Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conference Report to H.R. 2810, the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, a bipartisan, bicameral agreement that authorizes $634.2 billion for base budget requirements, $65.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and includes a number of Alaska-focused provisions championed by Alaska Congressman Don Young.
“I’m proud to let Alaskans know that today the House of Representatives voted to approve the FY18 NDAA Conference Report. This bill will authorize the funding our men and women in uniform need to fulfill their critical missions. It will keep food in their bellies, shoes on their feet, tracks on the tanks and planes in the air,” said Congressman Don Young. “Improving our nation’s missile defense system is something Senator Sullivan and I have been working on and we were successful in securing language in this year’s conference report to authorize funding for an additional 28 ground-based interceptors — bolstering our arsenal already housed at Fort Greely. Additionally, this bill provides authorization for one Polar-Class heavy icebreaker, critical as we fall behind and face a pending icebreaker gap. These are just two essential steps towards enhancing security in the Arctic and across the globe. With an ever-growing list of adversaries, both old and new alike, I am happy that this bill will ensure that our armed forces are ready to fight and continue to evolve faster than our enemies.”
The FY18 NDAA takes important steps to reform and rebuild our armed forces. It will ensure our troops are trained and equipped, and their families are cared for. Congressman Young worked throughout the legislative process to include Alaska-focused priorities within the House-passed NDAA:
Amendments included in the FY2018 NDAA by Congressman Young:
- Missile Defense: This year’s NDAA included several missile defense provisions championed by Congressman Young. It incorporates language that is similar to Congressman Young’s Advancing America’s Missile Defense Amendment which he successfully included in the House-passed NDAA.
- Arctic Security Capability and Resources Gap: The legislation requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress on DOD efforts to resolve Arctic security capability and resource gaps, and the requirements and investment plans for military infrastructure required to protect national security interests in the Arctic region.
Additional language in the NDAA secured by Congressman Young:
- Icebreakers: The NDAA authorizes the U.S. Navy to partner with the U.S. Coast Guard to procure one Polar-Class Heavy Icebreaker – which is desperately needed to ensure national security and maritime interests are protected in the Arctic.
- Modernization of JPARC to Support Fifth Generation Fighters: The NDAA requires the Secretary of the Air Force to submit to the congressional defense committees a report regarding proposed improvements to the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.
- Military Construction: The NDAA authorizes $168.9 million for military construction projects at Eielson Air Force Base and extends a 2015 project authorization for the emergency power plant fuel storage at Clear Air Force Station.
Additional Items of Interest Included in the FY18 NDAA:
- Military Pay Raises: The NDAA fully funds the 2.4% pay raise our troops are entitled to under law.
- Fort Greely: The NDAA includes authorization for the Administration’s budget amendment that among other things authorized $2.1 billion for missile defense, including $200 million for the construction of a new missile field at Fort Greely and 20 missile interceptors required to operationalize the field.
- F-35 Procurement: The NDAA authorizes $5.8 billion for procuring 56 F-35A fighters, which is $1.3 billion and 10 aircraft more than the Administration’s request. This funding continues progress on stationing two squadrons of F-35’s at Eielson Air Force Base and is critical to ensuring the on-time delivery of these aircraft to Interior Alaska.
- Strengthening Military Force Structure: The NDAA authorizes increasing the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard.
- Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Includes a provision explicitly stating nothing in the NDAA should be construed as authorizing an additional round of BRAC. Alaska Congressman Young helped defeat an amendment to the House version of the NDAA that would have removed this provision.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adsense-responsive”]