Annual defense funding with major NWLA priorities secured by Congressman Johnson passes House committee

WASHINGTON — United States Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) today commended House Armed Services Committee passage of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.

The legislation contains major priorities for Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District which is home to Barksdale Air Force Base and Air Force Global Strike Command, Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center, and Camp Minden. The legislation now heads to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

Barksdale Air Force Base:

  • $125 million: Construction of a Weapons Generation Facility (WGF). Building upon the $40 million secured last year for this project, the WGF will enable Barksdale to once again become a nuclear weapons Air Force Base. Currently, B-52s stationed at Barksdale must fly to North Dakota to be armed with nuclear weapons. This presents national security and efficiency issues, and the construction of a WGF at Barksdale will solidify its place as one of America’s most important military installations.

Fort Polk Joint Readiness Training Center:

  • $61 million: Construction of a new Joint Operations Center (JOC). The JOC is the command station for all of the training activities conducted at Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC). The current JOC was built in the early 1960s and was originally intended to be a classroom. It has been modified over the years to meet the Army’s changing requirements, but a new JOC has been needed for years. This $61 million investment builds upon the $55 million secured last year for the project, and it will ensure our soldiers have the most realistic training experience possible so they are fully prepared for combat. This project directly supports the JRTC’s mantra: “We want our Soldiers’ worst day to be here, rather than in a combat theater.”
  • $32 million: Construction of a new Child Development Center (CDC). Currently, Fort Polk operates three outdated CDCs that are crowded and require constant maintenance. This project will build a new state-of-the-art facility to serve over 300 children, ages 6 months to 5 years. This project aligns with Congressman Johnson’s years-long efforts to improve the quality of life of servicemembers and their families.

Air Force B-52 program:

  • The B-52 remains the backbone of the U.S. bomber force and will remain so for years to come. This year’s NDAA includes almost $690 million to continue support of the aircraft and give it the capabilities it needs to maintain an edge over our adversaries.

Long Range Standoff Weapon:

  • The B-52 is currently able to carry air launched cruise missiles (ALCM), but they are old and in need of a replacement missile that can penetrate modern-day air defense systems. The long range standoff weapon is a new ALCM that is currently being developed, and this year’s NDAA includes almost $929 million to keep the program on track.

“It is my great honor to represent so many courageous military families in Congress,” said Congressman Johnson. “This year’s edition of the National Defense Authorization Act contains important provisions to specifically ensure that the military servicemembers of Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District are in the best position possible to carry out their duties. Committee passage is a crucial first step to getting this bill passed and signed into law, but it is just that—a first step. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to get this bill across the finish line.”

“I thank Rep. Mike Johnson for his hard work on the FY23 NDAA,” said Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee. “Rep. Johnson has continued to put our national security first and ensure that our military has what they need to keep our nation safe.”

See more information about the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act here.

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