Senate Passes Sinema-Shaped Annual Defense Bill with Arizona Military Priorities

Dec 16, 2022

Sinema secured funding for Luke Air Force Base, Army Yuma Proving Ground, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca, Arizona Air National Guard, and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Sinema-shaped bill provides pay raises for servicemembers; increases research, planning, and phase-out of toxic “forever chemicals;” expands 5G wireless broadband at all military installations; boosts wildfire prevention and response; and more

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema secured multiple Arizona military priorities in this year’s annual defense bill, which passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support. Sinema secured critical funding for projects at Luke Air Force Base, Army Yuma Proving Ground, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca, Arizona Air National Guard, and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma.
In addition to these federal investments for Arizona’s military installations, Sinema secured key funds providing pay raises for servicemembers; research, planning, and phase-out of toxic PFAS (commonly known as “forever chemicals”); 5G wireless broadband expansion at all military installations; wildfire prevention and response; and more.
“Arizona servicemembers and our military community rely on critical investments in our annual defense legislation to provide them with the tools and resources necessary to keep Arizona families and communities safe and secure,” said Sinema.
Luke Air Force Base
$4.7 million for the expansion of the Childcare Development Center at Luke Air Force Base. Sinema had repeatedly heard from families stationed at the base. These funds will go toward planning and design work – construction will begin in future fiscal years.
Yuma Proving Ground
$6.5 million to complete a Yuma Proving Ground Ready Building consisting of student team rooms, multi-purpose room, bathrooms, locker rooms and showers, laundry room, reception area, storage room, overhead protection, and building support space.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
$7.5 million to acquire a Combat Rescue Helicopter Simulator at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to accelerate training for helicopter pilots and enhance the ability of pilots to integrate into the U.S. Air Force fleet.
$553 million to procure state of the art Compass Call electronic attack aircraft stationed at Davis-Monthan. This asset continues to keep Davis-Monthan at the forefront of Air Force missions now and long into the future. 
$8 million to build a Command and Control Facility for the 610th Command and Control Squadron at Davis-Monthan, which will boost the ability of the 610th to provide communications support to combat commanders worldwide.
Tucson Morris Air National Guard
$12 million to begin construction of the entry control point. The current gate poses traffic safety and security issues, creating congestion on Valencia Road in Tucson. This project relocates the existing installation entrance to a new site in order to meet standoff and traffic requirements.
Tucson Airport Land Acquisition
$10 million to acquire land from the Tucson International Airport for the Morris Air National Guard Base to build a new entry control point to improve security and reduce traffic for the local community.
Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma
$5 million to plan and design a water treatment plant at MCAS Yuma.
Technological Hazards Preparedness and Training
Taken from Sinema’s Technological Hazards Preparedness and Training Act, which directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to maintain the capacity to provide states and local governments with technical assistance, training, and other preparedness programming to build community resilience to technological hazards and related emerging threats.
Dynamic Airspace Pilot Program
Taken from Sinema’s Dynamic Airspace Pilot Program Act, which creates an advanced airspace scheduling system that allows civilian and airspace to be shared, increasing both military training and civilian air route options.
Addressing Family Violence
Taken from Sinema’s Protecting our Servicemembers through Proven Methods Act, which requires data collection to assess risks relating to sexual assault, harassment, and domestic violence in the U.S. Department of Defense in coordination with other government agencies.
Hiring of Special Needs Inclusion Coordinators for Child Care Development Centers
Taken from Sinema’s Military Childcare Expansion for Military Families Act, which allows hiring of special needs inclusion coordinators for child care development centers establishing a pilot program on hiring of special education inclusion coordinators to allow additional care for special needs dependents.
Transfer Plan of KC-135 Aircraft to the Air National Guard
Requires the Secretary of the Air Force to develop and brief Congress on a plan to transfer KC-135 air refueling aircraft to the National Guard. The activity duty Air Force is in the process of bringing new KC-46A aircraft into service, while older KC-135 aircraft still have years of useful life left and could be used in units like the Arizona National Guard 161st Air Refueling Wing.
Report on Increasing Use of the Electronic Proving Ground at Ft. Huachuca
Requires a report from the Secretary of Defense on increasing the use of the Electronic Proving Ground (EPG) at Ft. Huachuca. This report will explore the possibilities to expand the Army’s reliance on Ft. Huachuca and to potentially initiate realistic electronic warfare training.
Ensures the increase of the research, planning, and phase-out of PFAS – commonly known as toxic “forever chemicals”), and environmental cleanup efforts.
Establishing a Target Date for 5G Wireless Broadband at all Military Installations
Requests the Secretary of Defense to establish a target date for 5G wireless broadband infrastructure at all military installations no later than July 30, 2023.
Support for Training National Guard on Wildfire Prevention and Response
Allows for the U.S. Department of Defense to support training National Guard forces on wildfire prevention and response.
Extension of Special Pay and Bonuses
Taken from Sinema’s Military Housing Affordability Act, which allows for the U.S. Department of Defense to temporarily increase housing allowances where Basic Housing Allowance has not kept up with rising home prices.
Cold Weather Special Duty Pay
Includes special duty pay for soldiers assigned to the Yuma Proving Ground Cold Regions Test Center (CTRC) in Alaska.
Electricity Resilience
Requires the U.S. Department of Defense to give guidance on specifications for medium voltage gas insulated switchgear, microgrids, and microgrid controllers. Guidance language will lead to a more secure supply chain, ensuring that contracts to procure and operate microgrids are not sourced from prohibited actors. Sinema crafted this legislative language with input from local Arizona partners such as Arizona State University. This provision will benefit local Arizona installations, such as Ft. Huachuca and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) / Sentinel Landscape Support
Authorized funding to continue the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI). The U.S. Department of Defense would partner with conservation trusts to acquire lands outside military installation boundaries. This acquired land is then used as a buffer and easement to protect military installations from commercial and residential encroachment that would undermine training.