WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) released the following statement after the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was reported out of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) last night. During the committee’s markup process, Sen. Tuberville showed his commitment to fighting for Alabama’s defense priorities and worked diligently to secure amendments that will directly benefit Alabama’s installations and bolster our country’s military readiness in the face of adversaries like China and Russia.
“I’ve made it my mission to visit our commanders in the field and Alabama’s military communities to hear from our service men and women directly so I can be their voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee,” Sen. Tuberville said. “This year, in every vote I cast during the National Defense Authorization Act, I asked if it would be in the best interest of our country and responsible to the taxpayer. I’m proud of how Alabama supports our military and I’ve encouraged my colleagues in the Senate to rise to meet the grave threats facing our nation.”
The top Republican on the Committee, SASC Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said, “Senator Tuberville has made important contributions to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act as a first-year member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. His provisions will strengthen our national defense by leveraging the expertise and abilities of Alabama’s military installations and industry, including world-class shipbuilding, a vibrant defense workforce, and Army modernization, Space Force implementation, and missile defense efforts.”
A summary of the FY22 NDAA priorities can be found here. Alabama priorities included in the FY22 NDAA are below.
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 3 percent real growth (over inflation) 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.
Creating a U.S. Space National Guard
Senator Tuberville secured a new Force reserve component within the National Guard. This will directly enhance the readiness and lethality of U.S. Space Force.
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.