McSally Secures Infusion of Resources for Arizona’s Military Assets in Defense Authorization Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – After a marathon markup session, the House Armed Services Committee early Thursday morning passed legislation to authorize national defense funding for fiscal year 2019. Because of U.S. Representative McSally’s persistent advocacy, the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) secured funding for Arizona’s defense priorities throughout the state.
Among the extensive list of wins for Arizona, the bill includes more funds for new A-10 wings, full funding and acceleration for Compass Call’s cross-decking initiative, and millions for a new Aerospace Ground Equipment facility at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The measure also funds 77 new F-35s and allocates $40 million to construct an F-35 aircraft maintenance unit facility at Luke Air Force Base. The bill also increases resources to upgrade the testing ranges at Yuma Proving Ground and the Electronic Proving Ground at Ft. Huachuca. It also includes funding for new Apache attack helicopters, which are built in Mesa, and emphasizes the importance of the Western Army Aviation Training Site (WAATS) in Marana to Army attack aviation readiness.
“The weather, the airspace, and the network of diverse military facilities make Arizona a premier location for the Department of Defense. The missions at our six military installations are indispensable to our national security and vital to our local communities. I fought hard to ensure that this year's defense bill invests in Arizona’s amazing military assets throughout the state. This bill will: infuse resources to update our bases; build more of our needed aircraft like F-35 fighters and Apache attack helicopters; produce more critical munitions like Raytheon’s Tomahawks; support research and development of next-generation weaponry; and keep the A-10 fleet flying for years to come. If we want to stop seeing tragic and unnecessary training deaths in the news, we must invest in our military readiness. This bill does just that, and I am honored to have fought and won on so many key investments for our troops,” said Congresswoman McSally.
Congresswoman McSally has successfully prevented the A-10 from being prematurely mothballed, and for the second year in a row has secured funding to continue rewinging the A-10 fleet to prevent its grounding. Earlier this year, she successfully got the Air Force Secretary to state on the record that she plans to keep the fleet in operation until “at least 2030.”
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 Defense 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 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