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
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.
- 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
- 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
- Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot
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.