September 21, 2023

Senators Warren, Markey, Representatives Clark, Trahan, Moulton Call for Updates on Progress of MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s West Lab Project

“Funding and completing the West Lab Project will enable the lab to provide its important national security work and continues to hold strong support by Congress.”

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C.  – United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), along with Representatives Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Lori Trahan (D-Mass.), and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), sent a letter to Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall, requesting a status update on the revitalization effort of the West Lab Project at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.

“While we thank the Air Force for breaking ground on the Compound Semi-Conductor Laboratory and Microelectronic Integration Facility (CSL-MIF) last July, we want to ensure the successful completion of the Engineering Prototyping Facility (EPF) and that both projects remain on track,” wrote the lawmakers. 

In 1951, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) established the Lincoln Laboratory on Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. The laboratory went on to create the nation’s first air defense system and other technologies critical to national security. In fiscal year 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD) acknowledged a critical need for facility modernization and requested funding for the West Lab Project, which includes revitalization to two major buildings of the lab. 

“We are seeking clarity on future funding for this project given variances in past budget requests,” wrote the lawmakers. “We understand the challenges posed by the construction of the two unique, state-of-the-art facilities, but want to underscore that your engagement with this project has been, and remains, essential to its timely completion.”

After the EPF was descoped in the Air Force’s fiscal year 2021 and 2022 military construction budget, the lawmakers are requesting budgetary, schedule, and execution updates on both the CSL-MIF, which has already begun construction, and the EPF, which will receive bids next year to start construction.

  1. Last year Senator Warren secured $2 million for superconducting microelectronics at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
  2. In September 2021, Senators Warren and Markey sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) seeking information about whether the USACE request for proposals (RFP) for the construction of the new CSL-MIF at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory includes the option for a Project Labor Agreement (PLA).
  3. In February 2013, Senators Warren and Markey, along with Representatives William Cowan (D-Mass.), Richard Neal (D-Mass.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), John Tiernet (D-Mass.), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), William Keating (D-Mass.), and Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.), sent a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter about the urgent need for modernization of the facilities at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.