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Blunt Announces Missouri Priorities Included in Defense & Military Construction Funding Bills

December 19, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, today announced that several key Missouri and national defense priorities were included in the FY2020 funding bills for defense and military construction. Both bills passed as part of a larger government funding package that is headed to the president's desk. 

“Congress’s top priority is making sure our nation’s military has the resources and support it needs to keep America safe,” said Blunt. “By providing the largest pay raise in a decade, we are helping to fulfill our obligation to honor those who serve. We’re also making critical investments in equipment, training, and research to ensure our men and women in uniform have every advantage when they’re sent into harm’s way. The measures also includes resources to support the important role of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Missouri’s military installations in the defense of our nation.”

Following Are Key Blunt-Backed Missouri and National Defense Priorities Included in the Defense and Military Construction Funding Legislation:

Military Pay Raise: The legislation provides a military pay raise of 3.1%, the largest increase for service members in a decade.

Fort Leonard Wood: The bill includes $50 million in additional funding for further construction of a new hospital at Fort Leonard Wood, which will replace the current General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital. The bill also provides $10 million in additional research funding to improve soldier lethality to directly benefit the training at Fort Leonard Wood.

National Guard: The bill provides $12 million for the construction of a National Guard Readiness Center in Springfield, Mo.

NGA St. Louis: The bill provides full funding of $218.8 million for further construction of the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) West headquarters in North St. Louis, Mo. The bill also provides $20 million that can be used for the construction of a secure, modern, and collaborative facility to support the rapidly evolving geospatial intelligence mission in St. Louis. In November, Blunt attended the ground breaking ceremony and has long led efforts to ensure the NGA West facility remains in Missouri.

Rosecrans Air National Guard Base: The legislation provides an additional $134 million in funding for C-130 modernization, such as propellers and engines, to meet Air National Guard intra-theater airlift mobility requirements. The bill also includes $9.5 million for construction of a new C-130 Flight Simulator Facility. Rosecrans Air National Guard Base is the nation’s premier Air National Guard training center for Advanced Airlift Tactical Training.

Whiteman Air Force Base: The measure provides robust resources for the B-2 program and the A-10 wing replacement program. In addition, the bill provides nearly $3 billion in research funding for the B-21, a next generation Air Force bomber that is currently under development. In March, the U.S. Air Force announced that Whiteman Air Force Base will be the second base to receive the B-21 bomber, which will replace the B-2 beginning in the mid-2030’s. The bill also provides $27 million for construction of a Consolidated Vehicle Operations and Maintenance Facility. Last year, Blunt sent a letter to then-Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson in support of this project.

F-15EX: The bill includes funding for 8 F-15EX aircraft, which are manufactured in St. Louis, Mo., to meet the U.S. Air Force’s air superiority needs.

Super Hornets: The legislation provides funding for 24 Super Hornets, which are manufactured in St. Louis, Mo., to meet the U.S. Navy’s tactical aviation shortfall. The legislation also includes $52 million in additional funding to fulfill one of the U.S. Navy’s top unfunded requests for Super Hornet spare engines to improve mission readiness.

Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program (DCIP): The measure includes $50 million in funding for DCIP infrastructure projects that could benefit military installations like Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman, to improve the quality of life for service members and their families as well as base resiliency.

Lake City Army Ammunition Plant: The measure includes full funding for Army industrial facilities. Blunt has long championed additional funding, including over $177 million in additional funding in the past, to provide critical support to modernize facilities like Lake City Army Ammunition Plant near Independence, Mo.

U.S. Navy MQ-25: The bill provides robust funding for the U.S. Navy MQ-25 program. Last year, the U.S. Navy awarded Boeing the contract for the MQ-25, an unmanned aircraft that would embark on a carrier to conduct aerial refueling. Boeing subsequently announced that the MQ-25 will be built in St. Louis.

U.S. Air Force T-7: The legislation includes strong funding for the U.S. Air Force T-7 program. The T-7 trainer, which was designed in St. Louis and will be built there, is a two-seat trainer aircraft that would replace the decades-old T-38 trainer currently in use by the U.S. Air Force.

Research Investments: The measure provides research funding for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Department of Defense. This funding will support research and development initiatives at the University of Missouri, Missouri State University, and among defense industry leaders across the state. The bill also provides increased funding to continue groundbreaking medical research, which will save lives, reduce disability, and decrease the economic burden of traumatic injury.

Impact Aid: The bill includes $70 million in additional funding for Impact Aid assistance to benefit Whiteman and Fort Leonard Wood area schools. Department of Defense Supplemental Impact Aid Assistance is critical to local school districts impacted by the presence of federally-owned land.

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