WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Congress recently passed a spending bill that gave the military a $61 billion increase in spending funds. Congressman Mac Thornberry is an avid supporter of increasing military spending and shared how he hopes the funds improve Sheppard Air Force Base.
The increase brings the Department of Defense's budget up to $700 billion for the year, but Congressman Thornberry feels that is not enough.
He said, "That funding was desperately needed as we have seen an alarming increase in accident rates, as we have watched the Russian and Chinese be more aggressive around the world. We are still 10% lower than what we funded the military 8 years ago, so we haven't made up all the ground we've lost. But it's a start, and it's a very important start to do right by our military."
In a statement to Newschannel 6, Sheppard AFB's Public Affairs Director said they are pleased with the budget increase. The statement read:
"As our senior Defense Department leaders have said, this budget will help us address serious readiness, training and facility issues across the services, and that applies here at Sheppard. We are grateful for the support of the American taxpayers and our elected officials as we continue to train and maintain the most lethal military force in the world."
Congressman Thornberry also hope the increase will improve training operations, "It will hopefully hasten the day that we can replace the T-38s which are in desperate need of that, but there will be more training of all kinds of Americans but also our international partners going on here at Sheppard."
According to the bill congress passed, the increased budget will go towards purchasing 90 F-35s, more helicopters, and aerial vehicles. It will also go towards a 2.4% pay raise for all military.
The congressman also said the Armed Services Committee has already begun putting together next year's military spending bill and they plan to pass it out of committee by next month.