‘Our home state is proud to support three Army installations and the men and women of the Kentucky Air and Army National Guard.’
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement today following Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains several Kentucky defense priorities, including a well-deserved pay raise for our servicemembers:
“I am proud to join my Senate colleagues in passing the 60th annual National Defense Authorization Act. Every year, this legislation lets the Senate make our top priorities for protecting our homeland, our allies, and our global interests into law. And certainly, the recent behavior of our adversaries the world over shows why this task is as urgent as ever. This legislation has global reach, but it is also a profoundly local bill for communities in all 50 states.
“Our home state is proud to support three Army installations and the men and women of the Kentucky Air and Army National Guard.
“Last fall, I hosted Defense Secretary Mark Esper in Kentucky to speak with the Fort Knox community. He called for a renewed commitment to supporting our all-volunteer force, including military spouses and their families.
“This NDAA advances that goal. It will authorize $69.3 million for a new elementary school at Fort Knox.
“This construction, paired with progress toward a new middle school at Fort Campbell, will continue making Kentucky’s installations a welcoming home for military families.
“This project comes on the heels of Fort Knox’s selection for the new Fifth Corps Headquarters. The mission brings more than 600 additional soldiers to Kentucky in support of U.S. operations in Europe.
“They’ll join Fort Knox’s already impressive list of significant commands, including the Army’s Recruiting, Cadet, and Human Resources Commands
“The Fifth Corps will find a premier installation made even better by this NDAA.
“Our bill also authorizes $15 million for the construction of a new headquarters for the Kentucky National Guard. The facility will consolidate the Guard’s operations to a central location. Just recently, our citizen soldiers and airmen have stepped up to combat COVID-19.
“I’m glad this legislation will deliver for them.
“At the Blue Grass Army Depot, the NDAA will advance the disposal of legacy chemical weapons with $889.5 million for our national efforts.
“Families in Madison County have lived for generations with these deadly agents practically in their backyards. For years I’ve fought alongside them to support safe and responsible demilitarization.
“In just the first year of chemical destruction activities, the Depot has already completed a campaign ahead of schedule.
“An entire type of munition has been completely deleted from the U.S. stockpile. Our legislation will help us safely consign more of these weapons to the ash heap of history.
“This legislation will also impact the men and women of Fort Campbell, including the 101st Airborne, who are among those our nation turns to first to handle serious challenges.
“Their recent deployments to Europe, Afghanistan, and to support the COVID-19 response in New York and New Jersey show their importance to our nation.
“Pursuant to the National Defense Strategy, this NDAA will encourage new capabilities so elite fighting forces like the 101st are equipped for success under any circumstances.
“The Senate is grateful for the courageous service of our Armed Forces.
“The bipartisan legislation we passed today honors their sacrifices and authorizes the resources to carry out their missions. Its impact will be felt not just by our adversaries overseas, but by our servicemembers and communities right here at home.”