dyess Air Force Base.
The city applied for $1.89 million under the state's Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG) program, half of the $3.78 million cost of the project.
According to a press release from the Abilene Chamber, the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA) will provide up to $370,740 for the work and the U.S. Air Force Installations and Mission Support Center will fund $1,510,960 of the project.
“Abilene and Dyess have had a wonderful relationship for the past six decades,” Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams said in the release. “The State of Texas award of the DEAAG grant just exemplifies the City of Abilene’s dedication to the mission, the airmen, and the families of Dyess who protect this great Nation. We could not be prouder to play a part in that.”
The flight line security enhancement project will tighten the circle of security $12.7 billion in aircraft with the upcoming B-21 bomber. Ten state-of-the-art gates will replace existing ones. The gates are fence security and vehicular barriers for the flight line.
The Abilene Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee provided grant-writing services and the City of Abilene will serve as project manager and fiscal agent.
“The DEAAG program has provided needed funding to Texas military installations for many years,” Greg Blair of AEP Texas and Abilene Military Affairs Committee chair, said in the release. “This generous grant will further increase the military value of Dyess AFB and strengthen its position as one of our Nation's premier air bases.”
The DEAAG program is designed for governmental entities to apply for project funds for work needed on military installations. The work has begun and is estimated to be completed this summer.
This is the third time in four years that a Dyess project has been approved for DEAAG funds.
Previous projects were:
- The reconstruction of an important perimeter fence that was out of compliance with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines. The state granted up to $281,000. The DCOA agreed to provide up to almost $199,000, while Dyess did $82,000 in-kind. The project came in at a cost less than the grant totals.
- The expansion and upgrade of the Security Access Control Center at the front gate. This is where visitors and contractors go for security access credentialing. The state DEAAG funds were approved for $613,389, half of the $1.2 million total cost. The DCOA agreed to support the project for up to $536,337 for the work. Dyess has spent $80,052 on the design work.
“We, of course, could not do it without whole the team – the City, the DCOA, the Chamber, the Military Affairs Committee, Dyess and the State of Texas,” Blair said.