Press Release

Loebsack Amendment to Save 132nd Fighter Wing Passes House

Legislation also includes initiative to boost to Rock Island Arsenal; Housing fix for the Guard; Pay raise for Troops

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Washington, May 18, 2012 | Joe Hand (202-225-6576) | comments
Congressman Dave Loebsack today applauded House passage of critical provisions in the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  Included in the legislation was an amendment authored by Loebsack that would prevent personnel and aircraft from the 132nd Fighter Wing based in Des Moines from being retired or cut. As the only Member of Congress from Iowa on the House Armed Services Committee, Loebsack also included a provision that directs the Department of Defense to identify the critical manufacturing capabilities provided by arsenals, including Rock Island Arsenal, and determine the amount of work that is required to maintain them in peacetime.

“The men and women who serve our nation deserve the best support, resources and care available.  While I do not support every provision in this bill, I am proud to have addressed many Iowa priorities in this bill and to have addressed critical national security challenges.  I am pleased the House voted in a bipartisan fashion to save the 132nd fighter wing, provide a boost for the Rock Island Arsenal and provide a deserved pay increase for the troops.  The quality of work being performed, especially by the Iowa Air Guard and the highly-skilled men and women at the Arsenal, is vital to our national security and second to none.”

Below are additional details about Loebsack initiatives included in the legislation.

Amendment to save the 132nd Fighter Wing
  • The bill includes language authored by Loebsack to prevent personnel cuts and retirements or transfer of Air National Guard aircraft, including the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines.  The bipartisan amendment was offered in Committee and was cosponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).

Boost for Rock Island Arsenal; Stops BRAC rounds
  • Congressmen Loebsack and Bobby Schilling (IL-17) worked together to include language that directs the DOD to identify the critical manufacturing capabilities provided by arsenals and determine the amount of work that is required to maintain them in peacetime.  The two also joined in fighting to ensure no there will be no BRAC rounds in either FY 2013 or FY 2015.

Housing Benefits Fix for National Guard
  • Also included in the NDAA, was Loebsack’s legislation that prohibits reductions in the rate of Basic Allowance for Housing for members of the National Guard who transition from full time National Guard duty to active duty or from active duty to full time National Guard duty. Under current policy, some National Guardsmen who make this transition see their benefits reduced at a time when they and their families can least afford it because of a policy that changes how their benefits are calculated.

National Guard Counterdrug Schools
  • The legislation reauthorizes the National Guard Counterdrug Schools like the Iowa Guard runs at Camp Dodge (the Midwest Counterdrug Training Center). The Center provides critical training to local law enforcement from across Iowa and the country to help keep drugs off of our streets.

Pay Raise for troops
  • As a member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, Loebsack worked to provide a 1.7 percent pay increase in pay for our troops.
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