WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) announced projects critical to Louisiana were prioritized in the Senate Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
A member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he also secured funding for projects in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act.
Dr. Cassidy offered the following statement:
“Threats abroad are growing, and our budget is shrinking. Optimizing military funding to ensure our troops have the resources to stand ready to meet current and future threats has never been more important. Louisiana is home to top-notch military installations like Fort Polk, which has the ability to train our troops in the most cost effective manner. We must continue to support these men and women, as they defend our country.”
· Secured $10 million for Louisiana Air National Guard in New Orleans to replace their Squadron Operating Facility. The Air National Guard provides worldwide deployable aircraft and combat resources to support U.S. interests at home and abroad.
· Secured language recognizing the importance of Fort Polk, and its Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) and Joint Operations Center (JOC) in effectively training our troops. Dr. Cassidy has consistently advocated for Fort Polk and against the threat of troop reduction cuts.
· The Army’s Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) is on track to provide funding to replace Fort Polk’s JOC in 2021. Dr. Cassidy’s efforts should lead to a reprioritization of the Army’s attention and focus the need to replace the JOC and possibly accelerate the timetable for funding this critically needed project. Securing language in the bill directing the Secretary of the Army to assess the impact the current JRTC JOC has in training effectiveness and the associated maintenance and utility costs will pressure the Army to reassess the importance of expediting funding for the JOC at Fort Polk.