Senator David Perdue Secures Numerous Priorities In Annual Defense Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced the inclusion of nearly 30 of his provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. The NDAA will now go to the Senate floor for further consideration.
The FY18 NDAA authorizes a base defense budget of $632 billion. In combination with the Trump Administration’s request of $8 billion for other defense priorities, the NDAA supports a total defense budget of $640 billion in funding for the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.
“One of six reasons why 13 colonies came together in the first place was to provide for the national defense,” said Senator Perdue. “Over the last ten years the world has become more dangerous, and the Senate Armed Services Committee has taken action to ensure our military has the resources it needs. Given my seat at the table for the Defense Authorization bill, we were able to fight for priorities important to our national security and Georgia’s military community including easing the burden on military families and strengthening our state’s military bases. Responsibly funding our national defense remains a top priority and is necessary to protect our homeland and advance U.S. interests around the world.”
Senator Perdue secured nearly 30 provisions in this year’s NDAA addressing a range of issues from the readiness crisis to acquisition reform and reinvesting capabilities in our warfighters. Here are some highlights:
- Protect JSTARS Readiness: Prohibits the retirement of the JSTARS fleet until the recapitalized fleet reaches full operational capability (FOC). This provision also requires a briefing from the Air Force on addressing maintenance backlogs in the legacy fleet, as well as ensuring a sufficient maintenance plan. Additionally, the bill provides funding for the continued maintenance of the legacy fleet.
- Hold Iran Accountable: Requires additional reporting on technology transfers to and from Iran, including nuclear and ballistic missile technology. This also requires reporting on Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) use of civilian transportation infrastructure and assets for military purposes. Iran has been using civilian infrastructure to support Bashar al-Assad in Syria. This provision requires additional reporting on military cooperation between Iran and Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Pakistan, Sudan, and other countries as identified by the Secretary of Defense.
- Expedite “Clean” DOD Audit: Improves DOD accountability and urges swift compliance with the CFO Act of 1990 which requires the DOD to obtain a “clean” audit opinion. This provision also directs the Defense Business Board to study audit progress to date and propose incentives and actionable recommendations for improving the DOD’s standing. The DOD remains the only federal agency that has yet to comply with the law.
- Columbia Class SSBN: Kings Bay is home to the Atlantic fleet of the nuclear submarines, the most survivable leg of our nation’s nuclear triad. This year’s bill keeps the Ohio Class replacement plan for the new fleet of nuclear submarines on track to ensure there will not be a capability gap.
- Protects A-10s: Funds the A-10 Thunderbolt II to stay online, and funds a necessary wing overhaul, which was on the Air Force unfunded requirements list.
- Encourage Direct Hire Authority: Requests a status update and encourages swift implementation of DOD’s authorized use of direct hire authorities to resolve critical backlogs for civilians who work in DOD depots, ranges, and labs. As of today, the DOD has yet to implement the policy changes, leading to continued readiness issues.
- Support Women In STEM: Secures funds to support the creation of a center of excellence for promoting minority women in STEM at an Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), in efforts to increase the participation of all American citizens in defense and related national security efforts.
- Cyber-Training Initiatives: In 2013, the Secretary of Defense directed the standup of the Cyber Missions Forces and asked the Services to create a joint, federated cyber training program that would avoid duplication and build upon the strengths of each service. This language requests the issue be resolved in the next budget planning cycle and requests an update for the committee.
- Encourage Cross-Service Depot Maintenance: Expresses concern about this backlog and directs the Secretary of Defense to assess feasibility of using cross-service depot maintenance within the organic industrial base to avoid future backlogs. The Navy has a well-documented fighter pilot readiness problem due in large part to depot maintenance backlogs.
- Space-Based Sensor: Directs the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop a space-based sensor architecture using sound acquisition practices for a highly reliable and cost-effective persistent space-based sensor architecture capable of supporting the ballistic missile defense system. This is in response to the growing threat from North Korea and Iran to protect the homeland.
- Harness Commercial Off-The-Shelf Technology: Encourages DOD to use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology to save money from unnecessary R&D and help the DOD acquire new equipment and systems faster.
- M4 Rail: Although the Army has made over 90 upgrades to the M4 carbine rifle, it still uses a legacy rail system that is inferior to rails currently in use by other parts of the forces. This provision encourages the Army to examine using a free-float rail system, which would lead to greater accuracy for the warfighter compared to the current legacy rail.
- DLA Reverse Engineering: Ensures that DOD protects patented intellectual property that is shared by small businesses working with the Department.
- IUID Report: Directs DOD to report to Congress on the progress for complying with the Item Unique Identification (IUID) policy that was released in 2003. IUID helps better track DOD items and provides logistics and maintenance efficiencies.
- Holistic Equipment Strategy: Instructs DOD to take a holistic approach to the acquisition strategy for service members’ individual equipment. This is in an effort to help lighten the load for warfighters and encourage the latest commercially available materials to be integrated.
Senator Perdue is the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.
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