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U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell Secures Priorities for Kentucky Military Installations, Blue Grass Army Depot in National Defense Bill

‘This legislation lays the groundwork for Blue Grass Army Depot to take on new missions and deliver the resources our Armed Forces need to deter our adversaries abroad.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) secured several important priorities for Kentucky in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

This critical defense policy bill includes provisions for Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD), Fort Campbell, Fort Knox, and the Kentucky Army National Guard. The legislation passed the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives and now goes to the President to be signed into law. 

BLUE GRASS ARMY DEPOT

At the request of Senator McConnell, the NDAA requires the Army to develop proposals to execute the “most promising” opportunities identified in the BGAD feasibility study released in September 2023. He also secured a provision requiring the Department of Defense to onshore production of critical chemicals by 2028, addressing a supply-chain vulnerability in 15 chemicals essential for explosive materials and currently produced overseas in countries like China. The provision requires consideration of BGAD’s suitability to meet this vital need.

“Our Nation faces growing threats from Russia, China, and Iran, whose shared interest in global chaos threatens our way of life. This moment demands American strength and real-dollar investments into establishing effective deterrence against our adversaries. This starts here at home with ramping up production of defense materials at installations like Blue Grass Army Depot. This year, the Depot safely destroyed the last of our country’s chemical weapons, which Kentucky has been home to for decades. Even as these efforts approach their end, the Depot’s facilities and workforce remain critical assets to the Army,” said Senator Mitch McConnell. “I’m glad to see this year’s National Defense Authorization Act advance the Depot’s important role in defense production. This legislation lays the groundwork for Blue Grass Army Depot to take on new missions and deliver the resources our Armed Forces need to confront these threats.”

“Madison County has much to celebrate this year. First and foremost, we can finally mark the end of chemical weapons sitting in our backyard at Blue Grass Army Depot. This achievement was a major milestone, and we couldn’t have done it without the staunch support of Senator McConnell for many years. As we work to identify plans for the Depot and its workforce in the future, I’m grateful to see this year’s national defense bill push forward this local and national imperative at record speed. I’m grateful for Senator McConnell’s advocacy on this matter, and I look forward to partnering with him to continue to deliver for Kentuckians in the region,” said Madison County Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor.

The bill also includes the following provisions that specifically benefit Kentucky and bolster the Commonwealth’s central role in America’s defense:

  • $39 million for a Multipurpose Training Range at Fort Campbell.
  • $16.4 million for a modern maintenance facility at Kentucky Army National Guard.
  • $3.3 million to plan and design a state-of-the-art munitions supply facility at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
  • $2.5 million to plan and design a new Air Traffic Control Tower at Fort Campbell.
  • $2.0 million to complete construction of a Kentucky National Guard Headquarters Building in Frankfort
  • Study requirement to support the Army Human Resources Command’s 2030 Transformation Plan at Ft. Knox.
  • Continued support for the University of Louisville’s cybersecurity workforce development partnership with the National Security Agency.
  • Vital investments in Kentucky’s defense manufacturing and innovation industry.

The NDAA also authorizes the following provisions to support our Nation’s service members and their families:

  • Secures a well-deserved 5.2% pay raise for servicemembers, the highest pay raise in 22 years to offset inflation.
  • Provides scholarship opportunities for recruits enrolled in community and junior colleges and increases scholarship opportunities for those pursuing military health careers.
  • Authorizes quality improvements for military enlisted barracks, including the replacement of barracks that do not meet basic standards.

“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act makes long-overdue investments in our military strength to keep pace with our adversaries and counter growing threats to America and our allies. Kentucky plays a central role in achieving our national security priorities with three premier Army installations and the Kentucky Army National Guard. This legislation deepens Kentucky’s commitment to our common defense and makes an important down payment on rebuilding the defense industrial base here in the Commonwealth. It also includes multiple provisions that bolster Fort Knox’s ability to recruit, train, and retain our Nation’s servicemembers. And it honors our sacred obligation to support our men and women in uniform and all those who have fought to defend our freedoms abroad,” said Senator Mitch McConnell.

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