Tuberville In the News: Alabama Today: Tommy Tuberville: NDAA will ‘Maintain our role as the leading superpower’

The U.S. Senate passed the final version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday and sent it to President Joe Biden’s desk. U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville said that the version of the NDAA that passed the Senate contained several key wins for Alabama.

“The importance of passing a strong NDAA cannot be overstated,” said Senator Tuberville. “To maintain our role as the world’s leading superpower, we must also maintain the world’s most modern, prepared, and lethal military. Bolstering our force and military capabilities ensures we are ready to defeat any enemy at any time. I am proud of my work on the Senate Armed Services Committee to draft legislation that gives the military the tools it needs to keep our country safe.”

Tuberville said that the FY23 NDAA contained several provisions that directly impacted Alabama.

“Alabama has been at the forefront of America’s national defense network for decades,” Tuberville said. “More than 50,000 Alabamian service members and Department of Defense civilian officials work around the clock to defend the United States. The FY23 NDAA expands resources for our state to continue that work and provides for crucial updates and additions to America’s military.”

The FY23 NDAA increases the overall topline spending by $45 billion over President Biden’s defense request. The NDAA provides a 4.6% pay raise for service members and additional hiring authorities and incentives in key sectors, including cybersecurity, advanced technology, and space personnel. The FY23 NDAA also grows the U.S. Navy, which was prioritized due to China’s rapid expansion of its navy.

Tuberville said that the FY23 NDAA contained several of his priorities, including wins for Alabama. These include:

The decision to locate Space Command at Redstone was the subject of independent investigations by the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Defense’s Inspector General, both of which found the selection of Redstone to be fair, logical, and fact-based. The final USSPACECOM basing decision is still under review, pending an announcement from the Secretary of the Air Force.  

Tuberville sought to expand U.S. Air Force and Space Force leaders the ability to support research and training activities for students planning to enter the national security space workforce. These opportunities will help advance the knowledge base and programs regarding space domain awareness, positioning, navigation, timing (PNT), hypersonics, and cybersecurity.

Sen. Tuberville advocated fully funding and acknowledging the importance of the DoD’s National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program. 60% of the rockets to be used in Phase Two of the NSSL are manufactured in Alabama.

Tuberville supported the authorization of funding for a third Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG-51) and two Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ships. Tuberville also opposed the early and unnecessary retirement of ships, including Littoral Combat Ships, landing dock ships, guided missile cruisers, and expeditionary transfer docks.

The senator championed a reporting requirement to study the U.S. Navy’s repair and maintenance capabilities with special emphasis on readiness and expanded industrial base needs, in addition to research and analysis on the capacity of private shipyards in the U.S.

Due to attempts to force the early retirement of several Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), Tuberville supported a provision to require the commander of U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) to assess the potential benefits of assigning four–six LCSs to the combatant command.

He also supported U.S. Strategic Command’s (USSTRATCOM) only unfunded priority — the Sea-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM-N). The NDAA continues working towards the development of a nuclear Sea-Launched Cruise Missile.

The Javelin missile, built in Troy, has decimated Russian armored forces in the Ukraine War. Since the U.S. has given away nearly half of our arsenal of Javelins to Ukraine, Tuberville pushed hard both replenish U.S. stocks and modernize the Javelin.

At Tuberville’s insistence, the NDAA authorizes robust funding for developing and procuring a missile defense system for Guam.

Tuberville advocated for a provision requiring a study on efforts to recruit and retain Army personnel who specialize in air and missile defense systems.

Tuberville was proud to support policy provisions and funding authorization for the following military facilities across the state.

Redstone Arsenal: Physics Laboratory ($44 million), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Warehouses ($53 million), Advanced Analysis Facility ($150 million), and Backup Power Generation ($11 million) for the Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC). Tuberville also supported robust funding for the Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) and Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programs; Long-Range Precision Fires technology; Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite capabilities; and Advanced air and missile defense technology and systems. The NDAA directs the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to produce a report on ways to increase warning time for threats from an American adversary; it also authorizes the establishment of a position to serve as the Defense Intelligence Officer for Indications and Warning.

The NDAA includes several provisions for Fort Rucker (Novasel). These include the procurement of additional CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Black Hawks, and AH-64 Apache helicopters and procuring Army Air Traffic Control ground support systems to support Army Air Traffic Services Command, based at Fort Rucker.

Tuberville supported DoD efforts at Aviation Training Center Coast Guard Base (Mobile, AL). These include $68 million in electronic support equipment for the U.S. Coast Guard.

At the Montgomery Regional Airport (Dannelly Field – Air National Guard, 187th Fighter Wing), Tuberville supported: F-35 Weapons Load Crew Training.

At Sumpter Smith Air National Guard Base – 117th Air Refueling Wing (Birmingham International Airport), Tuberville supported new security services and training facilities.

For the Anniston Army Depot, Tuberville supported the procurement of additional Abrams tanks, the procurement of additional Stryker vehicles, and improved M88 recovery vehicles.

After it came to his attention this spring that the horses used to pull the funeral caissons at Arlington National Cemetery were living in unsanitary conditions, Tuberville vowed to fix the issue. His colleagues agreed, and the NDAA requires the Secretary of the Army to implement the recommendations of the equine veterinarian’s inspection findings for the Fort Myer Caisson Barns/Paddocks and Fort Belvoir Caisson Pasture Facility. It also requires that the Secretary of the Army submit a master plan for the housing and care of all the horses within the care of the Old Guard, prioritizing their no-fail mission of honoring our nation’s heroes over other base functions that could be located elsewhere.