Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Troops get pay raise, funds for Cheyenne projects authorized in national defense bill


U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., voted to advance a bill Dec. 7 that would authorize $611 billion in funding for our national defense including a 2.1 percent pay raise for active-duty military service members. The bill would also authorize funding for construction projects in Laramie, Guernsey and Cheyenne. The bill omits language that was in an earlier version that would have required women to begin registering for Selective Service.

The Senate voted 92-7 to move forward with consideration of a final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017. The Senate is expected to finish the bill before the end of the week. The House passed the bill last week by a vote of 374-34.

Some highlights for Wyoming in the bill include authorization for:

· $18.2 million for UH-1N “Huey” helicopter replacement program. The helicopters provide security for the ICBM missile fleet at F.E. Warren Air Force Base and throughout the 20th Air Force Command. Enzi sent a letter to NDAA conferees requesting language emphasizing the need to properly secure the ICBM fields and to provide authorization to rapidly replace the aging Hueys.

· $347 million for research and development of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, the follow on weapon to the aging ICBM fleet.

· $5.5 million for the construction of a new Missile Transfer and Maintenance Facility (Building 4331) at F.E. Warren AFB, $21 million for the construction of new National Guard Readiness Center in Laramie and $31 million for the construction of a General Instruction Building for the Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center. Funding for these three projects was provided in the Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction bill Congress passed in September.

Other items in the bill are a process for prompt resolution of cases involving California National Guardsmen who may have improperly received bonuses and prohibition on the use of funds for transfer or release of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the United States.


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