Rep. Austin Scott Secures Big Wins in House Passage of NDAA
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), the only Georgia Congressman on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), made the following statement upon the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (FY18 NDAA), which would provide funding for our nation’s military, passing the House by a vote of 344 to 81.
“As the only Georgia Congressman on the House Armed Services Committee, I take my responsibility as Georgia’s primary voice in the House on military issues very seriously. With nine major military installations, Georgia plays a key role in maintaining military readiness. That’s why effective representation of Robins and Moody Air Force Bases, in addition to all of Georgia’s military installations, is a top priority of mine,” said Rep. Scott. “I’m proud to report that after months of hard work and countless hours of debate, the House of Representatives has passed the FY18 NDAA giving a big boost to our nation’s military which has suffered detrimental cuts to critical areas during the last several years.”
Rep. Scott continued: “I now urge the Senate to act swiftly on NDAA to provide our military the resources they need to continue to be the most well trained and equipped fighting force in the world.”
The NDAA authorizes funding for our nation’s military, including $695.9 billion in topline national defense funding and Overseas Contingency Operations account. This bill helps to correct the funding shortfalls that have led to a lack of readiness and to a heightened level of risk to our troops and our security. It stops cuts to our Armed Forces, provides a 2.4% pay raise for our troops above the President’s request, and makes major reforms in several critical areas, including, streamlining business practices of the Department of the Defense and the acquisition system of the military services. The legislation also prohibits a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) for FY2018.
REP. SCOTT’S AMENDMENTS TO FY18 NDAA
Rep. Scott offered six bipartisan amendments, all of which were included in the final bill that passed the House:
- COMBAT PILOT READINESS: Rep. Scott’s first amendment would address the disparity between combat pilot training and the lack of budgetary and programmatic attention to address it.
- COMBATING TRANSNATIONAL CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS: Rep. Scott secured an amendment aimed at supporting the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and combating transnational criminal organizations. Click here to read more.
- JSTARS RECAPITALIZATION: Rep. Scott offered an amendment aimed at supporting and protecting the critically important the E–8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) fleet, which is based at Robins Air Force Base. JSTARS will receive $417 million for recapitalization efforts, four times more than last year’s NDAA.
- ROTC CYBER INSTITUTES AT THE SENIOR MILITARY COLLEGES: Rep. Scott offered an amendment to create a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Cyber Institute to address the Air Force and Department of Defense’s needs to train and recruit individuals into the fields of cyber security and cyber defense, including at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.
- SMALL ARMS MODERNIZATION: The fourth amendment would support modernization of the U.S. Army’s small arms acquisitions and capabilities by directing the Secretary of the Army to conduct and present to HASC a briefing on the advisability and feasibility of developing a small arms acquisition process, in particular for free-float rail systems for service rifles.
- TRICARE: Rep. Scott also offered an amendment to ensure a regular update of prescription drug pricing standards under the TRICARE retail pharmacy program. This ensures veterans who live in rural areas are not overpaying for TRICARE prescription drugs.
PROVIDING FOR CURRENT JSTARS NEEDS
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, Georgia.
JSTARS’ mission is enabled by leveraging its extremely capable active radar system providing invaluable moving target indicator (MTI) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance targeting information to multiple users both on the ground and in airborne attack platforms. The demand for MTI capability within each geographic combatant commander’s area of responsibility far exceeds what JSTARS can currently provide due to the limited size of the legacy fleet and overburdened crew resources.
In addition to securing $417 million for the JSTARS Recapitalization program and $13.8 million for the current legacy fleet of 16 E-8C aircraft, Rep. Scott was also able to negotiation through the amendment process an additional $23.1 million to make critical equipment upgrades to maintain viability until the current fleet is replaced by the Recapitalization program beginning in the late 2020s.
PREVENTING A BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURE (BRAC)
On Wednesday night, Rep. Scott spoke on the House Floor against an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (FY18 NDAA) offered by U.S. Representative Tom McClintock (CA-04) that would have allowed for conducting an additional round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). The measure to allow BRAC in FY18 NDAA failed by a vote of 175 to 248. Click here to read more.
OTHER PROVISIONS IN NDAA
Rep. Scott also co-sponsored a handful of amendments, including creating a pilot program on modernization electronic warfare, reauthorizing the Multi-Trade Demonstration Project, and requiring a biennial report on core depot maintenance and repair capabilities. Additionally, the A-10C Wing fleet is set to receive $103 million in funds for re-winging, which Moody Air Force Base will benefit from.