Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement applauding Senate passage of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 and those provisions within it that are of significant importance to the State of Arizona:
“I am very proud that this year’s National Defense Authorization Act recognizes Arizona’s vital contributions to America’s national security.
“Despite the Obama Administration’s attempt to retire the A-10 fleet, this year’s NDAA actually prohibits any A-10 retirements in 2015, recognizing their important close-air support mission in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria today. If elected as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee early next year, I plan to exercise rigorous oversight of the Air Force’s actions related to the A-10 in that capacity.
“Further, the NDAA has several provisions supported by Arizona’s defense industrial base, including increased funding for Tomahawk missile purchases, necessary and predictable resources for the Army’s Apache helicopter, and a prohibition on transfers of the Arizona National Guard’s Apache helicopters.
“Whether it is unmatched Arizona flying weather, world-class training facilities, strong community support for Arizona military bases, remarkable technological contributions of our defense industrial base, or the patriotic men and women of our state who volunteer to serve in uniform, Arizonans can be deeply proud of the outsized role we play in protecting and defending our nation.”
Arizona-Related Provisions of the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
Prohibiting Retirement of the A-10
The NDAA prohibits the U.S. Air Force from retiring or preparing to retire any A-10 airplanes for one year and fully funds the flight hours, pilot training, fuel, and operations for all A-10 pilots through 2015. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and other bases where A-10s are stationed will be resourced to keep flying the A-10s and training A-10 pilots and crews.
Increasing Domestic Copper Supply
The NDAA will help meet the strategic national interest of increasing America’s domestic production of copper, advancing a land exchange key to the Resolution Copper project which has potential to meet 25% of U.S. copper demand.
Arizona Military Test Ranges – Electronic Proving Ground
The Director of Test Resource Management Center of the Department of Defense will report to Congress on any plans to consolidate or eliminate test ranges – such as the one at Fort Huachuca – as well as report on any significant reduction in activities at any test ranges.
Tomahawk Missile Funding
The NDAA provides an additional $81.7 million in funding for 96 more Tomahawk missiles (a total of $272 million for 196 missiles), increasing funding for one of the most utilized missile systems in our Naval inventory. The Obama Administration had planned to halt purchases of Tomahawk missiles, which would have potentially created a shortfall in the inventory.
The NDAA prohibits the transfer of any National Guard Apache helicopters to active duty Army in 2015. It also fully funds the Army’s request for 25 remanufactured Apache helicopters for the Army.
The NDAA provides $175 million for our ally Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which protects Israeli civilians against rocket attacks from the terrorist group Hamas. Engineers and other workers in Arizona will help produce the Iron Dome system, marking the first time that the Iron Dome will be co-produced in the United States and Israel.
Base Realignment and Closure
The NDAA strictly prohibits any new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.
To read the statement on Senator McCain’s website click here.