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Kentucky’s military bases get big boost from new defense spending bill approved by U.S. Senate

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The $716 billion National Defense Authorization Act approved by the Senate includes a sizeable amount for military bases and other facilities in Kentucky.
According to a statement from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, the bill authorizes more than $150 million in funding for military construction projects at installations in Kentucky in addition to other defense priorities.

McConnell says he was proud to support the legislation, which was named for Sen. John McCain.  “I take seriously Congress’ solemn responsibility to provide our nation’s servicemembers with the training, weaponry, and capabilities they need to protect our country, and this legislation authorizes these resources.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell

A breakdown of some of the spending in Kentucky contained in the Senate’s version of the legislation includes:

• $26 million for a Digital Air/Ground Integration Range at Fort Knox

• $32 million for a Vehicle Maintenance Shop at Fort Campbell

• $18 million for a Microgrid and Power Plant at Fort Campbell

• $62.6 million for the Fort Campbell Middle School

• $5.4 million for a Special Operations Forces Logistics Support Operations Facility at Fort Campbell

• $9.1 million for a Special Operations Forces Air/Ground Integration Urban Live Fire Range at Fort Campbell

• $5.1 million for a Special Operations Forces Multi-Use Helicopter Training Facility at Fort Campbell

• $993.8 million for Department of Defense chemical agents and munitions destruction activities, which will support chemical demilitarization efforts at the Blue Grass Army Depot, in Richmond.
 “With passage of this legislation,” McConnell stated, “the warfighters serving in Kentucky will receive the equipment, training, and resources they need to address the threats facing our nation. We owe a special obligation to those who volunteer to serve our country in uniform, and I will continue to support them in the Senate.” 

The bill must now go to a joint House-Senate conference committee to iron out differences in the versions approved by the two chambers.  When an agreement is reached, a final vote will be taken, after which it would be sent to the President for his signature

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