John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act signed into law

Last week, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law.

The legislation, named after Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman and Arizona’s senior Senator John McCain, will authorize $716 billion in national defense funding for the 2019 fiscal year. The legislation will support multiple bases in Arizona, giving $23 million to the F-35A Aircraft Maintenance Unit Facility on Luke Airforce Base and $15 million to the Aerospace Ground Equipment Facility on Davis-Monthan Airforce Base.

Fighter Country Partnership Executive Director Ron Sites is supportive of the legislation. “It’s the recapitalization of every branch of the military that is long overdue. Those facilities that need renovations will get approved,” explains Sites. “Luke Air Force Base has buildings that were built in 1941, which are not deemed mission critical for their needs. This is going to be further support for training the best fighter pilots in the country.”

Plus, the NDAA will improve safety at military bases. The legislation mandates a full review of military base services for readiness – this includes pilot and maintenance training, aircraft safety and preparedness, and miscellaneous logistical processes. Sites continues, “You look at the airframes, and they are all incredibly old. The fact that facilities are going to be renovated and the aircraft themselves are being updated, it’s going to allow them to be able to fly safer and longer.”

The bill makes strides in other areas as well. It will help military members and their families, raising wages by 2.6 percent and contributing $40 million in aid to educational agencies with military dependent children. Additionally, it will strengthen cooperation between U.S. and Mexico militaries, enhancing border security.

Chairman John McCain praised the legislation and what it offers to the US military. “[The] bill signing completes the historically quick process by which the NDAA has become law, and will help deliver our service members the resources they need to rise to the challenges of a dangerous world,” says McCain. “I thank my colleagues in Congress for working together to craft this legislation, which honors our men and women in uniform and lives up to the traditions of bipartisanship and collaboration that have come to define the NDAA process.”

The NDAA will assist defense not only on a national level, but also in Arizona specifically. The legislation gives all military branches the renovations that they desperately need, provides members of the military and their families with better benefits, and improves border security.

Ben Norman

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