Phoenix Metro Area Military Priorities Secured by Sinema in Annual Defense Bill

Dec 11, 2020

Sinema helped secure funding for Luke Air Force Base in the Congressionally-approved National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema secured military priorities for the Phoenix metro area military community in the annual defense bill, which passed Congress with bipartisan support today.
“Arizona servicemembers put their lives on the line to keep us safe and secure, and it is our duty to ensure our troops have full access to critical resources. Today’s passage of the annual defense bill strengthens support for servicemembers, increases resources to Maricopa County, and maintains Arizona’s leadership in our national defense,” said Sinema.
“The West Valley Defense Alliance is incredibly thankful for Senator Sinema’s continued advocacy for Arizona’s defense industry and military assets, like Luke Air Force Base. With her support, the Senate authorized $5.3 billion for 60 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to build a 5th Squadron at Luke. Her input on the NDAA will have a lasting positive impact on Arizona’s military installations and defense industry, and the WVDA deeply appreciates her tireless commitment to ensuring our warfighters have the equipment and resources necessary to keep our nation safe,” said Lynndy Smith, Chair, West Valley Defense Alliance.
“The Mesa Industry and Defense Council is thankful for all of the work Senator Sinema has done to include Arizona provisions in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. From additional manufacturing in Mesa to adding new cybersecurity measures, this is a huge win for Arizona. MIDC looks forward to final passage of this legislation,” Sally Harrison, President and CEO, Mesa Industry and Defense Council.

Sinema secured the following for the Phoenix Metro area military community:
3 Percent Pay Raise for Arizona Servicemembers
Funding for F-35s at Luke Air Force Base

  • Sinema secured $5.3 billion for 60 F-35s for the Air Force, ensuring an additional squadron of F-35s for Luke Air Force Base. The F-35s are the next generation of strike fighters and provide increased aero-performance, stealth signature and countermeasures.

Continued Support for KC-135 Tankers for the 161st Refueling Wing

  • Sinema secured continued support for the KC-135 tanker aircraft until FY23. The KC-135 Stratotanker is a proven and crucial airframe for aerial refueling used by the Arizona National Guard’s 161st Air Refueling Wing located at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Their mission is important to support training at Luke AFB, DM AFB, MCAS Yuma, and other units across the Southwestern United States.

Focus on Increasing the Capacity and Quality of Childcare in the Military

  • Sinema fought for language to improve childcare for servicemembers and their families. The bill includes her amendment to increase funding for construction of Child Development Centers on military installations, as well as provisions to bring down the cost of childcare for servicemembers, increase the number of options available to families and improve hiring authorities at Child Development Centers. 

Functional Center for Security Studies in Irregular Warfare

  • Sinema supported establishing a Functional Center for Security Studies in Irregular Warfare to ensure that our armed forces are prepared to meet any future challenge in complement to the work already being done by  the McCain Institute at the Arizona State University in Tempe.

Increased Coverage of Agent Orange Exposure for Vietnam Veterans

  • Sinema ensured Parkinsonism, bladder cancer, and hypothyrodism were added to the diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

VA Mission Telehealth Clarification Act 

  • Sinema secured inclusion of her VA Mission Telehealth Clarification Act. Sinema’s bipartisan bill allows Department of Veterans Affairs health trainees to train on and utilize the VA telehealth system. During the coronavirus pandemic, many non-emergency medical services are now being conducted via telehealth. Increasing access to telehealth for Arizona veterans will reduce the spread of the coronavirus and help save lives.

Funding for safe and secure aircraft

  • Sinema secured $850 million for Crashworthy, Ballistically Tolerant Fuel Systems, ensuring Arizona servicemembers’ aircrafts are safe and secure.
  • Sinema secured $792 million for the remanufacture of the AH-64E, which is the most up-to-date model of the Army’s “Apache” attack helicopter.