WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The NDAA now heads to the Senate for a vote.
“An essential role of Congress is providing for the common defense, and the NDAA does just that by authorizing the resources our services members need to protect our freedoms at home and abroad,” Senator Tuberville said. “It’s a strong bill for our national defense and for the state of Alabama, and I commend the House for passing this bipartisan, bicameral agreement language. As it stands, I would be proud to support the bill as written when it comes over to the Senate.”
“The Senate Armed Services Committee concluded our work on this bill in July, and since then, our adversaries have wasted no time testing our resolve and ratcheting up their defense capabilities. Thankfully, our military is now one step closer to having the resources to do the same. We need to meet the challenges of the threats we face in this moment. The sooner we do that, the stronger and safer our nation will be.”
The FY22 NDAA restores funding for shipbuilding, procurement, and missile defense, reversing President Biden’s cuts to national security funding. It increases topline defense spending by $25 billion above what President Biden asked for in his defense budget, and it supports our troops by including a 2.7% pay increase and improvements to military health care, housing, and leave policy. Further, it supports military families by ensuring military spouses have access to meaningful employment when they move around the country.
Importantly, the bill prohibits service members from being dishonorably discharged for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine – an issue on which Senator Tuberville has been a vocal leader.
The FY22 NDAA is tough on our adversaries, directing much needed resources to the Indo-Pacific in order to deter and, if necessary, defeat Chinese aggression. The bill also provides key support to Ukraine in the face of a possible Russian invasion by increasing funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative by $50 million above President Biden’s request, authorizing a total of $300 million for this purpose and guaranteeing $75 million for lethal assistance that will send a strong signal to Putin. Included in the bill is support for key allies in the Indo-Pacific, like Taiwan, and other key alliances, like NATO. A summary of the FY22 NDAA priorities can be found here.
ALABAMA PRIORITIES IN THE FY22 NDAA:
Giving Our Military the Tools to do the Job.
Topline Defense Spending Increase
Senator Tuberville actively worked with the Committee to reach a bipartisan agreement to increase the overall spending topline for the Department of Defense by $25 billion to make sure our military remains the world’s strongest force. The Senator championed dozens of critical items on military leaders’ priority lists, chief among them growing the size of our navy and providing missile defenses for our troops in harm’s way.
Staying Ahead of China.
Senator Tuberville prioritized robust funding authorization for hypersonic development and testing. This investment accelerates the country’s timeline to a fully-capable hypersonic missile while simultaneously assisting our missile defense capability with tracking hypersonic, ballistic, and cruise missiles. Senator Tuberville specifically championed Huntsville’s Missile Defense Agency so that the U.S. can increase its lead in securing our nation and allies from missile attack.
High Energy Laser (HEL) Technology Integration
Senator Tuberville sough targeted funding to continue development of high-energy lasers. Alabama leads the nation in many aspects of laser research, breakthroughs in which will allow greater protection from drones, missiles, and other battlefield threats.
Securing America’s Interests in Space
Advanced Satellite Development
Senator Tuberville fought to address critical technological gaps in the FY2022 NDAA by accelerating investment in satellite systems to address cyber vulnerabilities through remote sensing technologies and services. As Huntsville prepares to be the home of Space Command, new capabilities in the advancement of satellite development and space-based communications are critical.
Senator Tuberville secured authorization for funds to support repair and maintenance for Dannelly Field in Montgomery – home of the historic Tuskegee Red Tails at the 187th Fighter Wing. As the 187th transitions to the F-35 over the next two years, upgraded infrastructure and facilities will be needed to support the squadron and maintenance operations.
Building America’s Navy: Shipbuilding and U.S. Naval Superiority
Expeditionary Fast Transport
Senator Tuberville delivered a win to the Gulf’s shipbuilding industry by providing the authorization of two Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels in Fiscal Year 2022. These vessels rapidly deliver troops and equipment in an operationally sound manner which directly bolsters maritime defense.
Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) 51 Flight III
Senator Tuberville fulfilled the Navy’s top funding priority, delivering resources for a second Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) 51 Flight III. The Flight III DDG provides increased multi-mission capability and capacities to combat evolving threats.
Fighting for Small Businesses Leading Innovation Efforts
Senator Tuberville fought for authorization of a pilot program that would incentivize employee ownership for government defense contractors. This public-private partnership, would reward small businesses that are 100 percent employee owned. Alabama is proud to host some of the most advanced defense contractors in the nation, many of which are small businesses that are leading the charge on innovation.
Improving quality-of-life issues for service members
After visiting each of Alabama’s major military bases this year, Senator Tuberville sought $6.6 million to improve one of the Army’s top unfunded priorities, the dilapidated barracks at Fort Rucker.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.