Thursday night, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 passed the House of Representatives. Many of Congressman Blake Moore’s provisions advocating for Hill Air Force Base and Utah’s defense community were included in the passed legislation.
“Putting forth a defense bill that serves the needs of both the warfighter and military families continues to be one of my top priorities in Congress,” said Congressman Blake Moore. “For the second year in a row, the Biden Administration’s defense budget recklessly disregarded the impacts of inflation, attrition, and peer competition on our military. The defense bill passed by the House yesterday reverses injurious cuts to our military and restores funding for procurement, research, and training while also protecting the rights and resources for our military families. A significant majority of my provisions that advocate for Hill Air Force Base and Utah’s defense community were included in the passed package. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues and the conference committee to further refine and improve this bill.”
Many provisions beneficial to Utah were included in the National Defense Authorization Act, including, but not limited to, the following:
Hill Air Force Base modernization: Provides a strategy for replacing the 1200 series facilities at Hill Air Force Base. 66 of the buildings at Hill Air Force Base (HAFB) were constructed over 80 years ago, and HAFB’s expanded administrative functions and personnel no longer fit in these facilities.
Utah Test and Training Range improvements: Supports efforts to field threat emitter capabilities to help the Utah Test and Training Range reach its full potential as the largest overland restricted airspace in the United States. Adjacent to HAFB, threat emitters are necessary to help 5th generation F-35 pilots train as they fight.
Ground Based Strategic Deterrent “Sentinel” Program: Fully funds the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent to avoid harmful delays to nuclear modernization and provides HAFB the ability to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent. This program is expected to bring as many as 4,000 new jobs and six new buildings to Utah’s defense community.
Housing for airmen: Directs the Air Force to address the inadequate quality and capacity of barracks across the country. Due to aging infrastructure and rising costs, housing for many military personnel remains a challenge and hurts morale, retention, and quality of life.
Microelectronics supply chain: Directs the Department of Defense to coordinate with other government microelectronics manufacturing initiatives to increase the resiliency and integrity of our supply chains and enhance our industrial defense capacity. Decreased reliance on foreign nations will reshore our manufacturing jobs, maintain national security, and enhance the warfighter.
Care for military children with special needs: Utilizes the Autism Care Demonstration Program and further supports military children with special needs by removing unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles to receiving accessible and affordable care.
House Republicans were successful in including programs to deter Russian and Chinese aggression such as the Pacific Deterrence Initiative; to improve supply chain security and industrial base readiness; and to secure funding for our servicemembers and their families across the nation, including the following provisions:
Reverses President Biden’s reckless cuts to our national security, restoring cuts to procurement, missile defense, and military construction.
Requires the DoD Inspector General to carry out comprehensive reviews and audits of all assistance provided to Ukraine.
7% growth to maintain the Trump Administration’s rebuilding of the military and keep pace with aggressive Chinese military modernization.
4.6% pay increase for servicemembers.
2.4% pay bonus for enlisted personnel to combat inflation on low-income military families.
Establishes a Servicemember Parents’ Bill of Rights to ensure parents can review DoD school curriculum.
Extends prohibition on dishonorable discharges for servicemembers who refuse a COVID-19 vaccination; requires a report on the impact of the vaccine mandate on recruiting and retention; and prohibits implementation of the vaccine mandate on defense contractors.