Defense Bill Includes Money for Indiana Military Construction
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The national defense bill, which was passed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 89 to 8, will bring some defense money to Indiana, as well as an opportunity for the Dept. of Defense to use Hoosier expertise in defending the country.
The Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), must now be reconciled with the U.S. House version.
The bill would fully fund a $24 million military construction project at Crane Army Ammunition Activity, said Sen. Joe Donnelly. The bill would also provide an $8 million for a military construction project at Terre Haute Regional Airport, in support of operations of the Indiana National Guard’s 181st Intelligence Wing.
Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, said The bill would give the Dept. of Defense the authority to establish new school partnerships (via contracts, consortia, cooperative agreements or other arrangements) to make it easier and faster for the DoD to work with key university partners on topics relevant to military needs.
Those could include Purdue, Indiana University and Notre Dame.
The bill includes Donnelly’s amendment that would require the Department of Defense to bring to Congress, within 90 days of enactment, a strategy addressing the threat posed by North Korea.
“The security threat posed by North Korea is real and increasing. The Senate-passed defense bill includes my critical amendment requiring a comprehensive strategy for confronting the North Korean threat," said Donnelly.
"This bipartisan bill would help keep our nation safe, while providing our servicemembers at home and abroad with the tools they need to fight and win on the battlefield and come home safely. And this legislation would support Indiana’s critical role in our national defense and support the Hoosier men and women who serve in uniform.”
The defense bill also includes:
- Military Pay Raise: The bill would increase servicemember pay by 2.1%.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Treatments: The bill would encourage DoD to use the Food and Drug Administration’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation program to help develop and approve novel drug therapies for PTSD.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Research: The bill would encourage DoD to continue its collaboration with public and private partners to accelerate the development of pharmaceutical therapies to reverse the effects of TBI.
- Transitioning Servicemember Employment Pilot: The bill would create a pilot program to improve access to employment opportunities as servicemembers transition out of the military and into civilian life. The program would take advantage of existing programs within DoD as well as services and resources of state and local agencies, academic institutions, employers and other public, private and non-profit entities.
PHOTO: CNN Newsource