Union Tribune

February 5, 2002

Weapons proposals should aid San Diego
Funding in place for courthouse, trolley extension


WASHINGTON President Bush's budget plan for next year calls
for $1 billion in weapons programs produced by San
Diego-based firms and millions more in local military
construction, mass transit and water projects.

The budget would provide $60 million for the Mission Valley
East trolley extension, $6.5 million for the Oceanside-Escondido
light rail project and $1 million for the San Diego Mid-coast rail

It includes $23.9 million for a new federal courthouse in San

And the budget calls for about $1.7 million in local water
projects, including dredging and maintenance. They include
$1.24 million for Oceanside Harbor, $150,000 for San Diego
Harbor and $60,000 for the San Diego River and Mission Bay.
There also is $200,000 for shoreline replenishment on the
Imperial Beach Silver Strand and $50,000 for surveys in Ocean

But the biggest local impact would come from the defense
budget. Many local aerospace firms would benefit from the
sharply increased $396 billion defense budget and $15.1 billion
proposed for the National Aeronautics and Space

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's push for new approaches
to fighting wars results in a possible big jump in funding for
unmanned planes, two of which are produced by local firms.

The budget seeks $629 million for the Global Hawk developed by
the Northrop Grumman Ryan Aeronautics Center in Rancho
Bernardo. That would pay for three for the Air Force and two for
the Navy, plus accelerated research on improvements.

The budget also requests $254 million for Predator drones, built
by General Atomics Aeronautics Systems.

National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. would get $388 million to
build one of the Navy's supply ships known as the T-AKE.

The budget proposed a total of $101 million in military
construction projects for the San Diego area.

Camp Pendleton would get a total of $75.97 million, including
$28.8 million to build a training complex for the new Advanced
Amphibious Assault Vehicle. There also is money for a new
aviation armament shop, a fire protection pipeline, an enlisted
barracks and a water treatment plant and reservoir.

Miramar Marine Corps Air Station could get a total of $8.7
million for a high-explosive ammunition storage facility and a
construction equipment shop.

Naval Station San Diego would get $3.53 million for electrical
systems improvements to Pier 3.

And the Army National Guard Center San Diego would get $6.77
million for improvements.