07/27/04 — Seymour Johnson may get funding for 10 more F-15Es

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Seymour Johnson may get funding for 10 more F-15Es

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on July 27, 2004 2:04 PM

Seymour Johnson should receive 10 additional F-15E Strike Eagles as part of new legislation approved by Congress.

The planes are not obligated to be added right away, said Kristen Quigley, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Walter Jones. The base currently has 95 F-15Es.

Jones, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted Thursday in favor the bill. His district includes Wayne County. The Senate has also approved the legislation, which goes to the president to sign.

Ms. Quigley said that F-15Es currently cost about $25 million each, but gaining more planes progressively would reduce the cost to about $15 million each.

The bill overall provides $110 million for additional F-15s, some of which will be stationed at Seymour Johnson, she said.

It also provides $53.4 million for modifications for the A-10 aircraft, which are at Pope Air Force Base and fall under the 23rd Fighter Group.

This group is part of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson.

The bill allocates $6 million for the serial number tracking system used at Seymour Johnson and NADEP Cherry Point.

The bill includes $25 billion in emergency spending requested by the president for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"In this time of international turmoil we need to ensure that our men and women in uniform continue to be the best prepared and best equipped military in the world," said Jones.

"This bill helps meet that commitment. I'm also proud of the fact that this bill funds several initiatives that will improve the quality of life for our military families."

The bill includes a 3.5 percent pay raise for military personnel. It also increases the basic allowance for housing, which eliminates service members' average out-of-pocket housing expenses.

It calls for increases for the Family Separation Allowance and the Imminent Danger Pay, and also $683 million is provided to cover additional costs incurred by the military medical system.

In addition, the bill creates seven new Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams, one of which will be in Greenville.