Sinema Convenes Aerospace, Defense Leaders at University of Arizona to Discuss Arizona Military Priorities

Feb 24, 2022

In annual defense bill, Sinema secured funding for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, increased mental health care for servicemembers, protections for A-10 aircraft, improvements to water management in Southern Arizona, and more

TUCSON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema convened aerospace and defense industry leaders for a roundtable to discuss Sinema’s work in securing critical funding for multiple Arizona military priorities in this year’s annual defense bill, which passed the U.S. Senate in December. The roundtable highlighted how Sinema’s provisions will positively impact Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, local defense and aerospace contractors–which makes up a large portion of employment in Tucson–and the greater community. 
“Arizona plays a critical role in our national defense, and we’re proud to discuss how our work will support the needs of Arizona’s defense and aerospace community so it can continue to grow, innovate, and fuel economic opportunities,” said Sinema, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations, and Innovation, and a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. 
During the meeting, local aerospace and defense leaders underscored the importance of Sinema’s work to support job-creation and innovation in these key industries for Southern Arizona.
Funding for critical projects at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Luke Air Force Base, Fort Huachuca, MCAS Yuma, Yuma Proving Ground, the Barry M. Goldwater Range, and the Arizona National Guard—along with Sinema’s provisions focused on servicemember safety and mental health care, water management in Southern Arizona, and school upgrades on military installations—are included in the annual defense bill.
The Sinema-backed annual defense bill also includes language based on the Senator’s Downwinders Parity Act—calling for support to Arizonans experiencing sickness from exposure to radiation in Mohave County, a 2.7% pay raise for servicemembers, a two-year deadline to complete PFAS testing at military installations, and provisions to support military spouse employment.
Roundtable participants included Jess Little and Alex Craig with UA hypersonics, Amy Mainzer with UA PI NEO Surveyor, Vishnu Reddy with UA Space Situational Awareness, Robert Medler with the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance (SADA), and representatives from Raytheon, Lasertel, Arete, Sargent Aerospace & Defense, and NorthStar Aerospace.
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