O'Halleran demands pay fix for Pinal military

May 3, 2019
In The News

RED ROCK — U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Sedona, is demanding that the Defense Department fix a discrepancy that’s keeping service members at a Pinal County air base from their full military benefits.

The congressman sent a letter to Defense on Friday, asking it to correct the housing allowance given to National Guard members stationed at Silverbell Army Heliport. O’Halleran claims service members have reported not receiving an accurate allowance amount.

The issue started with the ZIP code being used to calculate allowance benefits. Soldiers at Silverbell reportedly had a Marana ZIP code being used to calculate benefits instead of Red Rock, which resulted in a smaller allowance.

The National Guard Bureau told O’Halleran’s office last year it would fix the issue. But O’Halleran indicated this week there are still troubles with soldiers getting the proper allowance.

Furthermore, the congressman claims some soldiers were given an incorrect date on their orders for when they arrived at Silverbell.

“Delaying an immediate resolution to this issue will have negative impacts on unit morale and mission readiness,” the congressman’s letter states.

O’Halleran threatened to file federal legislation if Defense did not remedy the issue immediately.

The Silverbell Heliport is located on 160 acres of unincorporated land in southern Pinal County. The facility was established in 1986 as an aviation training site and reported having 620 employees in 2015.