U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) today applauded the U.S. House Armed Services Committee for completing the mark-up of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) early Thursday morning. During the mark-up, Rep. Gaetz secured numerous provisions including an amendment for SPACE-A travel benefits for veterans with service-related disabilities, and a $41.9 million increase in funding to military test ranges, including the Gulf Test Range.
Spanning the coast of Florida’s First Congressional District, the Gulf Test Range provides approximately 120,000 square miles of overwater airspace. It is used for high altitude, supersonic air combat training, as well as air-to-air missile testing, drone targeting, hypersonic weapons testing, and space launches. Additionally, the Air Force Special Operations Command, the 96th Test Wing, the 33rd Fighter Wing, and others all train on the Gulf Test Range.
In response to the NDAA passing out of committee with a vote of 60–1, Rep. Gaetz issued the following statement:
“The FY2019 NDAA passage in the House Armed Services Committee is a tremendous victory for Florida’s First Congressional District. We have continued our effort to enhance military test ranges, including the Gulf Test Range. We have also secured funding for a new Air Traffic Control Tower at NAS Whiting Field, and we have secured SPACE-A travel for veterans with service-related disabilities on military flights. This is a great bipartisan first step. I look forward to the House passing this bill, and continuing to rebuild our great military,” Rep. Gaetz said.
Background information on additional provisions Rep. Gaetz added in the FY2019 NDAA can be found below:
- $10 million for refurbishing the North Field Air Traffic Control Tower at Whiting Field
- $60 million for F-35A spare parts
- $31.9 million for Test Range Modernization
- $34.8 million for F-35A Integrated Training Center Academics Building at Eglin AFB
- $28 million for F-35A Student Dormitory II