WASHINGTON – The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday night, forwarding key initiatives led by U.S. Congressman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) for military instillations in California’s 8th District. The bill includes $45 million requested by Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms to construct the long-awaited wastewater treatment plant that will serve both the base and the Twentynine Palms community. It also includes $52 million for a simulation center at Fort Irwin National Training Center and $9.12 million for a solar energy storage system at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.
“I was encouraged to see the National Defense Authorization Act pass the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support, including key initiatives that will improve military readiness and contribute to our communities here in California’s 8th District,” said Rep. Obernolte. “The Twentynine Palms wastewater treatment plant in particular has been a long-fought for project by both the community and the Marine Corps. Its construction will significantly bolster the Twentynine Palms community and help ensure the sustainability of our military operations.”
The City of Twentynine Palms has been working closely with the Marine Corps Air/Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) on a joint wastewater treatment facility for several years. Earlier this year, Rep. Obernolte secured $663,224 for the City of Twentynine Palms to support the transition from individual septic tanks to the city-wide wastewater system. The project will both protect the area’s groundwater resources from contamination and provide a means for using recycled water to recharge groundwater.
“On behalf of the City Council and our Twentynine Palms Community, thank you Congressman Obernolte for stepping to the plate for our community. Wastewater Treatment is a large infrastructure need which can ONLY be realized with the support of our federal partners,” said Twentynine Palms Mayor Daniel Mintz.
Other projects included in the House-passed NDAA, especially the $52 million for Fort Irwin National Training Center and $9.12 million for Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, will take significant steps towards improving training capabilities and readiness at High Desert military instillations. Simulation Centers like the one funded at Fort Irwin are critical to preparing our soldiers for all the potential combat scenarios they may face on today’s evolving battlefield. Revolutionary solar energy storage systems like the one funded at China Lake’s military instillation help to reduce the carbon footprint and operating costs of our military defenses.