On Friday May 18th, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013. The NDAA is a vital piece of legislation that authorizes the Department of Defense to use funds to fully equip, train and protect our men and women in uniform.
"I am pleased that the 2013 NDAA passed with bi-partisan support," said Congressman Runyan. "This legislation is vital to ensuring that all of the men and women who volunteer to defend the United States here and abroad have the necessary resources. The inclusion of Military Construction funds for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is key to our national security and will prove to be a useful resource for the warfighters that are stationed and train at the Joint Base."
The Military Construction (MilCon) funding authorized by the NDAA includes a number of projects that are designated for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. This includes $47 Million for a new Army Flight Complex, which Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) has been a long standing advocate of. These funds will provide the Army with a new high bay and low bay aircraft hanger, a fixed and rotary wing taxi way, landing pad lighting for both taxi ways, and other necessary support functions. The bill also includes authorization for $7.4 Million for building an Army Reserve automated infantry squad battle course and $33.498 Million for the Navy's Combat System Engineering Development Site (CSEDS) co-located at Lockheed Martin Moorestown.
"The MilCon projects in the NDAA are an important part of the NDAA," commented Congressman Runyan. "These projects ensure that Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst has infrastructure that is up to date and that only the best equipment is given to each soldier, airman, sailor, and Marine. I am also pleased that my fellow New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith has been such a strong advocate for the Army Flight Complex at the Joint Base."
The passage of this legislation also moves the construction of a Gold Star Mothers National Monument on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery one step closer to reality. The monument would honor our nation's fallen warfighters and their mothers. The Gold Star Mother National Monument Foundation will pay all costs associated with the construction of the monument.
The FY 13 NDAA includes many other provisions that are important to Congressman Runyan and our nation's men and women in uniform. This includes an across the board pay increase of 1.7% pay increase for all members of the uniformed services. The legislation also includes language that would oppose any additional rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), and language continuing the fight to fix wage grade parity issues across joint bases, including Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
Congressman Runyan is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, House Veterans Affairs Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. In addition to these committees, Rep. Runyan was appointed to the House Armed Services Committee Panel on Business Challenges within the Defense Industry.