Defense bill includes funding for shipyard, Pease

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CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen say the annual defense bill has provisions that authorize funding for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the Pease Air National Guard Base.

The senators, both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, say the bill authorizes the procurement of two Virginia Class submarines and funding at the shipyard, based in Kittery, Maine.

Funding also is included for the KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tanker program at Pease. The new tankers will replace the Air Force’s current fleet of 1950s-era KC-135s. Pease, home to the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s 157th Air Refueling Wing, is scheduled to be the first Air National Guard unit to receive the next-generation tanker in fiscal year 2018.

The bill also authorizes funding for infrastructure upgrades and facilities construction at Pease.

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The U.S. House approved the bill last week; the Senate is expected to take up the legislation as soon as this week.

“The annual defense bill we’ve agreed upon both supports our national security and makes targeted investments in New Hampshire that will benefit jobs and the economy,” Shaheen said.

Ayotte said the measures “will help ensure that Portsmouth and Pease remain invaluable national security assets.”

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