McSally locks in wins for troops and Arizona in Defense Authorization Bill

By SoAzNewsX

President Trump yesterday signed the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes defense spending at $634 billion and contains every single provision that Congresswoman Martha McSally fought to include for troops and Arizona. Her measures include full protection and upgrades for the A-10, EC-130, missile defense, and increases for other defense assets throughout the state—including boosts to space-based missile defense and procurement of additional F-35 Lightning joint strike fighter jets and AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.

“American men and women are fighting to keep our country safe on the ground, sea, and in the air—but they are armed with decaying equipment, dwindling numbers, and feeble resources. Our military has consistently told us what they need to get the job done, and I am thankful our Commander-in-Chief recognizes the importance of partnering with Congress to give our armed forces the resources necessary to accomplish their mission,” said McSally in a statement from her office. “Arizona is spearheading our national defense efforts. Our state is on the cutting edge of developing critical missile defense capabilities to protect America from a North Korea nuclear attack. Southern Arizona is home to cyber operations out of Ft. Huachuca’s NETCOM and the one-of-a-kind A-10 for Close Air Support. The only training location in the world for the F-35A joint strike fighter variant is right here at Luke Air Force Base. By investing in Arizona’s major defense assets, this bill stops the bleeding of our readiness crisis and invests in our troops so our military can continue to be the world’s premier fighting force.”

The legislation increases the military’s end strength across all branches, prevents A-10s from being indefinitely grounded by beginning to re-wing the fleet, goes above and beyond the President’s request for missile defense pipelines, increases funding for RDT&E of electronic warfare—one of the key missions of Ft. Huachuca—and provides the biggest pay raise for the troops in eight years. It also includes Rep. McSally’s legislation to help prevent suicides and stop non-consensual pornography in the military.

The final bill includes the following provisions, championed by McSally, and now enshrined in law:

Statewide Impacts for Arizona Defense Industry

  • Authorizes procurement of  90 F-35s (20 more than the President’s request)
  • Provides for procurement of 71 AH-64E Apache helicopters (10 more than the President’s request)
  • Adds $4.4 billion above the President’s request to meet critical missile defense needs
  • Improves Foreign Military Sales process to ensure our partners can procure U.S. defense products that support our strategic objectives and industry
  • Authorizes additional funding for critical munitions in war reserves by improving manufacturing capacity of the munitions industrial base and accelerating long range precision fires programs
  • Provides additional funding for guided multiple launch rocket systems tooling for increased capacity
  • Provides for future continued Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) critical capacity by prohibiting retirement of the U-2 and RQ-4 Global Hawk, authorizing an additional $60 million for 6 Extended Range (ER) Improved Gray Eagle (IGE) Air Vehicles, and increasing funding for development of ISR sensors

General Provisions addressing military personnel and readiness

  • Approves a 2.4% pay raise for our troops.  It also extends special pay and bonuses for service-members
  • Increases the size of Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard. These increases include the Chief of Staff of the Army’s unfunded requirement to grow the active Army by 10,000, the Army National Guard by 4,000, and the Army Reserve by 3,000
  • Includes the PRIVATE ACT, a bill authored by McSally to clarify when sharing intimate photos is a military crime

Provisions impacting Arizona’s major military installations

Ft. Huachuca

  • Full funding for the missions at Ft. Huachuca
  • Increased funding for total Army personnel at Ft Huachuca
  • Increased funding for Research, Development, Testing, & Evaluation to promote future growth for the missions at Ft Huachuca
  • $30 million for a Ground Transport Equipment Building at Ft Huachuca 

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

  • Full funding for the A-10 fleet, including a $103 million Air Force Unfunded Requirement for new A-10 wing production, $17.5 million for other necessary upgrades, and $6 million for safety inspections
  • Full funding for the EC-130H “Compass Call,” $108M to build two new aircraft, and a directive to the Air Force to report their plan to upgrade the aircraft for future threats
  • $22 million for a General Instruction Building at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base 

Luke Air Force Base

  • Secures 20 additional F-35s for continuation and expansion of Fifth Generation future airpower
  • Includes full funding for F-16 training mission
  • Full funding for the missions at Luke AFB 

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

  • Provides robust funding for the Marine Corp’s premier aviation training missions, including international partner training
  • Includes funding to continue critical counter-unmanned aerial systems testing

Amendments successfully offered by McSally

  • Apache Amendment: Requires the Army and National Guard to brief Congress on a plan to address the shortage of about 230 active duty attack helicopter pilots
  • NETCOM Amendment: NETCOM out of Ft Huachuca currently monitors 60% of Army Networks and is responsible for the entire Department of Army networks. This amendment consolidates the Army’s communications network into a single network that is secure, integrated, and standards-based—addressing security vulnerabilities
  • Suicide Prevention Amendment: Extends a suicide prevention program that supports our National Guard and reserves military members through 2018
  • Gender Double Standards Amendment: Directs the Secretary of Defense to review instances where men and women in the military are held to double standards and brief the House Armed Services Committee on any differences the Secretary recommends retaining.

 

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