UPDATE: Defense Spending Bill signed; includes new entrance and gate complex for BAFB

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Courtesy: John Walton (KTAL, KMSS, KSHV)

UPDATE:

President Donald Trump has signed the defense spending bill that will benefit Barksdale Air Force Base.

It includes $12.25 million for a new entrance and gate complex at BAFB.

That upgrade is needed so BAFB can move forward with a planned $500 million weapons storage facility. 

The defense spending bill also includes $295 million to update the B-52 bombers housed at Barksdale with new engines, radars, communication technology, weapons bays and GPS interfaces. This will extend the useful life of the long-range heavy bombers into the 2050s.

The spending bill also included a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops, their largest in nine years and the second in the last two years. 

ORIGINAL:

Barksdale Air Force Base is among the big winners after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the defense spending bill.

Included in the defense spending bill is $12.25 million for a new entrance and gate complex at Barksdale Air Force Base.

That upgrade is needed so BAFB can move forward with a planned $500 million weapons storage facility. 

The new facility, which is scheduled to begin construction in FY21, will allow Barksdale to house nuclear weapons that are currently stored at a base in North Dakota. 

“Louisiana’s military bases play critical roles in the national defense strategy of the United States. I’m proud we could secure tens of millions of dollars to enhance these bases and support them and our troops as they work to keep our country safe,” said Congressman Ralph Abraham, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

The defense spending bill also includes $295 million to update the B-52 bombers housed at Barksdale with new engines, radars, communication technology, weapons bays and GPS interfaces. This will extend the useful life of the long-range heavy bombers into the 2050s.

The spending bill also included a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops, their largest in nine years and the second in the last two years. 

The Senate is expected to vote on the conference committee report within the next two weeks. President Trump is expected to sign the bill.

The bill also includes an amendment from Rep. Abraham directing the National Guard to study ways to reduce suicides.

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