With McSally Leadership, House Authorizes Hefty Funding for Arizona’s Defense Assets
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, legislation that authorizes significant funding for Arizona’s many defense assets. Congresswoman McSally successfully worked to ensure that the bill protects Arizona’s military aircraft and installations. It includes funds for new A-10 wings, an accelerated Compass Call cross-decking initiative, 77 new F-35s, and even new Apache attack helicopters. For military installations, it includes millions for a new Aerospace Ground Equipment facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, $40 million to construct an F-35 aircraft maintenance unit facility at Luke Air Force Base, and resources to upgrade the testing ranges at Yuma Proving Ground and the Electronic Proving Ground at Ft. Huachuca.
“Arizona leads the way in our nation’s defense. Our installations, our aircraft, our weather, and our troops are unparalleled. It’s my job in Congress to ensure these top-notch defense assets continue to have the resources and support they need to keep our armed forces on the cutting edge. This bill does that. It infuses resources to update our bases, build more necessary aircraft, and produce more munitions. I don’t want to see any more troops lost in unnecessary training accidents, and by beginning to reverse our readiness crisis, this bill will help save lives. Now, I urge the Senate to pass it,” said Congresswoman McSally.
Among the several amendments to the legislation she successfully offered, Congresswoman McSally included an amendment to emphasize the importance of the Western Army Aviation Training Site (WAATS) in Marana to Army attack aviation readiness. She also inserted amendments to grant a waiver of time limitations so the Distinguished Service Cross can be awarded to Staff Sergeant Justin Gallegos, a soldier from Arizona who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 and further a long-overdue runway expansion and munitions storage for Tucson International Airport. Additionally, she was a primary author of an amendment that was adopted that will improve access to minerals and raw materials critical to the viability of the U.S. defense industrial base.
The FY 2019 NDAA includes the following in its provisions:
- A-10 re-wing: $163 million for A-10 enhancements, including an additional $65 million above the President’s budget request for re-winging; also directs the Air Force to consider multi-year funding to get the job done cheaper, quicker, and more efficiently.
- Compass Call Cross-deck initiative: full funding President’s budget request ($108 million) and directs that the cross-deck project be accelerated
- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base: $15 million for a long-overdue Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) facility
Supporting Arizona’s Military Installations
- Luke Air Force Base: $40 million for additional military construction for F-35 aircraft maintenance unit facility and squad operations
- Increased testing 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, including procurement of advanced threat radar systems to improve open-air range test capabilities for next-generation equipment and aerial armament
AZ Jobs & Industry
- F-35: $4.17 billion for 77 new F-35’s
- Supports 27 different suppliers and 6,020 direct and indirect jobs in Arizona (worth $503.8 million of economic impact)
- Improved Turbine Engine Program – the Army’s premier engine enhancement program for its Future Vertical Lift initiative
- $284.6 million for new AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, which are built in Mesa
- Full funding for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, which will ensure access to space for military and commercial assets
- $128 million for Global Hawk modifications in Sierra Vista, impacting over 342 Arizona suppliers, and supporting 220 jobs in Sierra Vista
- $338.1 million for Stryker A1 combat vehicle upgrades
- $216 million for 198 additional Tomahawk missiles (line was previously set for decommission)
- $25m for HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) modernization for the National Guard (above President’s budget request)
- $60 million for Gray Eagle service live extension program
- Accelerated construction of the fourth Ford—class aircraft carrier, construction of two additional Littoral Combat Ships, and supports two additional Virginia class attack submarines in fiscal years 2022 and 2023