Smith Praises House Passage of Crucial Defense Authorization Bill
Legislation includes $10.2 M for JB-MDL
On Thursday, the House passed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act which provides Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst personnel with the largest pay raise in nine years and also authorizes $10.2 million in projects specifically for JB-MDL.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who voted for the bill, said “It is critical that this legislation authorizes a pay raise and new equipment for the men and women serving in our nation’s armed forces. For too long their needs have been ignored, and now is the time to ensure they have all the resources and equipment they require to get the job done.”
The FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has a topline of $717 billion, and not only includes an across-the-board 2.6 percent pay raise for all military personnel, building upon the 2.4 percent raise from FY 2018, but it also leaves out Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), the federal process to realign and/or close military bases.
The $10.2 million authorized for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst will be used to replace the Hot Cargo Hydrant System, for aircraft that require hazardous cargo parking. The project is needed in preparation for the highly-anticipated arrival of the KC-46A refueling tankers, which are expected to begin arriving in FY 2021.
“These authorizations will provide an essential boost to the employees at JB-MDL, continuing to upgrade the base and making it the premier refueling hub on the East Coast,” Smith said. “I am also glad we were able to keep a new round of Base Realignment and Closure out of this legislation.”
U.S. military readiness receives another significant boost in the bill, which authorizes:
· $40.8 billion for new aircraft
· $36.3 billion for new ships and the maintenance of existing ships
· $23.5 billion for repairs and rebuilding of military buildings and infrastructure
· $17.7 billion for rehabilitation and replacement of worn out Army equipment
Earlier this year, Smith supported the FY2018 NDAA (P.L. 115-91), which included a 2.4 percent across-the-board pay raise for military personnel and authorized over $146.5 million for JB-MDL for construction projects related to the arrival of the KC-46A refueling tanker anticipated for 2021. It also authorized $11.6 million for Navy Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve projects at the base for aircraft apron, taxiway, and support facilities.