National Security & Defense

The United States military remains the most powerful fighting force in the world. We must keep it that way. A strong military is the best way to protect our freedom here at home and promote stability around the world.

Alabama has a long history of military excellence and hosts five bases across the state: Redstone Arsenal, Maxwell-Gunter, Fort Novosel, Anniston Army Depot, and Ft. McClellan Training Center Alabama National Guard. And, after an extensive selection process, Alabama should also soon be the permanent home of U.S. Space Command.

The men and women at these facilities are integral to our national security and Alabama is proud of their dedication to their fellow Americans.

We must make sophisticated, sustainable, and serious investments in our armed forces to give them the tools they need to protect the nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be outpaced in spending or development by those who wish to do us harm. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am committed to maintaining robust funding to increase the depth and lethality of our armed forces.

Alabama is also home to some of the brightest stars in the space industry. Huntsville, “The Rocket City”, plays a vital role in both commercial and national security space efforts — the city has been instrumental to America’s space programs since the Apollo era. I will continue to advocate for Redstone Arsenal, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, U.S. Space Command, and all of the guardian organizations that help ensure that the U.S. is at the forefront of this new frontier.

Making a Difference

I serve on the Armed Services Committee, which is responsible for authorizing our military each year through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). I work with my colleagues to make necessary investments through the NDAA and support our servicemembers and their families. I serve on important subcommittees that position me well to advocate for the American taxpayer and our service members:

  • As a member of the Subcommittee on Seapower, I will continue to work to restore America’s naval superiority and promote Alabama’s shipbuilding and maritime industries. As I have warned, we must stop shrinking the U.S. Navy, which is the country’s smallest fleet since 1917. The United States Constitution charged Congress to provide and maintain a Navy, which our founders saw as critical to the nation’s economic power and the freedoms we enjoy. I am honored to fulfill this vital duty on Seapower. 
  • I have vocally pressed the Biden administration to address military’s ongoing recruitment shortfall and invest in procurement to combat any enemy. As a member of the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, I will continue to fight for preparedness by restoring our weapons stockpile and investing in new technologies to maintain America’s advanced arsenal. 
  • Since the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces has jurisdiction over U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM), retaining my role on this subcommittee was one of my top priorities. I’ve led calls for the Air Force to act on its recommendation to place SPACECOM at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, and I am well-positioned to lead the entire Alabama delegation in supporting a smooth transition. This subcommittee also oversees America’s Missile Defense Agency, a responsibility I will leverage protect every American.

Our world is growing more dangerous with adversaries around the globe testing our resolve. It is critical we ensure our men and women in uniform have the resources necessary to combat threats from land, sea, sky, and space.

  • worked with my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee to champion our nation’s defense priorities and strengthen our country’s military readiness beyond the Biden administration’s insufficient budget.
  • I discussed how President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget ignored the realities facing our nation.
  • I urged President Biden to increase the defense budget by five percent above inflation to meet growing threats to U.S. national security. By an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved funding at $45 billion higher than the President’s dangerously insufficient request.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the annual bill used to provide funding levels for our nation’s armed forces and military priorities. In my second year on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I focused on five priorities in fiscal year 2023 (FY23) NDAA: risk taking, lethality, securing the Indo-Pacific, space, and capacity. I secured wins for our nation and Alabama in the NDAA, which I urged Democrats to pass and President Biden to sign for months. Though Democratic leadership held the bill until December 2022, it did pass the Senate by a veto-proof majority shortly before Christmas.

A full list of wins for the nation and Alabama  can be found in Coach Tuberville’s Defense Playbook.

  • Ending the Mandate:secured a provision to protect service members from the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate. 
  • Listening to Stakeholders: My team and I participated in more than 60 hearings and held more than 365 meetings with government officials, industry leaders, think tanks, and key stakeholders in preparation for the FY23 NDAA markups. 
  • Boosting Military Spending: I pushed to increase the overall military budget by $45 billion above President Biden’s proposal. This increase will fund improvements for Alabama’s military bases and additional weapons research, development, and production in Alabama. 
  • Securing Wins for Alabama’s Installations: I secured funding for upgrades, new construction, research, and other vital programs at military installations across Alabama. The NDAA authorizes funding for: 
  1. a new gate inspection area at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, 
  2. the extension of a pilot program that allows service members who work at Maxwell — but live off-base — to send their children to the base school, 
  3. additional resources — including funding for a physics lab and the Missile and Space Intelligence Center — for Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, 
  4. the construction of a new FBI warehouse at Redstone Arsenal, 
  5. additional support for the Security Services Training Facility at the Sumpter-Smith Air National Guard Base in Birmingham, and 
  6. additional resources to bolster America’s missile defense stockpile, expanding the number of Alabamians supporting our military’s lethal force. 
  • Fighting for SPACECOM’s Relocation to Huntsville: I continued my fight against attempts to derail the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) decision to permanently locate U.S. Space Command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville during Senate Armed Services Committee hearings, and I urged my colleagues to support the USAF’s decision. 
  • Investing in Cybersecurity: I helped reauthorize the National Computer Forensics Institute in Hoover, AL, and provided resources to expand its capability to train federal law enforcement officers. This institute is the only of its kind in the nation and provides innovative training for law enforcement officials on how to combat cybercrimes. 
  • Promoting Clean, Safe Nuclear Energy: I introduced the Thorium Energy Security Act to stop the destruction of Uranium 233 (U-233), a critical element used to produce clean energy. I secured a provision requiring the DoD to study three aspects of thorium: 1) how it can be useful for our military, for example, in powering key bases and hardening installations, 2) how our adversaries such as China are employing thorium in their militaries, and 3) how thorium might be used as propulsion and power as we continue our leadership in space exploration.

Small defense contractors are the backbone of our defense industry, providing the innovation and resources necessary so our military can remain at the top of their game. In the past 30 years, these businesses have struggled to compete with large defense contractors, causing a drastic reduction in the industry. I have sought out ways to provide long-term viability for our small defense contractors.

  • To prevent dangerous delays in our national defense pipeline, I pushed back against President Biden’s COVID vaccine mandates for federal defense contractors. 
  • Throughout the NDAA process, my team and I participated in hundreds of meetings with stakeholders, including defense contractors, to guide Alabama’s producers successfully through the process. 
  • I led an effort to support Alabama’s clothing and textile manufactures by calling for targeted action from the Department of Defense (DoD) to address constraints placed on companies from COVID and inflation. 
  • In the previous Congress, I fought for the authorization of a pilot program to incentivize employee ownership for government contractors and championed an effort to increase the threshold for 100% employee-owned businesses to remain small-business eligible even as they grow past 1,000 employees. This allowed for continued access to critical resources to promote sustained growth.

Our military needs to do what it does best – defend our country and its freedoms. I pushed back against the politicization and misuse of our military and opposed nominees from the Biden administration who do not have the temperament and judgement necessary to lead our national defense.

  • uncovered Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s plan to change the military’s abortion policy and force taxpayers to subsidize thousands more abortions per year, a move in violation of federal law. In response, I informed Secretary Austin I will not allow any Department of Defense nominees that come before the Senate to move forward as long as this radical policy is in place.
  • I stressed to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that our military must stay focused on their mission, remain apolitical, and not be subject to “woke indoctrination.”
  • I strongly opposed President Biden’s unfit nominee for the third highest position within the Department of Defense. WATCH.
  • joined colleagues in asking the Department of Defense to complete a full financial audit to ensure all taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately. The American people deserve a military that is focused on national security, and the Pentagon must use taxpayer funds exclusively for national defense, not ‘woke’ programs that do nothing for our security.

The Communist Chinese Party seeks to overtake the United States as the top global superpower. We must face China’s growing military and non-military threats with clear-eyed resolve. 

  • highlighted the many threats Communist China poses to our country and urged my colleagues to take commonsense steps to combat Chinese aggression. WATCH.
  • spoke about the danger of China’s non-military threats to the U.S. interests at home and abroad.
  • I traveled to the Indo-Pacific region to support the U.S. military’s largest combatant command, meet with our allies and partners, and discuss ways to counter Chinese aggression.

The American people deserve answers about President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. I pushed for accountability and transparency from all levels of the Biden administration. 

  • I pressed President Biden and top administration officials for answers regarding the exit from Afghanistan that cost American lives and made our world less safe.
  • I called on the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold hearings about the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • ‘‘To those soldiers, sailors, Marines, airman, and guardsmen who served in Afghanistan, I promise you this: we will get answers from this Administration.’ WATCH my full floor speech. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine needed to be met with a swift and strong response from the Biden administration, but instead President Biden has led from behind. President Biden’s weakness on the world stage is a top concern.

  • To protect the American taxpayer, I repeatedly called for responsible support for Ukraine, emphasizing that all financial assistance should come with guardrails and accountability measures to ensure responsible spending.
  • discussed the global impact of Vladimir Putin’s unjustified war against Ukraine and the forceful condemnation from NATO and our allies. WATCH 
  • called on my colleagues in the U.S. Senate and our allies to ensure Russia pays a heavy price for Putin’s aggression.
  • spoke about how China is eyeing the Western world’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. WATCH.
  • pressed the Biden administration to unleash the full force of sanctions on the Russian economy and take swift action to provide the Ukrainian people the tools they need to defend themselves.  WATCH.

The United States should not enter any version of the failed 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. The United States should stand strong against our adversaries, like Iran, not negotiate favorable deals with them.

  • urged the Biden administration to abandon any negotiations to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal and discussed how any deal would not be in the best interests of the United States. WATCH.
  • “The nuclear limitations in this new deal appear to be significantly less restrictive than the 2015 nuclear deal, which was itself too weak, and will sharply undermine U.S. leverage to secure an actually ‘longer and stronger’ deal.” READ more here.