Ariz. Senators Sinema, Kelly tout inclusion of state priorities in 2024 National Defense Authorization Act

Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly announced the inclusion of major Arizona priorities in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, including sustained funding for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and investment in major defense-related infrastructure projects across the state.

The Senate Armed Services Committee passed the NDAA last week with a bipartisan 24-1 vote. 

“This defense bill provides the resources and oversight necessary to continue the Air Force’s work to bring new, long-term flying missions to Davis-Monthan, including a new special operations wing, ensuring the base will remain central to our national security strategy for years to come,” Kelly said.

The U.S. Air Force plans to expand Davis-Monthan’s electronic warfare, rescue, and special operations capabilities, and the funding secured by Sinema, an Independent, and Kelly, a Democrat, will help them accomplish this mission.

Funding includes additional dollars for the establishment of a new Special Operations Power Projection wing, the expansion of a program supporting troop readiness, and more.

Beyond Davis-Monthan, the bill will include funding for the manufacturing of 83 more F-35As – whose pilots are trained in the Valley at Luke Air Force Base – infrastructure investments at the base, and other improvement projects at various other military installations across the state.

“We’re providing servicemembers and our military community with the tools and resources necessary to keep our nation safe and secure,” Sinema said.

Sinema’s COMFORT Act, a bill that expands service members’ access to counseling services on military installations, was also included in the bipartisan piece of legislation. These provisions will enable military and family life counselors to do their jobs outside of the states they are licensed in. 

Sinema believes that this will help to address America’s national shortage of behavioral health providers — beginning with those serving in the military.

The House version of the NDAA passed the House Armed Services Committee last week on a bipartisan 58-1 vote.

Work on the annual bill is typically completed with strong bipartisan cooperation, something Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) touted in a statement following his committee’s passage of the bill.

“Passing the NDAA takes bipartisanship – that means you don’t win everything – and I’m grateful that Ranking Member (Roger) Wicker and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle share a common agreement that getting this bill to the Senate floor and ultimately the President’s desk is our paramount responsibility.”

Joe Pitts

Joe Pitts is a born and bred Arizonan who formerly served as the program director at the Arizona Chamber Foundation. He graduated Arizona State University's Barrett, the Honors College in 2023 with a B.S. in Management and concurrent B.S. in Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.

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