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McKeon, local leaders, defense experts tout Defense Authorization Act

Posted: July 1, 2009 12:19 p.m.
Updated: July 1, 2009 3:00 p.m.
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On June 30, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), the new Ranking Member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, joined local leaders and defense experts to praise the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (H.R. 2647), which was approved by the House last week.

The comprehensive defense policy bill authorizes $550.4 billion in budget authority for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.

Additionally, the legislation authorizes $130 billion in funding to support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Global War on Terrorism for Fiscal Year 2010.

While many Republican provisions were carried in the base legislation, Democrats blocked several key initiatives offered by Republican members, including attempts to restore $1.2 billion cut from key national missile defense programs, prohibit the release or transfer of Guantanamo detainees in the United States, and fund key benefits for the men and women of America's military and our honored veterans.

Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), Ranking Member:
"As the new Ranking Member of the committee and someone who came to Congress to work on defense issues, I am pleased with the overall quality of the defense authorization bill.

"Standing here today alongside local leadership and defense specialists from the Antelope Valley is another reassurance in the bill we fought so hard to get through the House. The Antelope Valley has truly become a center point of defense innovation and one that should be fostered and allowed to progress for the safety of our nation.

"The National Defense Authorization was wielded in a bipartisan spirit that exemplifies our commitment to the millions of men and women within the U.S. military family."

Mayor James C. Ledford Jr., City of Palmdale:
"We thank Congressman McKeon for his unwavering commitment to keeping our nation safe and strong especially during these dangerous times in which we live.

"This Act provides the resources that America needs to maintain its edge over those who would do us harm, and utilizes the expertise and technological know-how of the world's finest defense contractors, which are located in our backyard. It provides quality jobs and is a huge boost for our local economy. This Act is good for Palmdale, good for the Antelope Valley, and good for America."

Vice-Mayor Ron Smith, City of Lancaster:
"We are so pleased that Congressman McKeon fought to secure substantive defense measures in the National Defense Authorization Act, which will inevitably be a boon to the Antelope Valley, a place known for its innovation and strong contributions to the technological security of our nation."

Al Hoffman, Site Manager, The Boeing Company:
"The FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act is comprehensive in that it deals not only with procuring weapons systems and hardware for our warfighters, but that it provides for the care and support of our military personnel and families through pay and allowances, healthcare, housing, and education.

"This policy is important for our nation, our state, and our local communities. The Boeing Company applauds the efforts of Congressman McKeon and the Congress, and will continue to work with the our elected officials and Department of Defense to ensure that affordable and reliable options are provided for our national security needs."

Janet Lund, Palmdale Site Human Resource & Administration Manager, Northrop Grumman Corporation:
"As the only major aerospace company headquartered in Los Angeles County, Northrop Grumman appreciates the contributions of members of Congress like Buck McKeon who recognize the value of a strong national defense. His leadership ensures strong representation for the Antelope Valley and the important programs here at Plant 42."

"In the House's FY10 Defense Authorization bill, Congressman McKeon supported the funding for the development of an Advanced Tactical Data Link (ATDL) system on the B-2 bomber. This will enable B-2 unconventional stealth attacks within anti-access areas, and leverages other stealth assets (F-22 and F-35) for cooperative engagements.

"This funding will accelerate needed capability by supporting technical development required to reduce program risks and support the Air Combat Command (ACC) need to provide operational capability by 2015.

"Congressman Buck McKeon, we want to thank you for your support of the Global Hawk program, and protecting it against any potential cuts by the HASC. The Global Hawk is deployed today, flying nearly round the clock missions and continuing to provide unprecedented Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) data for the War Fighter. As you know, the Global Hawk program supports a significant number of jobs here at Palmdale (as does the B-2 program), and the Global Hawk team last week rolled out the first Block 40 air vehicle.

"And finally, thank you for your support of the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System program, in particular the full funding in the HASC. We enjoyed having you at our unveiling ceremony, and we look forward to celebrating first flight with you in November of this year. We at Northrop Grumman appreciate the actions you have taken to support our Country and our community."

H.R. 2647 is expected to be considered on the House floor in the coming weeks.

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