McSally Secures Victories for Southern Arizona in Defense Authorization Bill
WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Representative Martha McSally successfully secured funding for Southern Arizona’s defense assets in the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the House Armed Services Committee passed last night. Because of Rep. McSally’s efforts, FY 2018 NDAA fully funds and starts replacing the wings of the A-10 fleet, funds and upgrades the EC-130H fleet, funds critical missions at Ft. Huachuca and also funds critical defense missiles built by Raytheon. The final bill includes Rep. McSally’s amendment demanding a plan to address the shortage of active duty attack Apache helicopter pilots and keep pilots at the Silverbell Army Heliport in Marana, Arizona.
“Southern Arizona is home to defense assets that are vital to our national security, and I fought hard to ensure this bill reflects their importance and invests in their long-term future,” said Congresswoman McSally. “These funding provisions to re-wing A-10s and upgrade EC-130Hs will help ensure that Close Air Support and Airborne Electronic Attack assets stay in the air to support our troops fighting ISIS and combating aggression from North Korea and Russia. This bill also supports the critical missions at Ft. Huachuca. These defense initiatives will provide our military with the tools necessary to complete their missions and I will continue to fight for them all the way through the legislative process.”
"I appreciate Rep. McSally’s leadership, including her push to re-wing the A-10 fleet. This aircraft is vital to our defense efforts abroad and needs some crucial upgrades. Because of her leadership, important missions at Davis-Monthan and Ft Huachuca will be funded,” said House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (TX-13). “At the Congresswoman’s invitation, I visited Southern Arizona in October to see first-hand these defense assets. I was very impressed with these bases and the operations they conduct.”
“We would like to congratulate Congresswoman McSally for the coordination and persistence in keeping key missions at Ft Huachuca fully funded and fighting to include funding for new construction projects to support our strategic missions. We also thank her for her amendment requiring the Army Staff to report on the plan to consolidate networks that will increase security and better support commands. This funding is critical for Ft Huachuca’s operations, and we are fortunate to have Congresswoman McSally advocating for our local defense assets in Congress,” said Kevin Peterson, President of Ft Huachuca 50.
FY 2018 NDAA includes the following in its provisions:
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
- Full funding for the A-10 fleet, $103 million for new A-10 wings, $17.5 million for other necessary upgrades, and $6 million for safety inspections
- Full funding for the EC-130H “Compass Call” 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
- Full funding for the missions at Fort Huachuca, including increases in total Army personnel and Research, Development, Testing, & Evaluation to promote future growth for the missions at Fort Huachuca
- $30 million for a Ground Transport Equipment Building at Fort Huachuca
- Includes funding for 100 Tomahawk missiles and $79 million to modernize the missiles
- 18 SM-3 missiles more than the President asked for in his budget request
- An extra $50 million to buy more interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome
General provisions addressing military readiness
- Includes the PRIVATE Act, a bill authored by Rep. McSally to clarify when sharing intimate photos is a military crime.
- Increases the size of Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard commensurate with the threats we face. 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
- Fully funds the 2.4% pay raise our troops are entitled to under law while blocking the President’s ability to reduce troop pay. It also extends special pay and bonuses for service-members
- Directs the Army to report on its proposal to transition the Apache battalion at Marana to a different helicopter
In addition to appropriating funds for EC-130Hs, new wings and upgrades for the A-10 fleet for long-term flying, and critical missions at Ft. Huachuca, Rep. McSally successfully offered three amendments.
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.
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.
This is the third NDAA bill in which Rep. McSally has successfully fought for crucial funding for the A-10, Compass Call, and Ft. Huachuca. In addition to preventing the premature retirement of the A-10 and fully funding both fleets and missions at the Fort, Rep. McSally worked with congressional leadership to include $20 million for new A-10 wings in the final FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill.