This week, the House of Representatives passed the Conference Report for the Department of Defense (DoD) and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019. This bill will now go to the President to be signed into law. Once signed, this will mark the first time in years Congress has ensured on time funding to our military.
“After years of harmful sequestration and continuing resolutions, I am thrilled Congress has sent DoD appropriations to the President’s desk on time this year,” said Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces. “Year after year, hearing after hearing, we are briefed on the potential devastating impact on our military when Congress doesn’t do its job. This bill ensures our men and women in uniform get the funding they need on time.”
Chairman Turner included several key provisions in this legislation that impact Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and our community:
Research Partnerships with Local Universities: Chairman Turner secured $49.5M for Air Force research projects that partner with local universities. Our scientists will have opportunities to partner with the Air Force Research Labs on cutting-edge research and development that will greatly help our men and women in service.
Hypoxia Research: Chairman Turner worked to allocate $5M for research into physiological episodes experiences by our pilots. The experts at the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patt will oversee this work.
Metals Affordability Initiative (MAI): Chairman Turner ensured that $10M for the MAI office at Wright-Patt’s Air Force Research Labs to partner with the defense industry to provide reliable sources and reduce costs of the metals used in our nation’s warplanes.
Sexual Assault Victims Councils: Also, as co-chair of the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, Chairman Turner was instrumental in the creation of the Special Victims Counsel Program; this year $35M will be provided for the continued implementation and expansion of this program which provides survivors with an attorney to walk them through the complicated military justice system.
Chairman Turner fought for critical defense programs in support of our national security within the Tactical Air and Land subcommittee’s jurisdiction:
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: The bill delivers funding for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps to procure 93 5th generation aircraft securing air dominance for the warfighter.
Light-Attack Aircraft Program: The USAF’s Light Attack Aircraft Program was also increased by $100M to provide a new platform to provide superior air support for our ground troops.
A-10 Thunderbolt II Wings: As part of Chairman Turner’s maintenance and sustainment priorities to improve readiness, $144M was included to replace wings on the Air Force’s current close air support aircraft, the A-10.
Gorgon Stare: The Airborne Reconnaissance Systems was increased by $10M for the Gorgon Stare Wide Area Motion Imagery program. This next generation program provides valuable imagery intelligence that changes the way our warfighter operates.