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Tennessee to receive nearly $31.7M in new defense outlay

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(The Center Square) — Tennessee could receive nearly $31.7 million to fund construction projects in the new defense appropriation that recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

The biggest outlays for the Volunteer State would be for Arnold Air Force Base near Tullahoma. The base is the home of the Arnold Engineering Complex, which has 58 wind tunnels and other test facilities. The base would receive $21.4 million for a new testing bay and $5.5 million for a new cooling system.

Memphis International Airport is the home of 164th Airlift Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard, which fly C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft. The base would receive $4.78 million for a small solar facility and associated battery storage units.

While not a funding related entry, the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act, would make Memphis and Phoenix as the potential storage sites for air-transportable nuclear microreactors used to assist with natural disaster response efforts.

The bill passed the House by a 217-199 vote June 16 and will be considered by the Senate Armed Services Committee before heading to the full Senate for a vote and President Joe Biden for a possible signature.

The $895.2 billion measure would increase junior enlisted pay by 19.5% and give a 4.5% raise for all other service members and provide more money to improve military housing.

The measure also contains a ban on critical race theory in the military, ending of affirmative action at the service academies and a hiring freeze on diversity, equity and inclusion officials for the Department of Defense.

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