Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces released the following statement after the President signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 into law today:
“This law represents hundreds of hours of bipartisan work to ensure our military is fully equipped to handle every threat it may face in the coming year and rebuild our readiness. It includes provisions to make military housing safer for families, help survivors of military sexual assault be heard, and keep the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Ohio. Within the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee’s jurisdiction, this law authorizes over $12.6 billion in additional funds to address unfunded modernization requirements and critical capability gaps.
Today the President rightfully called again for an end to the sequestration of national defense. The FY18 NDAA overspends what the sequester budget caps allow by $151 billion. Playing politics and using billions of our national defense budget as a bargaining chip needs to end now. Our troops face enough uncertainty--their budget shouldn’t be on the list of things they need to worry about.”
BE HEARD Act Included in NDAA
Chairman Turner and Ranking Member Niki Tsongas (MA-03), co-chairs of the Military Sexual Assault Caucus, were able to include their BE HEARD Act as part of the NDAA. Inclusion of this language in the NDAA makes it easier for survivors of military sexual assault to BE HEARD by:
- Expanding specialized training for military Special Victims’ Counsel (SVCs);
- Allowing the military’s highest court to hear the appeals of sexual assault survivors on decisions while a trial is ongoing; and
- Permitting military judges to appoint legal representatives for sexual assault survivors who are minors or who are otherwise incapable of representing themselves before charges are filed against a reported perpetrator.
Evan’s Law Included in NDAA
Congressman Turner’s Evan’s Law was included as part of the NDAA. Evan’s Law requires the Department of Defense (DoD) to implement military residential window safety measures to protect against unintentional falls by young children.
National Aviation Hall of Fame
Congressman Turner included language in this year’s NDAA to amend the congressional charter of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, ensuring the organization stays headquartered in Ohio. To learn more about Congressman Turner’s effort to keep the NAHF in Ohio, click here.
Child Custody Protection
Congressman Turner included language in this year’s NDAA that requires the Secretary of Defense to brief the House Armed Services Committee on the information and resources currently provided to service members regarding State child custody laws, including an analysis of how best to standardize distribution of this information to affected service members.
Congressman Turner included language in this year’s NDAA that recognizes the role NATO defense industries have played in weapon systems programs through partnerships and supply chain activities. It also directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing on joint weapon system development and coordination and interoperability efforts with NATO members and defense industries. This NDAA also provides a plan for the future of the European Deterrence Initiative, funds used to strengthen our allies and their common defense on the continent.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) Funding in NDAA
This year’s NDAA authorized funding for WPAFB to provide commercial off-the-shelf equipment and technologies such as civil engineers construction, surveying, and mapping equipment commonly used in U.S. commercial construction and other industries.
Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee
Congressman Turner is the Chairman of the Subcommittee that worked to authorize over $12.6 billion in additional funding as part of the conference agreement for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. The subcommittee authorized the following programs:
The NDAA authorizes key investments to accelerate fielding of new, more effective, lethal, and reliable and cost-effective platforms. It also provides additional capacity for high-demand assets to reduce the stress on the force, rebuild the depth-of-bench in critical capability areas, and begins a path to restoring full-spectrum readiness.
Armored Brigade Combat Team Modernization
Under the President’s budget, the Army will not complete modernizing their Abrams tanks until 2035. The NDAA provides additional funding to address unfunded requirements to accelerate armored brigade combat team modernization and works to restore needed to capability to Army Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs) to ensure continued ground combat overmatch.
Maintaining Air Dominance
The NDAA provides the authority for the procurement of Economic Order Quantities for F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to reduce costs to the taxpayer by authorizing bulk procurement of common manufacturing materials while also requiring continued oversight through DOD certifications regarding design stability and cost savings estimates. It also directs a report on the extension of the System Design and Development (SDD) phase of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which is expected to finish in FY18.
To address unfunded requirements and to accelerate modernization of Army rotorcraft for the Active and Reserve Components, the NDAA provides additional funding for UH-60M Blackhawks, AH-64E Apaches, and CH-47F Chinook helicopters.
The conferees remain concerned about shortfalls in critical munitions. To address this gap, the NDAA authorizes additional funding for critical munitions in war reserves, improves the manufacturing capacity of the munitions industrial base, and accelerates long range precision fires programs.
Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) is a critical capability of our military that enables warfighters to effectively build situational awareness to mitigate operational risk while accomplishing their missions. Repeated testimony from senior military leaders indicates a significant ISR shortfall within multiple intelligence disciplines. The NDAA makes progress on addressing this shortfall by strengthening and improving ISR investment strategies in order to better meet combatant commander ISR requirements.