Passage of Defense Appropriations Bill Positive for Ala.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Appropriations bill is positive news for Alabama, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) said Friday.

Rep. Roby said she was particularly pleased that funding for the procurement of new Airbus Lakota helicopters to modernize the training fleet at Fort Rucker's Army Aviation Center of Excellence was included in the bill. The fleet modernization is part of a larger Army realignment that stands to benefit Fort Rucker by replacing the aging training aircraft currently in use.

“Providing for the common defense of this country is one of our most fundamental duties,” Rep. Roby said. “All you have to do is turn on the news to see how real the threats to our security are. Our military must be ready to respond to any global threat, and it’s our job to make sure they have the resources to prepare.

“I’m proud that this bill delivers funding for new Lakota helicopters to modernize the training fleet at Fort Rucker. The Army Aviation Center of Excellence will benefit from these newer aircraft as it carries out its critical training mission. The Lakota is a duel engine, all glass cockpit helicopter that is much more similar to the Blackhawks, Apaches and Chinooks that our Army aviators will fly into combat.

“The Army’s aircraft realignment plan is far from complete, but the Lakota allocation within the House-passed FY 2015 Defense Appropriations bill is a positive step.”

Overall, the bill includes $491 billion in funding for the Department of Defense, $4.1 billion more than FY2014 levels and $200 million more than the President’s budget request. The bill includes an additional $79.4 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations for current war efforts.

The bill passed by a bi-partisan vote of 340-73. For more information about the bill, including bill text and adopted amendments, visit the House Appropriations Committee website.

Rep. Roby has repeatedly spoken out about the potential harm defense spending cuts pose to military readiness and national security. As a former Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Roby opposed the plan that brought about sequestration cuts, and supported budget plans that replaced sequestration with smarter, more responsible spending reductions.

Rep. Roby now serves on the House Appropriations Committee, including the Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

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