Matt Gaetz secures $600M for Northwest Florida military mission
From WEAR - Thursday, September 2nd, 2021
Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz Thursday applauded the U.S. House Armed Services Committee’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. During the mark-up, Rep. Gaetz secured numerous provisions including over $600 Million for the Northwest Florida Military Mission. The NDAA will next head to the full House for approval. In response to the NDAA passing out of committee, Rep. Gaetz issued the following statement: I applaud Northwest Florida’s major funding victories in this legislation. Our community is proud of our contribution to the fight. With this historic financial commitment to Eglin, we are poised to attract even more military mission, strengthening our local economy and our nation’s defenses.
$359 million is set to be authorized for needed military construction connected to Eglin Air Force Base. The money will be used for upgrades to facilities to attract a more research, development, test, and evaluation assets. Tens of millions is also dedicated to enhance operational security. Eglin’s F-35 mission will specifically benefit from hangar construction funds to support additional aircraft.
$100 million is planned to begin the Weapons Technology Integration Center project, which will vastly increase the local community’s capability to meet contracting needs.
$91 million is planned for upgraded weapons test infrastructure.
Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range received over $20 million for upgrades for their Threat Simulator Development and major testing and evaluation investment to combat near peer adversaries.
Northwest Florida private-sector employers will also see programs they support funded and expanded.
In Crestview, Vertex Aerospace, repairs and assembles the Chinook Helicopter, which obtained a plus up of over $169 million.
Niceville-based Solutions for Systems supports novel 3D printing for armament components and anticipates expansion due to a $10 million budget enhancement.
The Institute for Human and Machine Cognitive in Pensacola received full funding plus an additional $5 million for robotic devices enhancing worker safety to be used for environmental cleanup and nuclear waste sites and another $10 million for Sustained Human Performance and resilience that directly impacts the research to improve safety and performance for U.S. Navy Divers.
Congressman Gaetz also ensured Hurlburt AFB, and the Special Operation Command was a focus during the NDAA by receiving full funding for the Osprey V-22. An over $5 million upgrade and the C-130 modification was fully funded.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Hurlburt received over $10 million for increased intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technology.
For the Active-Duty Families, Congressman Gaetz successfully supported a 2.7 percent pay raise and began the process to increase the Basic Housing Allowance in Northwest Florida, pending DOD action.