The team at Contingency Aero-medical Staging Facility (CASF) in Ramstein, Germany
thank Senator Reid for his support of their mission.
Supporting Our Missions Abroad
I have consistently made the protection of our troops the first priority of our missions overseas, voting for additional funding for the tools that our troops need, such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs), body armor, and explosive jammers. I also advanced an initiative to require the Defense Department to reimburse service members for the cost of any protective, safety, or health equipment purchased by them or their families.
Nevada's Military Bases
At my request, the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commissioners visited and observed the work of the Nevada National Guard and the Hawthorne Army Depot. As a result of this visit, the Commission overturned a previous recommendation by the Pentagon to transfer the C-130s to Arkansas and close the Depot. I was pleased that the Commission realized the importance of keeping the Nevada Air National Guard base in Reno. In addition to their military importance, Nevada relies on these aircraft for Homeland Security operations like fighting wildfires and preparing for potential natural disasters.
Additionally, the missions at Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases have grown, bringing new jobs, improved infrastructure, and increased economic impact to the Las Vegas Valley. In the upcoming years, Nellis Air Force Base will also house the Air Force’s latest fighter aircraft – the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. In Elko County, the Nevada National Guard has acquired the former Fire Sciences Academy in Carlin, which is home to a new armory. This 410-acre site is also comprised of facilities to support training for National Guard units across the nation. These important additions to Nevada’s military installations ensure the state is on the cutting edge of efforts to protect our homeland well into the future.
The Nevada National Security Site
I also worked to establish the Wounded Warrior Resource Center for service members, which required the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop a comprehensive policy on the care and management of service members, including the development of interoperable electronic health records, and most importantly, required a comprehensive policy to address traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, other mental health conditions, and military eye injuries. Since then, I have supported annual legislation to fully fund these programs.
Military Pay and Benefits
I have worked tirelessly to protect and improve TRICARE beneficiaries’ access to care while keeping payments low. For example, I worked to mandate that the future growth rate for TRICARE enrollment fees not exceed the military retirement cost-of-living adjustment. In addition, the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act rejected dramatic increases in TRICARE enrollment fees and restored an estimated savings of $452 million in TRICARE reductions proposed in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget. I also fought to cap future increases for pharmacy co-pays to the annual cost-of-living adjustment. Furthermore, I helped pass legislation extending current TRICARE physician reimbursement rates, allowing VA doctors to continue to see new patients, conduct outreach to rural areas, and allow them to make needed improvements to their practices in order to continue giving the best care possible. Please be assured that I will continue fighting to preserve the unique role of TRICARE in our nation’s healthcare system.
Protecting the Homeland from Terrorist Threats
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