Senators: Defense bill good for Wright-Patt

News Journal

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed the final National Defense Authorization Act that includes the largest military construction investment ever made in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), according to press releases from U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The House passed the final NDAA last week, and the measure is headed to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

Brown, a member of the House-Senate Conference Committee that wrote the final bill, said, “This bill will make sure Wright-Patt’s highly-skilled workers can continue to do their jobs and help meet our national security needs.”

Brown said that key Wright-Patt priorities he helped secure in the Defense Authorization Bill include:

• Providing more funding for military construction at Wright-Patt’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) than ever before

• The NDAA will fully authorize $182 million for phase one and two of NASIC’s expansion. The project will receive an appropriation authorization of $61 million for Fiscal Year 2019 to begin construction.

• Keeping Defense Production Act (DPA) jobs at Wright-Patt.

• Authorizing more than $1 billion worth of research and development programs for Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Directorates at Wright-Patt

• The bill includes $335.8 million for Air Force bases like Wright-Patt to continue efforts to clean up toxic chemicals, such as Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) – and keep them from getting into the local water supply.

Portman also praised the Senate passage of the bill.

Portman had urged the Armed Services Committee’s leadership to authorize the project, as NASIC’s main campus facilities are overcrowded and require modernization to meet today’s missions. With significant total force growth that has outpaced their facility growth, NASIC has been forced to utilize antiquated World War II era facilities on base and temporary structures.

This investment in NASIC infrastructure will provide the command with much-needed secure spaces that meet the demands of the growing workforce and the associated information technology requirements of modern facilities.

“I am pleased the Senate supports the mission of NASIC and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and authorized the necessary funding to begin the modernization effort so that they can continue their important work,” said Portman. “I look forward to the president signing this conference report soon because new facilities are critical for NASIC to fulfill its increasingly important intelligence analysis mission for our Air Force and national policymakers.”

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