WASHINGTON, D.C.--Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, released the following statement after House-passage of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“The FY2016 NDAA provides our men and women in uniform with the resources needed to ensure safety and security across the country and protect our interests abroad. As our nation continues to address some of the most complex security challenges in recent history, we must make certain that our military is properly equipped to carry out the mission.
“Furthermore, I am proud of the steps taken by my subcommittee to protect the responsiveness of the defense industrial base and provide the necessary resources to modernize our military against current and future threats.”
The FY2016 NDAA also includes all provisions of the Support Uniformed Patriots; Prevent Offenses and Restore Trust Act (SUPPORT Act), which seeks to combat the issue of sexual assault in the military. Congressman Turner and Congresswoman Tsongas, as co-chairs of the Military Sexual Assault and Prevention Caucus, introduced the SUPPORT Act earlier this year.
“Congresswoman Tsongas and I have long worked together on leading the fight to eradicate sexual assault in our military. The provisions of our bill, included in the FY2016 NDAA, will further protect both military and civilian victims and hold perpetrators firmly accountable under the law.”
“With these provisions, the FY2016 NDAA strengthens our national security and provides protections for our service members. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to follow the leadership of the House, and I look forward to continuing the bipartisan, bicameral effort to strengthen our military.”
Included below is a breakdown of provisions championed by Congressman Turner in the FY16 NDAA
Sexual Assault in the Military
Additionally, The FY16 NDAA includes all provisions of the Support Uniformed Patriots; Prevent Offenses and Restore Trust Act (SUPPORT Act), which seeks to combat the issue of sexual assault in the military. The SUPPORT Act was introduced earlier this year by the Military Sexual Assault and Prevention Caucus co-chairs, Congressman Turner and Congresswoman Tsongas.
The SUPPORT ACT
- Requires sexual assault prevention and response training for all Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) personnel.
- Requires the DOD to create a comprehensive strategy to prevent retaliation and protect those who experience it, as well as improved training for commanders.
- Provide a way for the DOD’s civilian employees to gain access to the special victims counsel program
- Enhances Special Victim Counsel (SVC) Program, ensuring advocates receive systematic training and an evolution process is put in place.
- Requires the DOD to better train and educate service members about the sexual assault of men; provides the medical and mental health needs specific to male survivors and develop Department-wide metrics in order to better understand the issue and address it.
- Prevents a sexual assault survivor’s mental health record from being released without an order from a military judge.
- Requires the Department of Defense to implement changes to the military justice systems in way to ensure fair and equal treatment across the services.
“I have also included language that encourages the Air Force to expand its Minority Leader Program which works directly with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It is my hope that this provision will help Wilberforce University and Central State University to do more outreach, research and scientific recruitment with students at these schools.
Protection of Child Custody Rights for Members of the Armed Forces
The FY15 NDAA included a provision amending the Service Members Civil Relief Act by prohibiting a court from using a deployment as the sole factor when determining child custody arrangements for military parents. This year’s bill builds on that success by encouraging the Department to work with both State courts and military parents to make certain that everyone is aware of these important changes to federal law.
Attendance at Professional and Technical Conferences
The bill recognizes the value associated with participation in professional and technical conferences by some Department of Defense personnel—especially those working in such fields as engineering and science and tech. This year’s committee report requires the Department to review current policies and encourages that appropriate consideration be given to such conferences going forward.
Authority for U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) to Charge and Retain Tuition for Instruction of Persons Other Than Air Force Personnel Detailed for Instruction at the Institute
Section 591 of the FY16 NDAA amends current law by authorizing AFIT to enroll non-Air Force personnel and charge and retain tuition for such persons. This section will create a new revenue stream for AFIT and ensure that the institute remains strong for many years to come.
Renaming Site of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, Ohio
Section 2851 of the FY16 NDAA would modify the name of the John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center, Dayton, Ohio, to the John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers National Museum, Dayton, Ohio.
Air Force Minority Leaders Program
The committee report encourages the Air Force to expand its Minority Leaders Program, which works directly with Historically Black Colleges and Universities on a host of critical government research tasks. This provision will provide Wilberforce University and Central State University by providing greater ability to compete for various research opportunities.
Pharmacy Replacement at WPAFB
The bill provides $6.6 million for a new pharmacy at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The FY16 NDAA provides an additional $10 million above the President’s request for technology transfer activities. The additional funding is a benefit to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as it will allow the lab to leverage private sector capabilities in order to provide our warfighters with game changing technologies.
Tactical Air & Land Forces Subcommittee
- Provides for the procurement and development of the most up-to-date body armor and personal protective equipment systems.
- Supports the F-35 program with additional aircraft and continued testing and development, while achieving targeted savings and increasing accountability on the F-35 engine program and other logistics systems.
- Addresses the Department of the Navy’s concerns regarding shortfalls in tactical strike fighter aircraft and addresses a Navy unfunded requirement for additional F/A-18F Super Hornets.
- Supports National Guard aviation programs to include additional aircraft and upgrades to UH-60 Blackhawks, along with requiring additional accountability on the prioritization and distribution strategy employed by the National Guard Bureau.
- Compensates for the shortsighted removal of heavy equipment from Europe by proposing to upgrade the lethality of current Stryker Combat Vehicles.