The House Armed Services Committee approved the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a bipartisan vote of 60 to 1. If it makes it to final approval, in its current form, military bases and programs in Missouri could see changes and increases to their missions.

The NDAA determines policies and funding levels for the U.S. Department of Defense and other national security entities.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, and Missouri's Fourth Congressional District representative, made the following statement.

“The FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act takes significant steps to address the serious readiness crisis in our country by ensuring our troops have the resources, training, and capabilities needed to face the growing threats of today,” said Hartzler. “Providing for the common defense is our primary obligation in Congress and I take it very seriously. Missouri has long played a vital role in our national security and I am pleased this bill includes several of my provisions to ensure our defense assets continue to thrive as we rebuild the military.”

The bill includes the following provisions that directly impact Missouri:

Authorizes 24 additional F-18 Super Hornets to address the Navy’s strike fighter shortfall.
Fully funds the B-21 program, which will eventually replace the B-2 at Whiteman Air Force Base.
Supports funding for critical B-2 modernization programs to ensure the bomber fleet maintains its long range strike capability until the B-21 is operational.
Provides funding for A-10 modifications to guarantee that the A-10 fleet, including those at Whiteman, will continue to be operational.
Raises the Air National Guard control grade cap to help the Missouri Air National Guard fill much needed positions.
Increases the Army’s active duty end strength by 4,000 for a total of 487,500 soldiers, which means more soldiers will be trained, some of which could be at Fort Leonard Wood. Anna Swick, Communications Director for Hartzler said, in response to a request for clarification by the Daily Guide about increasing the number of soldiers trained at Fort Leonard Wood, “A soldier’s future Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) plays a role in where they go to basic training. Military police and engineers naturally go to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, whereas infantry and armor typically attend basic training at Ft. Benning. So yes, increasing the Army’s end strength will result in more soldiers being trained at Fort Leonard Wood.”
Authorizes funding for the continued development of the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency complex in St. Louis.
Supports funding for engine upgrades for the C-130H fleet, including the 139th Airlift Wing at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.
Provides much needed support for the Army’s Ammunition Production Plant like the one at Lake City.

“The legislation now moves to the House floor for consideration. I look forward to working with my colleagues as we advance this bipartisan defense bill,” added Hartzler.