Rep. Austin Scott: FY19 NDAA Provides Critical Resources for Our Nation’s Military
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), released the following statement upon HASC passing late last night the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, H.R. 5515. The NDAA sets Department of Defense (DOD) policy and authorizes funding levels for defense programs. The FY 19 NDAA was passed out of Committee by a vote of 60 to 1.
“After fourteen and a half hours, the House Armed Services Committee successfully approved $717 billion in resources and support for our men and women in uniform,” said Rep. Scott. “For the last 57 years, Congress has passed this monumental and bipartisan legislation providing for our troops and keeping our country safe. It goes without saying that in this day and age, with the stalemate in Washington, it is a testament to the importance of this piece of legislation and implementing policies that back those who protect and defend our nation.”
Rep. Scott continued: “I am very pleased with the measures the Committee passed which build upon our continuing efforts to replace equipment and platforms, field new technologies, strengthen our cyber and ground defenses, and take care of our warfighters. As this legislation heads to the House Floor for further discussion, I look forward to continuing to push for policies that maintain our military’s ability to be the most capable fighting force in the world.”
Key provisions of the $717 billion defense legislation include providing a 2.6% pay raise for our troops – the largest in nearly a decade – and addressing force structure concerns by increasing the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, as well as Air Guard. In support of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ efforts to restore military readiness, the FY19 NDAA authorizes $18.5 billion to begin to rehabilitate and replace worn out Army equipment; $39.4 billion to begin to overcome the crisis in military aviation by getting more aircraft in the air; $36 billion to restore America’s strength at sea, and $23.3 billion to sustain, repair and rebuild crumbling military buildings and other infrastructure.
The FY19 NDAA also contains several additional provisions benefitting Georgia, including $31.9 million for a Welding and Body Repair Shop Facility at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, $99 million for a Cyber Instructional Facility at Fort Gordon in Augusta, and $13.6 million for a Navy Reserve Training Center at Fort Benning in Columbus.
PROVIDING FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE JSTARS NEEDS AT ROBINS:
The E–8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) is a joint Air Force and Army program that provides critical airborne surveillance, intelligence, and command and control to our military through on-board radar and computer subsystems equipment that gathers and distributes detailed battlefield information. Combatant commanders utilize the JSTARS fleet around the world, and it is based at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, GA.
Rep. Scott was able to secure $623 million for the JSTARS Recapitalization program, which is set to replace the current legacy fleet of 16 E-8C beginning in the early 2020s. This builds upon $417 million which Rep. Scott was able to secure for the recapitalization program in FY18 NDAA.
This will significantly increase Battle Management, Command and Control, and Ground Moving Target Indicator intelligence capabilities and capacity over what’s provided to combatant commanders today, and will require the Secretary of the Air Force to submit a strategy for accelerating the JSTARS Recapitalization program, while also managing appropriately the current fleet.
SECURING FUNDS FOR A-10C REWINGING AT MOODY:
The A-10C Wing fleet is set to receive $65 million in funds for re-winging, which Moody Air Force Base will benefit from, to keep A-10s flying well into the future.
The legislation also includes five amendments authored by Rep. Scott:
- STRENGTHENING URBAN WARFARE TRAINING: Complete a feasibility study on the construction of an urban warfare training center, and how to integrate facilities into training plans.
- MODERNIZING THE E-15: Dedicates $67.2 million to support four F-15C Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) production kits, the work for which is done at Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex (WR-ALC).
- ADDRESSING WIFI ON RURAL BASES: Requires the DOD to construct a plan to address military installations in rural areas with limited wireless communications coverage to improve wireless communications coverage, which can support military requirements related to force protection, logistics, training, and operations, as well as service member welfare.
- COMBATING THE INTERNATIONAL FLOW OF DRUGS: Requires the DOD to conduct an assessment of the assistance being provided to lead U.S. government agencies to combat the opioid epidemic, including through assessing the international flow of drugs coming into the United States from South and East Asia.
- ASSESSING SECURITY FORCES ASSISTANCE BRIGADES: Requires the Secretary of the Army to submit a briefing to the Committee on the strategic alignment decision matrix and installations plan for the fielding of the Security Forces Assistance Brigades (SFAB), to include an assessment of the feasibility and advisability of stationing SFABs appropriately to address the requirements of the geographic combatant commands.