In a continued fight to keep our military strong at home and around the globe, Congressman Ander Crenshaw, a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, voted Thursday (5/17) to pass the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill and Wednesday (5/16) to pass the Fiscal Year 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MILCON) Appropriations Bill.
"As the Appropriations Committee prioritizes the nation's fiscal needs, nothing is more important than keeping our military strong," said Crenshaw. "Passage of the Defense and MILCON bills demonstrates Committee commitment national security and blocks the short-sighted budget decisions of the Obama Administration that threatened to turn back a decade's worth of work rebuilding our military in Northeast Florida and around the globe."
"With its support for a strategic dispersal of aircraft carriers on the East Coast, retaining 3 Aegis cruisers (CG) that were slated for decommissioning, fully funding the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), and added funds for an additional guided missile destroyer (DDG), the Committee further strengthens Mayport's national security in the Defense Appropriations Bill. The same is true for Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) with 13 new P-8A Poseidons and the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned system," Crenshaw continued. "Equally important, the MILCON bill provides our troops, veterans and military families with the programs they have earned through their service to a grateful nation."
With full Appropriations Committee approval, both bills now move to the full House for consideration in the coming month.
Includes report language: "Strategic Dispersal of Aircraft Carriers. The Committee understands that the Department of the Navy has delayed the strategic dispersal of the Nation's east coast aircraft carriers due to fiscal concerns. The Committee continues to support the Navy's policy of strategic dispersal of aircraft carriers on both the east and west coast and strongly encourages the Secretary of the Navy to provide funding to the projects in the out years that will satisfy this requirement."
Provides $792 million in funding to restore three Navy cruisers proposed for early retirement (including the USS Vicksburg stationed at NAVSTA Mayport) in Fiscal Year 2013, each of the cruisers has more than a decade of useful service left.
Provides $1.7 billion for 4 Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). NAVSTA Mayport will be the primary east coast homeport for LCS.
Provides $988 million for one additional DDG over the President's Budget request.
Provides $2.4 billion for 13 P-8A at NAS Jax.
Provides $657 million to fully-fund the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program at NAS Jax.
Provides $937 million for 5 Advanced Hawkeye (E-2D) aircraft built in St. Augustine.
The Fiscal Year 2013 MILCON bill provides $71.7 billion in funds (same as 2012 levels) for military infrastructure and to fund veterans benefits and programs.
BAMS Mission Control Complex -- ($21.98 million)
This building will be the operations center for all activities of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aerial vehicles. BAMS is intended to provide continuous maritime surveillance and complement the Boeing P-8A Poseidon that is also based at NAS Jacksonville.