August 19, 2023
Senator Eric Schmitt toured Whiteman Air Force Base to highlight the authorization of over $87 million in funding for B-2 operations in the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as well as engage with Whiteman Air Force Base leadership to discuss B-21 fielding and the future of the 442nd Fighter Wing.
“It was an honor to fight for Missouri in this year’s NDAA and secure substantial funding for Missouri military installations. Ensuring our bases, infrastructure, and personnel are as prepared as possible to face threats on all fronts and keep Americans safe is my top priority as Senator. The B-2 Spirit program is a critical part of our nation’s nuclear triad, and the upcoming B-21 Raider will continue that critical role. It was great to connect with base leadership at Whiteman to discuss the fielding of the upcoming B-21 Raider, talk about the impacts of this year’s NDAA on operations, and look at ways to ensure that Missouri’s military installations remain prepared for the threats this nation faces,” said Senator Eric Schmitt.
Senator Schmitt fought to include several key amendments that combat divisive DEI spending in the military and ensure every dollar is being spent on preparedness and lethality, including:
• An amendment that directs the GAO to fully audit DoD’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) workforce and its planned expansion over the next five years to provide necessary transparency to the resources DoD is expending in pursuit of unnecessary DEI initiatives.
An amendment that prohibits DoD from establishing new DEI administrator positions and/or filling vacancies in currently existing DEI billets.
An amendment that requires a Secretary of Defense report detailing the total man hours and resources expended on DEI training in 2023.
• Alongside Senator Josh Hawley, Senator Schmitt fought to include an amendment to ensure victims of radiation in the St. Louis area that developed cancer and other diseases caused by exposure to Manhattan Project radiation are compensated for government negligence.
Impacts residents near Coldwater Creek, Westlake landfill, and Jana Elementary in St. Louis and other dumpsite areas, including Weldon Spring in St. Charles County.
Expands the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to include 20 zip codes in the St. Louis Metropolitan area.
Those that meet the requirements are eligible for at least $50,000 or compensation for qualified medical expenses. Beneficiaries of individuals that met the compensation requirements but are deceased are eligible for $25,000.
• The FY 2024 NDAA also included funding for Missouri’s critical military installations, including:
Whiteman Air Force Base: $87,623,000 for B-2 operations.
Fort Leonard Wood: $50,000,000 for family housing.
National Nuclear Security Administration Kansas City National Security Campus: $3,097,167,000 in stockpile major modernization.
Boeing in St. Louis: $100,006,000 in funding for F-15 Strike Eagle purchases and $1.2 Billion for MQ-25 Stingray. Affirmed Congressional intent for the Secretary of the Navy to quickly procure the twenty F/A-18 Super Hornets for which funds have already been appropriated.
MO Army National Guard: $28,000,000 for National Guard Readiness Center at Belle Fontaine
Rosecrans ANG Base: $2,000,000 in funding for an Entry Control Point and $2,000,000 in funding for the 139th Airlift Wing Entry Point.
• Senator Schmitt recently introduced a bipartisan bill, the Military Spouse Career Support Act of 2023, which increases job flexibility for military spouses during relocations. Language from this bill was included in the Senate Armed Service Committee’s bill for this year’s NDAA.