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Louisiana could receive $288M from proposed Department of Defense outlay


(The Center Square) – Louisiana military bases could receive up to $288 million for construction projects if Congress approves the defense budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The House Armed Services Committee amended on May 31 its own version of the annual National Defense Authorization bill, which the committee previously approved on May 22. The measure has $883 billion in spending to fund the operations of the U.S. armed forces.

The key component of the new authorization is a 4.5% pay raise for all service members, plus an additional targeted 15% increase for junior enlisted in paygrades E-1 through E-4.

The full House will need to pass the legislation before sending it to the Senate.

The Army’s Fort Johnson, near Pineville, has a request for $117 million for new barracks on the post, but the House has only agreed to spend $22 million for the project. The base could also receive $116 million to help build a new joint operations center.

Fort Johnson, formerly known as Fort Polk, is the home of the Joint Readiness Training Center and the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division.

The Louisiana Army National Guard’s Lafayette Readiness Center could receive $33 million for construction projects.

The House also added $22 million for a child development center for Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City. Barksdale is one of two bases that host a B-52 bomber wing.