WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today inserted language into the bill that funds the Department of Defense (DOD) for FY15 that requires the Air Force to develop a detailed plan within 90 days of the bill becoming law on how it will modernize the nation’s five nuclear weapons storage areas, including the one at Barksdale Air Force Base that is currently not utilized. Barksdale, home to the Global Strike Command, is No. 2 on the Air Force’s priority list of nuclear weapons storage areas set to receive an upgrade so Barksdale can safety store the nation’s nuclear weapons and load the weapons onto B-52s. The B-52s stationed at Barksdale AFB currently fly to other installations to load nuclear weapons onboard. The bill now heads to the full Senate.
In recent years, the Air Force has refocused on its nuclear mission and has prioritized the need to reestablish and refurbish its nuclear weapons storage areas across the country.
“I’m proud to lead the efforts of our delegation to ensure that the Global Strike Command and Barksdale Air Force Base receive the attention they deserve. Modernizing the nuclear weapons storage area at Barksdale will give our military the broad and deep reach it needs to protect our nation and provide stability for our allies across the world,” Sen. Landrieu said. “This is another step forward in the Air Force’s efforts to strengthen its nuclear enterprise. I look forward to working with the Air Force to ensure Barksdale’s weapon storage area is upgraded and the Global Strike Command receives its fourth star.”
Additionally, Sen. Landrieu secured a total of $25 million for the STARBASE Program—a science and engineering educational opportunity for 5th grade students located on military installations throughout Louisiana, including in Barksdale, Jackson Barracks and Camp Beauregard.
Sen. Landrieu added: “STARBASE helps spark young students’ interest in science and math early on and allows them to see how developing these skills can solve real-world challenges and prepare them to earn a high-paying job in the future. This is a smart investment in our children, military and country’s future.”