WASHINGTON — United States Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) recently commended House Armed Services Committee passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It will soon be considered by the full House of Representatives.
The annual legislation includes major priorities for the Louisiana defense community, particularly Barksdale Air Force Base and Air Force Global Strike Command and Fort Johnson and the Joint Readiness Training Center.
“While our two sides often disagree, bipartisan consensus remains in Washington on bolstering our national defense and supporting the brave men and women that comprise our armed forces,” Johnson said. “This year’s NDAA will strengthen our national defense, better prepare us to deter China and our other adversaries, curb wasteful spending, prioritize military and industrial base readiness, and care for our servicemembers and their families. It is my great honor to represent the tens of thousands of active duty soldiers and veterans that live in Louisiana.”
“Rep. Mike Johnson has been a leader on the House Armed Services Committee,” Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) said. “I thank Rep. Johnson for his hard work to ensure the FY24 NDAA supports our servicemembers and boosts our national security.”
LA-04 Provisions included in FY 2024 NDAA:
Barksdale Air Force Base
Weapons Generation Facility ($112 million)
Building upon the $165 million secured in the past two years for this project, the WGF will enable Barksdale to once again become a nuclear weapons Air Force Base. Currently, B-52s stationed at Barksdale must fly to North Dakota to be armed with nuclear weapons. This presents national security and efficiency issues, and the construction of a WGF at Barksdale will solidify its place as one of America’s most important military installations.
307th Bomb Wing Medical Facility Expansion ($7 million)
The current medical facility for the 307th Bomb Wing was constructed in 1998 and is prone to overcrowding. This funding will construct an expansion of the facility to allow the wing to more efficiently medically process personnel during training weekends and for operational purposes. Without this expansion, personnel may not be medically cleared in a timely manner, thus delaying deployments and the wing’s overall readiness standing.
Multipurpose Athletic Field ($13.4 million)
This project will construct a new multipurpose athletic field for use by soldiers and their families stationed at Fort Johnson in Leesville. This facility will drastically improve the quality of life for servicemembers and their families and improve the overall readiness and morale of soldiers.
Air Force B-52 Program
The B-52 remains the backbone of the U.S. bomber force and will remain so for years to come. This year’s NDAA includes almost $922 million to continue support of the aircraft and give it the capabilities it needs to maintain an edge over our adversaries.
Long Range Standoff Weapon
The B-52 is currently able to carry air launched cruise missiles (ALCM), but they are old and in need of a replacement missile that can penetrate modern-day air defense systems. The long-range standoff weapon is a new ALCM that is currently being developed, and this year’s NDAA includes over $891 million to keep the program on track.
Since being appointed to the House Armed Services Committee in 2021, Congressman Johnson has secured:
Nearly $620 million in military construction projects for the State of Louisiana
$321.5 million for Barksdale Air Force Base
$261.8 million for Fort Johnson
$13.8 million for Camp Minden
$2.3 billion for the Air Force B-52 program
$1.82 billion for the Long Range Stand Off Weapon program
In addition, this year’s NDAA:
Supported a 5.2% increase in servicemember basic pay, the largest pay raise in over 20 years
Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to pay junior enlisted members a monthly bonus to counteract the effects of record-high inflation
Expanded Basic Needs Allowance to assist low-income servicemembers supporting a family
Authorized over $240 million to reduce servicemember out-of-pocket housing expenses and counteract the skyrocketing cost of rent
Authorized $177.8 million over the budget request to renovate and build new barracks