Defense Bill Helps Rebuild Military, Strengthen National Defense
*** Includes Dunn-Supported Funding for New Tyndall Firefighting Facility ***
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-02) supported the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes the largest pay raise for our military in eight years and begins to repair a decade of damage to our national defense. The legislation is the military’s annual policy bill that authorizes funding levels for the Department of Defense.
The NDAA includes the base budget requirements of $695.9 billion in funding, including a $28.5 billion increase in readiness recovery efforts above even President Trump’s already robust request. The NDAA also answers the call to strengthen military readiness, with $7.9 billion for Aviation Readiness, $5.9 billion for increased Naval presence, $5.7 billion for Ground Forces, $2.3 billion for facilities maintenance, and $2.5 billion for Missile Defense. The bill authorizes an increase in the Army’s end strength, increases the acquisition of critical ships, armored vehicles and aircraft, and implements important Defense Department contracting reforms to ensure taxpayers get the best bang for their buck.
The bill’s 2.4 percent pay raise for our military is the largest in eight years.
“We have the most professional, highly trained, and dedicated military that the world has ever seen, yet past cuts have left them to fight wars with outdated weapons systems and technology, planes that can’t fly and ships that can’t go to sea. That ends today,” Dr. Dunn said. “This bill invests in our men and women in uniform and ensures they have the resources to accomplish their mission.”
Closer to home, the bill includes $17 million to construct a new firehouse at Tyndall Air Force Base. Dr. Dunn requested funding for the project in a letter in March 2017. The bill authorizes $622,552 for modifications and upgrades to the Stryker combat vehicle — part of the manufacturing base for the Stryker combat vehicle includes Saint Marks Powder in Wakulla County, Florida. The funding and authorities in the bill will increase the utility of the Stryker on the battlefield by enhancing its lethality and survivability.
The NDAA also recognizes the invaluable nature of the Joint Gulf Range Complex, used extensively by Tyndall and the Naval Surface Warfare Center to conduct critical testing and training, by expressing support for maintaining the oil and gas moratorium in the Eastern Gulf. Since coming to Congress Dr. Dunn has worked to protect the range. In March, he led a letter signed by 14 of his colleagues requesting the Department of Defense continue support for maintaining the range, which it did.
“With terrorists active around the world and threats looming in the Asia-Pacific, we cannot take our national security for granted. This legislation follows through on our promise to rebuild our military and support our troops down range,” added Dr. Dunn.