Thursday, June 20, 2024

Johnson secures major wins for Louisiana in annual defense legislation

by BIZ Magazine

United States Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) commended House Armed Services Committee passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The annual legislation includes major priorities for the Louisiana defense community, particularly Barksdale Air Force Base and Air Force Global Strike Command and Fort Johnson and the Joint Readiness Training Center.

Provisions for Barksdale Air Force Base included in FY 2024 NDAA: 

Weapons Generation Facility ($112 million) – Building upon the $165 million secured in the past two years 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.

307th Bomb Wing Medical Facility Expansion ($7 million) – The current medical facility for the 307th Bomb Wing was constructed in 1998 and is prone to overcrowding. This funding will construct an expansion of the facility to allow the wing to more efficiently medically process personnel during training weekends and for operational purposes. Without this expansion, personnel may not be medically cleared in a timely manner, thus delaying deployments and the wing’s overall readiness standing.

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 $922 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 over $891 million to keep the program on track.

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