Nov 16 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) supported the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report. The bill, which passed the Senate on Thursday, includes an important provision introduced by Boozman to study the viability of developing a Chemical-Biological Defense Logistics Center at the Pine Bluff Arsenal.
“Arkansans have a proud history of defending and protecting our nation and troops and want to continue this commitment. Securing and maintaining missions for Arkansas military installations must be a priority. Pine Bluff Arsenal plays a critical role in maintaining the readiness of our troops. Studying the viability of expanding its mission will allow us to better prepare for tomorrow’s challenges,” Boozman said.
The bill requires the Department of Defense to deliver a report by March 2018 on the need and requirements to centrally locate manufacturing, storage and distribution of designated Chemical Biological Defense Equipment at defense department arsenals, like Pine Bluff Arsenal.
Included in the bill is $129 million to modernize the C-130 Hercules fleet. Little Rock Air Force Base is home to part of the C-130 Hercules fleet. The bill also contains $20 million to build a dormitory at the Little Rock Air Force Base.
Other NDAA highlights include:
- Authorizes a 2.4 percent pay raise for our troops;
- Preserves basic allowance for housing (BAH) benefits for military families;
- Preserves Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) payments to surviving military spouses;
- Supports the Arkansas defense industrial base by authorizing an additional $183.5 million to address an Army unfunded requirement to maximize production capacity of Excalibur 155mm precision guided artillery rounds.
“I am proud to support this bill that prioritizes modernization and military readiness so we can be prepared for today’s missions and the evolving threats facing our nation,” Boozman said.
The House of Representatives approved the NDAA conference report on Tuesday. It now heads to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.