National Defense Bill passes Congress, Fort Drum soldiers to get 2.7% pay raise

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FORT DRUM, NY – MAY 18: The 10th Mountain Division soldiers prepare to board a Blackhawk helicopter while on a training mission for future deployments on May 18, 2016 at Fort Drum, New York. Although most U.S. combat forces have been withdrawn from the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the troops are on near-constant training exercises for future conflicts. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — The latest National Defense Bill is set to bring a pay raise to local soldiers.

This week, local North Country representatives confirmed that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 has passed congress. This bill authorizes appropriations during the Fiscal Year 2022 for military activities and programs of the Department of Defense. This includes personnel, research, development, test and evaluation and procurement of items.

The final NDAA is set to provide $768 billion in total defense spending for the year. According to the legislation text, it will authorize a 2.7% pay raise for soldiers.

It will also specifically support projects at the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. This includes the following providing $33 million to extend the range of the MQ-1 Eagle and $27 million for the Wellfield Expansion Resiliency Project.

Additionally, the NDAA will fund projects based in the North Country such as locally made bomb suits, partnerships for improved defense technology research at local universities, the acquisition of an additional MQ-4C Triton, which contains parts from advanced manufacturers in the region.

It will also fund the procurement of Arctic equipment, fire trucks and firefighting equipment and authorizes funding for the cleanup of the unexploded ordinance on military installations.

The Bill also will aim to expand in-home childcare for servicemember pilot program, require reporting on facility improvements at Child Development Centers and establish a Casualty Assistance Reform Working Group.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 is now waiting to be signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden.

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