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House Passes NDAA

December 12, 2013
Press Release
WASHINGTON– The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes three provisions benefitting Northern Utah that were included at the request of Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01), a senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

"It is important that we pass the NDAA each year. The bill authorizes just about every aspect of our national defense infrastructure and capabilities.  This year I am especially pleased that provisions to support Utah's National Guard, Air National Guard, and Hill Air Force Base have been included. The land conveyance for Camp Williams and the transfer of ownership of Francis Peak Radar Site are important to the state. I am also pleased that we continue to prepare for the arrival of the F-35 at Hill Air Force Base. Hill will not only be home to the first F-35s but will oversee much of the maintenance on all of the other F-35s in the country," said Bishop.

The NDAA directs the Secretary of Interior to convey 420 acres of federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land located within Camp Williams to the State of Utah. The land will permit the Utah National Guard to conduct ongoing military training and readiness exercises and will streamline the management and utilization of the property.

In addition to securing land for the Utah National Guard, the NDAA authorizes the Utah Air National Guard to transfer the Francis Peak Radar Site to the State of Utah.  Allowing the state to save this infrastructure from demolition ensures the continuation of emergency communications (including 911 services to Davis County) and relieves the Utah Air National Guard of its obligations now that its mission for the site has ended.  Should this not have happened, the Guard would have been obligated under existing Department of Defense (DOD) regulations to dismantle existing infrastructure at a cost to the taxpayers of nearly $2 million dollars. This would have resulted in the loss of communications to the Utah Emergency Network.

The NDAA also funds new infrastructure projects at Hill Air Force Base to prepare for the anticipated arrival of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

"I sincerely hope that the Senate will consider setting aside their typical partisan antics in order to do what is right for the country. This is not a bill that ought to be leveraged in a political fight. We absolutely must pass this bill to ensure that our defense efforts, including the men and women serving this country, are not disrupted or jeopardized in any way," Bishop added.