Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Congressman Johnson secures Louisiana priorities in defense legislation

by BIZ Magazine

WASHINGTON — United States Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) today commended the House Armed Services Committee’s passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation now heads to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

The legislation funds major priorities for Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District, which is home to Barksdale Air Force Base, Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center, and the Louisiana National Guard Training Site at Camp Minden. These provisions include:

Barksdale Air Force Base:

  • $40 million for the construction of a weapons generation facility (WGF). This first installment to construct a WGF will ensure Barksdale’s B-52s can be loaded with their nuclear payloads at Barksdale rather than at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
  • $36 million for the construction of a new gate and entrance complex that will accommodate traffic from the newly constructed I-20/I-220 interchange.

Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center:

  • $56 million for the construction of a new barracks that will drastically improve the housing provided to servicemembers stationed at the installation.
  • $55 million for the construction of a new joint operations center (JOC), which serves as the command and control hub for training rotations. The current JOC was originally constructed in the early 1960s as a classroom and is inadequate to meet the rigorous training demands of the Army.

Camp Minden:

  • $13.8 million for the construction of a new barracks that will drastically improve the housing on site.

Air Force B-52 Program:

  • $649.3 million for B-52 sustainment, modernization, operations and maintenance.

Air Force Air-Launched Cruise Missile:

  • $47.3 million for the development of a new air-launched cruise missile that will ensure the B-52 remains a viable nuclear deterrent and will keep the aircraft flying for decades to come.

Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications Modernization:

  • $33.4 million to upgrade the decades-old systems that are used to communicate with and direct nuclear bombers like the ones stationed at Barksdale.

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to represent the interests of our military installations and the courageous families who call them home,” Johnson said. “The philosophy of ‘peace through strength,’ is as relevant today as it has ever been and I am fully committed to continue working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to ensure our military has the support it needs from Congress to keep our country safe.”

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