McSally Clinches Key Victories for Arizona in Defense Funding Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations Act, annual legislation which provides important funding for operations, readiness, and healthcare programs for U.S. troops and their families. Congresswoman Martha McSally successfully secured funding for Arizona’s defense assets and fought for critical funding for the A-10 wing replacement program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, and other crucial capabilities. The final House bill includes Congresswoman McSally’s amendment which increases funding for new A-10 wings which provides a total of $144 million to re-wing between 14-20 planes.
“This is a pivotal funding year for our nation’s defense. The previous administration atrophied the effectiveness of our country’s military. Because of the Trump Administration’s partnership with Congress, we are reversing this dangerous trend and are providing our troops with the tools they need to be ready to fight at a moment’s notice. This legislation injects desperately needed resources for training and equipment while investing in the modernization and development of the U.S. armed forces,” said Congresswoman McSally. “Arizona’s defense industry remains at the forefront of the effort in support of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, and I fought hard to ensure this bill not only supports missions at our bases, but also gives our suppliers and manufacturers the certainty they need to continue delivering superior, life-saving equipment and weaponry to the Warfighter.”
The bill also funds a 2.6 percent pay raise for members of the military—the largest increase in almost a decade—and increases health care and family programs for troops, military families, and retirees. In addition, this legislation contains $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, as well as $318 million for sexual assault prevention.
These funding items build upon the wins Representative McSally already secured in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, including support for Arizona’s military installations:
- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base: $15 million for a long-overdue Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) facility.
- Luke Air Force Base: $40 million for additional military construction for F-35 aircraft maintenance unit facility and squad operations.
- Increased resources for our testing ranges at the Yuma Proving Ground and the Electronic Proving Ground at Ft. Huachuca with an additional $58.9 million to improve and modernize these major combat range and test facility bases. This includes procurement of advanced threat radar systems to improve open-air range test capabilities for next-generation equipment and aerial armament.
The bill also bolsters Arizona’s premier defense industry:
- Accelerates and increases funding for modernization of the Compass Call fleet to $216 million—a full $108 million above the President’s Budget request—to speed up acquisition of aircraft.
- Provides $9.4 billion for 93 F-35 aircraft, which supports 27 different Arizona suppliers and over 6,000 jobs for Arizonans.
- Procures six additional AH-64 Apache helicopters, which are made in Mesa, Arizona.
- Funds critical munitions, including the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), which is manufactured in Tucson.
- Supports the Global Hawk program, which is maintained in Sierra Vista.
- Includes $163 million for MQ-1C Grey Eagle, which is supported by Arizona suppliers.
- Adds $6 million for strategic radiation-hardened microelectronic processors to help guard against threats to our satellite constellations which fuel U.S. communications and global positioning satellites and are used in weapons systems that are Arizona-made.
- Boosts basic, applied, and advanced defense technology research by $771 million overall, benefitting Arizona’s world-class university research enterprises.