The U.S. Senate approved a national defense spending bill for fiscal year 2019 Monday that totals $716 billion, including a $550 million increase in military readiness funding to address critical shortfalls and a $450 million increase in military facilities sustainment funding.
The Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also supports the modernization of nuclear forces, enhanced missile defense systems, and new space capabilities. The bill outlines $69.4 million in additional funding for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, an additional $85 million to replace air-launched cruise missiles and an additional $100 million to advance the Evolved Space-Based Infrared System.
U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, applauded provisions of the bill that would bolster U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) by sustaining and modernizing nuclear forces and renewing investments in the U.S. Department of Energy’s critical infrastructure.
“Continuing the bipartisan tradition of the past 56 years, the Senate (on Monday) passed legislation to provide for our national defense and ensure American forces are never outmatched on the battlefield,” Fischer said. “This legislation expands our country’s defense capabilities across every domain, including improving our nuclear deterrent, missile defense, and space operations. Importantly, the legislation makes significant investments in aircraft headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base and upgrades to facilities at USSTRATCOM.”
Fischer also applauded a provision that would authorize nearly $400 million for RC-135 Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms headquartered at the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. The NDAA outlines a total of $600 million in funding for aircraft based there.
The measure also calls for a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops and additional support for the surviving spouses and next of kin of fallen service members.