Annual Defense Bill Passes the House
WASHINGTON, DC – Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02) supported the House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 with the inclusion of his amendment to modernize the F-22 training wing at Tyndall Air Force Base. The NDAA is the military’s annual policy bill that specifies the Department of Defense budget.
Dr. Dunn’s amendment accelerates upgrades of the F-22 training aircraft to combat-ready F-22s as a priority of Congress as it appropriates funding based on the NDAA. Modernization of the F-22 aircraft will allow airmen at Tyndall to train on the aircraft they’ll actually fly in combat. This improves their military readiness, and will increase availability of combat-ready F-22 squadrons that can be called upon to support national defense.
Dr. Dunn’s amendment is in-line with the Florida Defense Support Task Force’s 2018-2023 strategic plan.
“We have the most highly trained and dedicated military in the world. But, if we are not giving them the resources to maintain their planes and train in the most realistic environments possible, we are doing them a disservice,” said Dr. Dunn. “Over the last year we have begun to correct that problem by rebuilding our military and investing in our servicemembers. Modernizing the training wing of F-22s at Tyndall is another step in that process and is essential to the safety and security of the airmen we ask to achieve air superiority over battlefields around the globe.”
In 2017, 80 servicemembers were killed in training accidents. That is almost four times the number of military members killed in combat. The NDAA includes the base budget requirements of $639.1 billion in funding, including increases to strengthen military readiness, with $18.6 billion to rehabilitate and replace worn out Army equipment, $39.5 billion to improve military aviation, and $36.0 billion to restore America’s strength at sea.
The bill’s 2.6 percent pay raise for our military is the largest in nine years.
“With new threats of terrorism and extremism around the world, we cannot take military readiness lightly. Defense Secretary Mattis put it best when he said ‘loyalty is a two-way street.’ Our military deserve to have everything possible to ensure that every soldier, sailor, Marine, and airman can perform their mission and return home safe and sound. We are giving certainty to our warfighters with the NDAA’s passage and I hope the Senate will move quickly to do the same,” added Dr. Dunn.
In April, Dr. Dunn was joined by 8 other members of the Florida Delegation in urging the House Appropriations Committee to add $98 million to the Defense Appropriations Bill for the Air Force to begin modernizing F-22 training and test aircraft to meet the full range of air combat missions and requirements facing our nation.