Wednesday, March 8, 2017

F-35, Lakota in spending bill

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $578 billion fiscal 2017 defense spending bill Thursday. Among other measures, it allocates $8.2 billion to buy 74 additional F-35 fighters and funding for 28 Lakota helicopters. The bill passed by a large bipartisan vote of 371-48. Not in the bill is the expected supplemental budget request from the administration. The bill also includes $187 million for 28 Mississippi-built Lakota helicopters that are used at the Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Ala. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center, which trains pilots and maintainers. And companies in the region, like Fort Walton Machining, make parts for the plane. The bill will be making its way to the Senate. (Sources: The Hill, WEAR-TV, Alabama Today, Defense News, 03/08/17)