Bill to protect funding for Fort Rucker projects nearing passage
Legislation that would fund the purchase of helicopters at Fort Rucker, new gear for helicopters and improvements to the post’s elementary school has cleared another legislative hurdle, as the the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 passed the Senate Friday. The House and Senate must now agree to a version of the bill and the president must sign it.
According to U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, passage of the act, as approved by the Senate, would authorize benefit Fort Rucker by:
Funding the Lakota helicopter at the budget request of $187.2 million, which will buy 28 helicopters.
Funding the Blackhawk helicopters at the budget request level of $1.44 billion, which will buy 94 helicopters.
Funding the Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) at the budget request level of $51.2 million. This will continue to support the development of a next generation turboshaft engine for the Blackhawk and Apache combat helicopters.
Funding $104.3 million in procurement for the Common Missile Warning System, $101.6 million in procurement for common infrared countermeasures, and $78.1 million in procurement for aircraft survivability development.
Funding $47 million for elementary school improvements at Fort Rucker.
Todd Stacy, communications director for U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said that Roby has been strongly supportive of protecting defense funding, including appropriations for Fort Rucker. Stacy said Roby believes the funding is necessary not only for the Wiregrass economy, but also for maintaining a strong military.
Todd Stacy said passage of the bill would ensure funding for items Congress has already approved for Fort Rucker. Stacy said the helicopters purchased by the act will replace aircraft that are being retired.