U.S. Rep. Ron Barber today welcomed a pair of contracts totaling nearly $23.5 million for construction at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and software development at Fort Huachuca.

“The military and defense industry are major drivers of the economy in Southern Arizona,” Barber, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said today. “The military installations in this part of the state are critical to the security of our nation and contracts such as these help keep them strong.”

A $14.3 million contract was awarded this week for construction of a new building for the 55th Electronic Combat Group at Davis-Monthan. The contract is for a new 50,478-square-foot building to house simulators and training operations for the unit.

The unit flies the EC-130H Compass Call, an airborne tactical weapon system using a heavily modified version of the C-130 Hercules airframe. The system disrupts enemy command and control communications and limits adversary coordination essential for enemy force management.

According to the Air Force, the aircraft has demonstrated a powerful effect on enemy command and control networks in multiple military operations including Kosovo, Haiti, Panama, Iraq, Serbia and Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense also awarded a $9.1 million contract to Science Applications International Corp. for work that largely will be done at Fort Huachuca in Southern Arizona.

The contract is for hardware and software used in the Joint Personnel Identification Systems. The system allows members of the military to collect, match and store fingerprints, photographs and iris patterns of potential enemies or allies.

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