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Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PRYOR. Mr. President, I rise today to speak about an issue related to the fiscal year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act. Chairman Levin has worked incredibly hard to get this bill passed by unanimous consent, and I appreciate his efforts, the efforts of Senator McCain and the efforts of rest of the Armed Services Committee members.

In the fiscal year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, the chairman helped me to include language that would allow for a land exchange between Camp Joseph T. Robinson, which is an Army National Guard facility, and their neighbor, the city of North Little Rock, AR. This land conveyance is in the best interest of the military for a couple of reasons. First, the land that the Arkansas National Guard is giving up is so steep that it cannot be used for mounted or dismounted training. Second, the land cannot be totally secured due to extremely rugged terrain. Lastly, due to the lack of complete security, there is a possibility that a civilian could enter the property and be seriously injured. The land that would be gained by the Arkansas National Guard is well suited for mounted and dismounted training and able to be secured.

As all entities were working in good faith toward executing this land exchange, it was brought to my attention that we need one minor adjustment to this language. This adjustment would be a technical correction that would specify that the land exchange is to occur between the city of North Little Rock, AR, and the Military Department of Arkansas, rather than between the city of North Little Rock, AR, and the United States of America. This clarification is necessary since Camp Joseph T. Robinson is an entity of the State of Arkansas rather than an entity of the United States of America.

I understand that there was a timing issue this year and a need to pass the bill by unanimous consent in the Senate so we did not have a formal amendment process during consideration of the bill. However, this technical correction is important to Arkansas. I would ask for the chairman's assistance in addressing this issue at the first opportunity next year.

Mr. LEVIN. I appreciate the Senator from Arkansas bringing this issue to my attention, and I will work with him next year to find a resolution.

Mr. PRYOR. I appreciate the remarks of the chairman and thank him for his help on this matter. His leadership on military issues is invaluable in the U.S. Senate.

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