House Armed Services Committee Member U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted today in favor of a House-Senate agreement on defense appropriations which will improve U.S. military readiness by funding needed equipment and training, and support military families by investing in military health care and a pay raise for Armed Services personnel. The funding bill passed the House by vote of 400 to 15, and must be passed by the Senate before it can be signed into law.
“The Department of Defense appropriations bill will strengthen our military readiness by funding needed equipment, training and cutting-edge weaponry, including body armor and armored vehicles that save lives in Iraq.
“This bill invests in military health care to help wounded servicemen and women get the care they need to recover, and protects health care for military personnel, retirees and their families by rejecting the President’s proposed fee increases for the TRICARE program.”
“This bill funds a 3.5% pay raise for all military personnel, sending them a strong message of support and a well-deserved raise.”
“Finally, the Department of Defense appropriations bill supports our military families who sacrifice so much by funding facilities and services – including education and child care -- on military bases.”
Larsen helped secure the following funding for Northwest Washington in the bill:
$1.2 Million for Electronic Warfare Training at Naval Air Station Whidbey
This funding will be used to expand joint electronic warfare training at Whidbey Island. During the last fiscal year, the U.S. Navy's Electronic Attack Warfare School (EAWS) at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island trained four cadres of military personnel to fill vacant or newly-created electronic warfare billets in Army and Marine Corps combat units. This $1.2 million will help the school continue their work training electronic warfare staff officers for all branches of the Armed Services.
$1.2 Million to Develop a Multi-Mission Armored Watercraft
This funding would be used by Bellingham-based Aluminum Chambered Boats to construct a multi-mission watercraft that combines advanced electronics for communication with effective, light-weight armor. The watercraft would use advanced electronics to enable communications with Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force tactical operations.
$1.6 Million for Research and Development in Underwater Fence Technology
This funding is for research and development into underwater fence technology that could be used at Naval Station Everett. The Expeditionary Swimmer Defense System is an environmentally-friendly underwater security barrier that uses electro-optical cables to protect Naval facilities.