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Peters Helps Pass National Defense Authorization Act

Bill Includes Key Measures Supporting A-10 Fleet, Michigan Contractors, Suppliers & Anti-Tunnel Defense


WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a former Lt. Commander in the Navy Reserve, today applauded the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets policy for the Department of Defense (DoD) for fiscal year 2016. The bill, which Senator Peters helped pass, preserves funding for the A-10 fleet located at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and includes two amendments introduced by Peters - one to fund cannons for Stryker vehicles, which are supported by Michigan contractors and suppliers, and one to promote joint research with Israel on anti-tunnel defense that can protect America against illegal activity on the southern border. 

“The National Defense Authorization Act is critical to Michigan’s military installations, servicemembers, veterans and manufacturing sector,” said Senator Peters. “I am pleased that this bill preserves the A-10 fleet, which is a uniquely capable aircraft for executing the close air support mission needed to protect our men and women in combat. I’m also glad that the bill includes two of my amendments to promote upgrades to Stryker armored vehicles that are supported by Michigan contractors and suppliers and strengthen joint efforts to combat drug and human trafficking groups building tunnels on our southern border.” 

Michigan Highlights in 2016 NDAA

  • Language that prevents funds from being used to retire, prepare to retire or place in storage the A-10 fleet before 2017. Over 20 A-10 aircrafts are currently based in Selfridge Air National Guard base in Harrison Township. In April, approximately 350 Airmen from the 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard, along with 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircrafts, were deployed to South Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the mission to eliminate ISIS.
  • A bipartisan, Peters-led amendment that authorizes $371 million in funding to install medium caliber cannons on 81 Stryker vehicles forward deployed in Europe, strategically positioned to support U.S. interests in Eastern Europe and our commitment to NATO and our allies. General Dynamics Land Systems of Sterling Heights is the prime contractor for the Stryker armored vehicle and many Michigan companies serve as suppliers.
  • An amendment that Peters helped introduce authorizing joint U.S.-Israel anti-tunneling defense. This amendment would promote cooperation between the United States and Israel by authorizing research, development, and test activities among the two nations in order to better detect and destroy tunnels. In doing so, both countries would improve security and be better equipped to handle future threats. In the United States, drug and human trafficking groups have built tunnels under the southern border for illegal activity, which poses a threat to homeland security.

Peters also supported an amendment that would address the automatic, indiscriminate spending cuts of sequestration. Currently, DoD’s base budget is underfunded by $40 billion with that money instead being funneled to an emergency war spending account known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, which is meant for short-term emergency spending and is being used to avoid spending limits. The amendment Peters supported would fund OCO at the levels requested by DoD and the Administration, while fencing off the remaining funds until sequestration is addressed.

“Though I supported passage of NDAA, I am disappointed that the bill leaves in place the misguided policy of sequestration and fails to establish a long-term, sustainable plan to fund our military at a time when America faces an increasing number of threats at home and abroad,” added Senator Peters. “This budget gimmick is irresponsible, and I will continue working with my colleagues to establish a long-term, balanced approach to funding both our military and domestic priorities.”