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Military Pay Raise, Missouri & National Defense Priorities Included in Blunt-Backed Defense Funding Bill

September 12, 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 committee-approved fiscal year 2020 defense funding bill.

“The number one priority of the Congress is to make sure our nation’s armed forces have the tools they need to carry out their missions,” said Blunt. “This bill prioritizes resources for equipment, training, and research to ensure our military has every advantage on the battlefield. By providing the largest military pay raise in a decade, this bill will help us honor the men and women who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to keep our nation safe. In addition, this bill makes investments in Missouri’s military installations to support the vital role they play in our nation’s defense.”

Following Are Key Blunt-Backed Missouri and National Defense Priorities Included in the Bill:

  • 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 provides $10 million in additional research funding to improve soldier lethality to directly benefit the training at Fort Leonard Wood.
  • Rosecrans Air National Guard Base: The legislation provides an additional $129 million in funding for C-130 modernization, such as propellers and engines, to meet Air National Guard intra-theater airlift mobility requirements. 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 full resources for the B-2 program and the A-10 wing replacement program. In addition, the bill provides almost $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.
  • NGA St. Louis: The bill 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.
  • 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 $75 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-X: The legislation includes strong funding for the U.S. Air Force T-X program. The T-X 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 $50 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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