Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces released the following statement after the House overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act:
“All of the provisions I included in the National Defense Authorization Act remained in the bill and overwhelmingly passed the House today, bringing our community one step closer to getting $182 million for a new building at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. I fought for key provisions in this bill to bolster our community, ensure the safety of our men and women in uniform, and keep our country secure. I will continue to fight for these provisions as we move into working with the Senate on the final defense bill.”
Provisions included by Chairman Turner in the FY19 NDAA:
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB)
Chairman Turner surpassed the President’s budget and authorized the full $182 million for a new complex at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at WPAFB.
Chairman Turner included a provision to expedite hiring of civilian personnel into positions involving acquisition, science, technology, and engineering. These expanded authorities allow commands at WPAFB to more quickly hire personnel in high-tech fields.
Chairman Turner included an amendment to create flexibility and strengthen the utilization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, both utilized by the Air Force Research Laboratory.
PERSIST Against MST Act
Chairman Turner, co-chair of the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, included bipartisan legislation with his co-chair Niki Tsongas (D-MA-3) to continue to combat sexual assault in the military. The PERSIST Against MST Act:
- Requires the Secretary of Defense to designate a single official or entity within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to take on the principal responsibility for providing oversight of the registered sex offender management program of the DoD and to provide a briefing to Congress on its efforts with an update no later than June 1, 2019;
- Ensures that victims of sexual assault in the military, even if their case is handled by the Family Advocacy Program, have the choice to request an expedited transfer to a different location;
- Mandates the government hand over any information requested by an independent panel, the Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces, that the panel deems necessary to carry out its duties.
Maria Lauterbach, a victim of sexual assault who was murdered and was a constituent of Chairman Turner’s, was unable to transfer quickly. That failure by the DoD may have cost Maria her life. The inclusion of the PERSIST Against MST Act in the FY19 NDAA is a step towards ensuring this cannot happen again.
Furthermore, Chairman Turner included a provision in the FY19 NDAA to require a minimum two year confinement period for members of the Armed Forces convicted of certain sex-related offenses.
Chairman Turner’s SHIELDS Act, introduced with Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA-6), was included in the FY19 NDAA. This bill requires the DoD to report controlled substance prescription information to state prescription drug monitoring programs. This closes a dangerous gap and ensures health care providers have all the tools available to help safeguard our servicemembers, their families, and our veterans from opioid abuse.
Chairman Turner included provisions following up on his Evan’s Law to ensure DoD provided housing is safe for military families. This year’s provision requires DoD to establish a grant program that gives servicemembers living in DoD housing access to resources to emplace window fall prevention devices in their homes. Commander Jason English and his wife Ami lost their son Evan in an accidental fall from a window while living in military residential housing. Chairman Turner has worked to ensure that does not happen again.
Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee
Chairman Turner’s Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee mark, included in the full committee FY19 NDAA bill:
- Authorizes multiyear procurement authorities for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft to generate better cost savings for the taxpayer and provide needed capability to the Navy.
- Supports Air Force efforts to develop a 21st century Advanced Battle-Management System (ABMS) to mitigate anti-access, area-denial challenges of potential adversaries by integrating the JSTARS Recap program as the foundational platform for ABMS. The mark requires the Secretary of the Air Force to continue the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Recapitalization (JSTARS Recap) program which will significantly increase Battle-Management, Command and Control, and Ground-Moving Target Indicator intelligence capabilities and capacity over what’s provided to the combatant commanders today, and to minimize operational risk to joint warfighters as concluded in multiple years of past Air Force analyses.
- Allows the Secretary of the Air Force to use the JSTARS Recap program to attract the civilian workers necessary to update this important aircraft.
- Works to facilitate mitigation efforts to better address physiological episodes in tactical and training aircraft, and requires the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of the Air Force to certify that any new aircraft will all have the most recent technological advancements necessary to mitigate PEs.
- Directs the Secretary of the Army to conduct a cost-benefit assessment and analysis of using multi-year procurement contracts for armored brigade combat team vehicle modernization to generate better cost-savings and better stability in the industrial base.
- Works to strengthen and improve ISR investment strategies in order to more efficiently and effectively meet combatant commander ISR requirements.
- Requires the Secretary of Defense to provide a detailed cost estimate and baseline schedule for the F-35 continuous capability development and delivery program.
- Works to improve short range air defense (SHORAD) as well as indirect fires protection capability. Directs the Secretary of the Army to provide an accelerated acquisition strategy for the Army’s interim maneuverable SHORAD initiative, as well as identify requirements that are similar to both the SHORAD and counter-UAS missions.
- Advances the development and procurement of lighter, stronger and more advanced personal protective equipment systems for all warfighters.
- Sets the conditions and encourages the Department to explore opportunities to accelerate the Future Vertical Lift program in order to meet national security challenges.