Congressman Ander Crenshaw, a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today (7/19) voted to pass the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5856) -- legislation that bolsters America's national security and contains resources for Naval Station Mayport and Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
The bill, which now moves to the United States Senate for consideration, passed the House by a vote of 326 - 90. Crenshaw stated:
"Difficult economic times make for tough decision making, but the stakes couldn't be higher for our men and women in uniform. As they fight for our freedom at home and around the globe, I stand behind them 100 percent with an unwavering dedication to national security and a strong military. Next year's Defense Appropriations Bill reflects that commitment.
"A comprehensive plan that addresses Naval Station Mayport's needs now and in the future, the bill supports a strategic dispersal of aircraft carriers on the East Coast. It also retains three Aegis cruisers (CG) slated for decommissioning, fully funds the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), and adds funds for an additional guided missile destroyer (DDG) at the base. At Naval Air Station Jacksonville, plans call for 13 new P-8A Poseidons and the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned system."
Full copies of each bill and funding breakdowns can be found on the House Committee on Appropriations web site at: www.appropriations.house.gov. The Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill:
* 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.