Congressman Richard Neal will help determine funds for local military bases

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – From C5s in the sky to weapons on the ground, military bases are funded by the federal government.

Congressman Richard Neal is now one of the lawmakers who will help determine whether our local military bases continue to grow… or get smaller.

Neal is a conferee to the National Defense Authorization Act Conference, a bill that authorizes military spending for the entire U.S.

Federal funding directly affects Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. The base has been cut in size in recent years, but Congressman Neal said it’s still a critical part of our military, and he plans to make sure it stays that way. “There are more than 4,000 full and part time personnel at the base, and when you consider the new air traffic control tower, the work that’s been done on the runway, and the new housing on the base, I think we’ve secured Westover as a role in our national defense mechanism.”

Congressman Neal said military base spending won’t be the only priority this year. “I think where we do have to sharpen our focus is what’s known as digital warfare, which is now part of national defense.”

Cyber warfare can include everything from stealing money digitally, to hacking into major institutions, including hospitals and elections.

Congressman Neal said we could see an increase in defense spending this year, but that likely won’t be determined until December.

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