Wash. military base sees growth after Sept. 11

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- Heightened security fears and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have boosted growth at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma over the past decade.

The News Tribune of Tacoma reports (http://bit.ly/rjYeRs ) the base is now the West Coast's largest military installation. The fleet of Air Force C-17 cargo jets at McChord Air Field has given the base a global reach

The number of soldiers at the base has jumped to 34,000, from 19,000 before 2001. Some units grew because of the wars, though others might have expanded even without the conflicts.

The Army's annual construction budget grew from $6.8 million at Fort Lewis before the attacks to $136.2 million in 2002. Much of that went to building facilities to train and send soldiers and reservists to war.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com