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Mitch McConnell: Recent National Defense legislation is good for our nation’s military, and Kentucky

I take seriously Congress’ solemn responsibility to provide our nation’s servicemembers with the training, weaponry and capabilities they need to protect our country. The Senate recently passed critical legislation that authorizes these resources, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and I was proud to support it.

Our nation faces numerous challenges around the world from both state actors and terror organizations. These growing threats to American national security require that our forces have the training and resources they need to combat those challenges and win. However, the combination of the Obama administration’s conventional force reduction and the harmful consequences of defense sequestration has left our military in need of increased resources and training to reach combat readiness in order to effectively address the many national security threats before us.

We made a down-payment toward rebuilding our forces in this spring’s government funding bill. Now, by passing the critical legislation I just mentioned, the NDAA, the Senate has taken the next step to correct this situation. The NDAA will equip our servicemembers with the weapons and training they need to sufficiently defeat these threats. It will also authorize a well-deserved pay raise for our servicemembers.

I proudly support the men and women of the Armed Forces stationed in Kentucky. Our state plays an important role in serving our country’s national security needs.

For example, Fort Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne Division, the 5th Special Forces Group, and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. These units respond to threats around the globe, including most recently during multiple deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. The NDAA will authorize the resources and capabilities to ensure that the troops at Fort Campbell, as a part of the joint force, are prepared to continue responding to threats against our nation. The legislation will also help ensure their families receive the care they deserve.

For decades, Fort Knox has been an essential Army facility with numerous responsibilities. Home to the Army’s Cadet Command, Recruiting Command, and Human Resources Command, Fort Knox continues to play a critical mission in maintaining and increasing troop morale and readiness. The NDAA will also take action to improve morale – including that well-deserved pay raise I mentioned – and restructure the benefits that servicemembers and their families rely upon.

As a munitions storage and disposal site, the Blue Grass Army Depot is responsible for the maintenance, storage, and demilitarization of both conventional and legacy chemical weapons. For decades I have fought to ensure that Congress allocated necessary funds to this installation to support the continuation of safe demilitarization efforts that help protect families in Madison County. In the spring government funding bill, I helped secure millions of dollars in supplemental funding to support chemical demilitarization efforts at the depot. The NDAA will help us continue to prepare for a wide range of threats, and munitions depots like this one play an integral role in supporting our nation’s efforts to rebuild our military.

I am also proud to represent the Kentucky Air and Army National Guard — including the 123rd Airlift Wing — which deployed to assist in the relief efforts of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria. I recently had the privilege of welcoming the National Guard Association of the United States to Louisville for their annual conference. These citizen soldiers and airmen have proved that during a crisis at home or abroad, the National Guard is always ready. The NDAA legislation will authorize funds for military construction for National Guard units across the country, including $9 million for the Air National Guard Response Forces Facility in Louisville to help the Guard carry out its critical missions.

I was proud to cast my vote to help the men and women stationed at Kentucky’s military installations and the citizen soldiers of the Kentucky National Guard receive the equipment, training, and resources they need to address the threats facing our nation. The two chambers of Congress will now work to negotiate a final version of the NDAA to send to the President for his signature.

We owe a special obligation to those who volunteer to serve our country in uniform. I am proud to continue supporting them in the Senate, and I ask you all to join me in thanking America’s heroes.

Mitch McConnell, a Republican, is the senior Senator from Kentucky and the Senate Majority Leader. He is a senior member of the Appropriations, Agriculture, and Rules Committees.

Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, is U.S. Senate Majority Leader

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  1. Robert Wagenknecht says:

    I am a Dem. but still I have voted for you. I can not VOTE for you again you have made me doubt my judgment in voting for you the first time, I voted for you because you made sense at the time but you have made me wonder what is wrong with you as an AMERICAN and as a SEN.. You are suppose to be for all Americans but when you said that you would do all you can to make sure the last Pres. failed. Now you have Trump who cannot tell the truth about most things and thinks he is running a T.V. SHOW. You have a tax plan that help the rich and hurts the poor, what is wrong with helping the poor. You are talking about raising the debt ceiling when your were against it with the last Pres.. You can not lower taxes on anyone who has all the money and raise taxes on the poor.

  2. Rose Schulkers says:

    We need to rethink the National Security operations. Abuse is rampant and corrupt politicians are listening in ad saving American relephoneconversations. DOJ is too politically motivated to prosecute elected or high ranking government officials.

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