Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
Kelly Field received $5 million, the single-largest award this year, from a state agency program dedicated to assisting communities in the long wake of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) processes.
The Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG) program is administered by the Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC). Gov. Greg Abbott announced the grant Thursday.
Kelly Field is the runway used by both Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and employers based at Port San Antonio, which has become a hub for aerospace, aviation, cybersecurity, and more since Kelly Air Force Base closed in 2001 after it was selected for closure during the 1995 BRAC round.
“We extend our sincere thanks to the Governor and the TMPC Commissioners for making this important investment in San Antonio's future. This award plays a critical role in our ongoing efforts to modernize our property as well as assets we share in JBSA," Roland Mower, Port SA president and chief executive officer, wrote in a press release. "This funding will help grow a vital platform that is creating good military- and private-sector jobs."
The $5 million assistance grant will go toward a $20 million improvement plan for Kelly Field. Port SA has committed $5 million and has plans to lobby for an additional $10 million from the Department of Defense as it discusses its 2018 budget.
The comprehensive plan includes a new operations facility and air traffic control tower as well as renovation of two hangars at the Port to "accommodate the growth of military flying missions at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)," according to the news release.
“The DEAAG grant is great news for the city of San Antonio and the community," Mayor Ron Nirenberg stated. "The grant is going to be an invaluable resource for us to enhance Kelly Field, to increase our military readiness and to add military value to our installations as well as to Port San Antonio."
Click here to download a PDF outlining the $20 million plan.