President Joe Biden signed a record $886 billion defense bill into law on Friday with a portion of the legislation going to support Mississippi’s role within the nation’s armed forces.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), championed by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, will benefit all parts of the state, including the shipping industry along the Gulf Coast and Air Force bases in the central and southern regions.
“It has been a great honor to oversee the NDAA as the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee and work to enact policies that help Mississippi and protect our military,” Wicker said. “Enemies of freedom are growing more dangerous and capable by the day.”
Of the provisions included in the NDAA that benefit Mississippi directly, Wicker released the following list:
Gulf Coast Authorizes more than $1 billion in funding to procure the San Antonio-class Amphibious warship, LPD-33, which would be constructed by Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula. Adds $72 million for the procurement of another APL-67 class of berthing barge, which would be constructed at Bollinger Shipyards in Pascagoula. Boosts Columbia-class submarine full-scale shaft procurement at Seemann Composites in Gulfport. Secures $6 million for continued operation of the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) in Hancock County. Authorizes $2 million for planning and design to build a new air traffic control tower at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. Authorizes $5 million for aluminum-lithium alloy solid rocket motors, supporting work in McHenry. Urges the Office of Naval Research to partner with public universities on optoelectronic technology related to solar cells. Research on this matter is already being conducted at the University of Southern Mississippi and would secure microelectronic manufacturing jobs in the state. Authorizes $2.2 million for rail loading capacity and railcar storage improvements at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg. Authorizes another $5.4 million to complete a Maneuver Area Training Equipment site at Camp Shelby. Authorizes $8 million for various autonomous surface and underwater vessels, supporting work for multiple companies in Gulfport. Central Mississippi Adds $8 million to construct a fire and crash rescue site for
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