Rep. Xochitl Torres Small announced that Holloman Air Force Base will receive resources and critical infrastructure upgrades in the coming year, thanks to her work on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The NDAA is a series of federal laws that outline the annual budget and expenditures for the Department of Defense. Funding from this year’s NDAA will go towards upgrades to the base, as well as improvements to its “High Speed Test Track,” which is used by the Navy, Air Force and other government agencies to test high speed systems in a realistic environment.
The funding will also go towards compiling reports on participation rates in the Transition Assistance Program, which aims to help service members transitioning back into civilian life.
“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I’m committed to working with our bases and local communities to best position New Mexico’s military installations, like Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range, to have the resources to confront new threats and challenges. These installations are essential to our national security, and I’ve fought to secure the resources our bases need through this year’s defense authorization bill to meet growing demand and support the presence of the Armed Services in southern New Mexico,” said Torres Small in a statement.
She has also worked in recent months to make the air force base the permanent home for three F-16 training units. Torres Small, who also serves on the House Armed Services Committee, advocated for Holloman Air Force Base to continue to house the training units. According to her office they are critical for addressing the shortage of fighter pilots in the military.
The FY2021 NDAA will direct the Department of Defense to study two projects that serve the Holloman Air Force Base. First, it will require an assessment of the Holloman High Speed Test Track to determine which upgrades it needs so that it can meet requirements for the nation’s defense systems.
According to Torres Small’s office, the testing track is the longest and most precisely aligned test track in the United States, but it hasn’t been updated since 2002. Second, it will require the Comptroller General of the United States to issue reports on participation rate from soldiers in the Transition Assistance Program at small and remote military installations as part of efforts to make sure that service members are supported when they make their transition to civilian life.
Torres Small’s district is home to Holloman Air Force Base and the White Sands Missile Range which both use the largest restricted airspace over land in the country to complete their training and missions.