The $1.3 trillion spending package Congress unveiled last night includes funding for projects important to national security and Florida’s defense industry.
The bill includes a number of projects that U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a senior member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, pushed for:
- B-21 Long Range Strike – Bomber. Senator Nelson fought for full funding of the B-21 Raider Long Range Strike-Bomber, a dual-purpose, long-range, stealthy, penetrating bomber capable of delivering conventional or nuclear weapons. Designed and engineered at Northrop Grumman facilities in Melbourne, the B-21 is key to modernizing the strategic bomber capability and full funding in FY18 is important to ensure the program remains on track to deliver capability in the mid-2020s
- Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program. Nelson advocated for an additional $100 million for the program over the President’s Budget which will support vital commercial and military space operations at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral.
- Israeli Defense Cooperative Missile Defense and Anti-Tunnel Defense cooperation. Senator Nelson was proud to continue his support for Israel by fighting for $558 million for U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense programs and additional funds to develop anti-tunneling technology.
- MQ-4 Triton. Senator Nelson fought for full funding for research and development for the Triton. The Triton is critical to national security and helps meet maritime information, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting needs as well as for homeland security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and other missions. Mission crews for the Triton are based out of Mayport and the vehicles and maintenance crews are out of NAS Jacksonville.
- Eglin Test and Training Range. Senator Nelson fought for a $62.4M increase for DODs Eastern Training Range in the Gulf of Mexico. As test and training of 5th Generation aircraft continues to ramp up, there is a growing need for a modern, large training area, and the Eastern Range is critical to our Air Force and Navy.
- Littoral Combat Ship. Senator Nelson fought for the purchase of two additional Littoral Combat Ships—three total—in FY2019. A number of Littoral Combat Ships are based out of Mayport.
- DOD Partnerships for Cancer Research. Senator Nelson fought for language encouraging DOD to expand partnerships with private cancer research centers for sharing data, information and treatment responses.