NORMAN — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, praised the passage of the national defense bill.
The final version of this bill, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, marks the 51st consecutive NDAA and includes several legislative measures that were either authored or supported by Inhofe.
The House passed the bill on Thursday, and the Senate passed the bill Friday by a 81-14 vote.
“Overall, I support this bill because it contains important provisions for our military members, and I urge the President to immediately sign this bill into law when it arrives on his desk,” Inhofe said. “At the same time, I am disappointed that the process of passing this important bill was delayed until so late in the year, well after the fiscal year that it governs has started, potentially impacting critical military programs such the KC-46 that will be maintained at Tinker Air Force Base and, hopefully, based at Altus Air Force Base.”
Inhofe pointed to key issues related to Oklahoma, which include research and procurement for the Paladin Integrated Module that will be integrated in Elgin near Fort Sill; additional Patriot missiles and modernization of the program, enhancing combat capabilities of our Patriot forces at Fort Sill; changes to the Air Force’s force structure that will retire four KC-135s from Tinker Air Force Base and add 11 Air National Guard RC-26B aircraft at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base by 2015.
“Bringing the RC-26B aircraft and mission to Oklahoma and the Oklahoma National Guard is a win for Oklahoma and the nation,” said Inhofe. “Bringing the unit together at Will Rogers will enhance operations, reduce costs and provide the capability to rapidly support operations in Asia, the Middle East, or anywhere in the world.”
The bill also includes $25 million for construction of a training complex at Camp Gruber and $4.9 billion for a practice shooting range at Fort Sill.
The bill includes a $25 million authorization to supplemental Impact Aid to local education agencies with military dependent children, and includes additional authorization for schools with military children with severe disabilities.
The bill includes language to stop the Air Force from cancelling the C-130 Aviation Modernization Program until at least 30 days after Congress receives a report from the Air Force with AMP cost and schedule details.
AMP, a Boeing program that employs hundreds in Oklahoma City, modernizes the C-130H fleet with a digital glass cockpit and a new digital avionics system, reducing aircraft operating costs and providing increased combat capability.