The U.S. House has passed the National Defense Authorization Act which provides the largest pay raise for troops in nine years. Congressman Ralph Abraham says the pay raises doesn’t just help soldiers, but communities that house military bases too.

“The bases in Louisiana contribute to the economy to the tune of over a billion, that’s with a ‘b,’ dollars.”

The legislation also contains 295-million dollars to update B-52 bombers, which frequently take off at Barksdale Airforce Base. There’s also 12-million dollars for a new entrance to Barksdale, so a nuclear weapons storage facility can be built there. Abraham says the nuclear upgrade is desperately needed for the base.

“Right now, Barksdale being a global strike command headquarters, if they load any nuclear weapons, we have to go to North Dakota to pick them up. That makes no sense.”

And for those concerned about nukes being housed in their neck of the woods.

“There are so many safeguards that are in place that any catastrophic event is simply not going to happen.”

The NDAA also includes 39 million dollars for new alert facilities at the Belle Chase Naval Air Station.