WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives voted to approve military construction (MILCON) appropriations, which included the $9 million previously authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 182nd Airlift Wing’s firehouse project two weeks ago. The funding is appropriated after Congressman Darin LaHood successfully worked to have it included in this year’s NDAA.

The NDAA authorizes the spending needed to strengthen our military and national defense, while the MILCON appropriations bill officially allocates the funding. The 182nd Airlift Wing’s funding will allow for a new firehouse to be constructed at the base, which provides services for the entirety of the Peoria International Airport. The appropriations bill now heads to the Senate.

“I was proud to advocate for the $9 million to be included in the NDAA a couple weeks ago, and today gets us one step closer to getting the 182nd Airlift Wing the funding they need for this vital project,” stated LaHood. “The 182nd Airlift Wing has earned the reputation of being one of the most effective and efficient Airlift Wing’s in the nation, and this fire house project will enhance their ability to respond to emergencies at their base and Peoria International Airport in an even quicker fashion.”

The 182nd has been working to secure this funding over the last several years. While the Guard has worked tirelessly to provide service to the Peoria Airport and continue to serve their mission in its existing facility, it is time for an upgrade. The fire station was built in 1992 to support F-16 operations with four apparatus, staffed by 12 airmen for 8-12 hours per day. The station has quickly become outdated for its current mission and overall Guard needs as it now supports C-130, Ch-47 Chinooks, and Peoria International Airport operations 24/7/365 with 64 airmen and 14 apparatus. The new facility will now allow for the storage of all fire service equipment, safer air quality and separate sleeping facilities for those who serve at the fire station, as well as the ability to more quickly and efficiently exit and enter during emergencies.

The 182nd Airlift Wing’s mission is to provide the President of the United States, the governor of the State of Illinois and the Adjutant General of Illinois Airmen capable of providing C-130 airland and airdrop; joint terminal attack control and support; command, control and communications; logistics; civil engineering; security; and support services for the nation, State of Illinois, and domestic community.