Rep. Rogers: How the defense bill affects East Alabama
This week the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) marked up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). Although this bill focuses on our country’s Department of Defense, there are many pieces of the legislation that will have a huge impact back home in East Alabama.
The NDAA starts by strengthening our military after years of being weakened under the Obama Administration.
It gives a much-deserved 2.6 percent raise for our troops. This is the biggest pay increase in almost a decade.
The Stryker A1 combat vehicle – which is overhauled and maintained at Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) – will get an increase authorizing a total of $360 million. I appreciate the committee recognizing the importance of this diverse combat vehicle after many of my colleagues from the House sent a letter to U.S. Army Secretary Esper to bring his attention to it.
For the ANAD, the NDAA provides another increase in funding – $21.8 billion for equipment maintenance and $3.7 billion for spare parts. This will help ensure our troops have the best equipment we can provide them for training.
The NDAA also helps the ANAD by tweaking the carry over formula to allow leaders at the Depot the flexibility needed to better manage their funding from year to year and not be penalized by issues out of their control.
Big picture, the NDAA also includes some movement on an important initiative I have been working on for a couple years. It includes steps to help ensure we are on the right path when it comes to National Security Space. I was pleased to see President Trump recently reaffirmed his support for Space Force and I am hoping it will continue to gain traction. The NDAA still has a way to go in the legislative process, but I am optimistic it will be completed soon and help provide for our nation’s security and our brave men and women in uniform.
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U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers is a Republican from Saks