CHERRY POINT — North Carolina military installations will receive nearly $2.2 billion in federal funds thanks to appropriations in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020.
The legislation was passed by a bipartisan conference committee before being signed into law by President Donald Trump Dec. 20, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., announced last month. Its purpose is to authorize appropriations for U.S. Department of Defense programs and activities, including military construction. As an authorization bill, it directs how federal funds should be spent but does not set spending limits.
“This legislation is a major win for North Carolinians, especially our servicemembers, military families, and veterans,” Sen. Tillis said in a statement. “I’m proud of the billions of dollars we secured to upgrade North Carolina’s military installations and provide desperately-needed funding for Camp Lejeune to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Florence.”
Of the more than $2 billion secured for military installations in the state, more than $1.1 billion is allocated for ongoing recovery from Hurricane Florence at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River. An additional $461 million was also appropriated for disaster funding for the military in North Carolina, including funds for operations and maintenance during Florence and for procurement of replacement IT and interim facilities.
As part of the Hurricane Florence recovery-related funds, Cherry Point will receive about $14.25 million for Bombing Target 11 (Piney Island) range operations center replacement. Camp Lejeune and New River will receive $703.09 and $465.82, respectively, for various recovery projects.
1st Lt. Aaron Ladd in Cherry Point’s strategic communications office said the funds are appreciated, though recovery on base began immediately after Hurricane Florence in 2018. He said a lot of work has gone on to repair on-base housing, in particular.
“The commanding officer’s priority is always focused on ensuring Marines and their families are safe,” he told the News-Times.
In addition to the recovery funds, more than half a billion dollars is dedicated to construction at North Carolina military installations. Cherry Point is slated to get about $240 million, and the following construction projects at the air station have been identified:
• Aircraft maintenance hangar, $73.97 million.
• Air traffic control tower and airfield operations, $61.34 million.
• F-35 training and simulator facility, $53.23 million.
• Flightline utility modernization, $51.86 million.
In addition to the funds laid out for the military installations, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 appropriates billions of dollars in other areas that may benefit North Carolinians. According to Sen. Tillis’ office, the following areas received appropriations:
• $8.9 billion for implementation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Mission Act.
• $1.4 billion for border wall funding.
• $3.8 billion increase to combat opioid addiction.
• $500 million for programs under the Violence Against Women Act.
• $550 million for rural broadband expansion.
• Additional $1.5 billion in agricultural disaster assistance that was unspent from the fiscal year 2017 is being reprogrammed to help farmers impacted by 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.
• $400 million increase for U.S. Department of Agriculture state disaster block grants.
• $43 million in additional funding to help address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
Contact Elise Clouser at firstname.lastname@example.org; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.