Senate Passes FY 2024 Defense Authorization with 25 Sullivan Provisions

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), voted today to pass the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation includes 25 provisions authored by Sen. Sullivan and authorizes roughly $168 million in military construction and equipment for Alaska and the Arctic. This funding is in addition to a $203 million military construction project at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), announced this summer, that Sen. Sullivan was able to secure. The NDAA now goes to the House for approval, and then to the White House for the President’s signature.

“This year’s NDAA affirms Alaska’s importance to our nation’s defense during the most dangerous period since World War II,” said Sen. Sullivan. “I authored a number of important provisions that will bolster our state’s military capabilities, including significant military construction funding for our state, a much-deserved increase in pay for our service members, and greater support and resources for their families in Alaska.

“I was also able to secure several provisions that I have long been pushing for to address our military’s readiness to defend our country and counter the aggressive aims of the dictators in Beijing and Moscow. These provisions include forcing the Navy to submit a 30-year shipbuilding plan that addresses serious security challenges across the globe, particularly with regard to protecting Taiwan from a Chinese invasion, and pushing our NATO allies to—at long last—fulfill their treaty obligations and pay their fair share to defend NATO countries in Europe.

“In spite of these major wins for Alaska and national security, I am concerned that U.S. defense spending will likely drop below three percent of GDP next year, which has only happened a handful of times since the end of World War II. I’ve strongly advocated for more serious increases and warned my Democratic colleagues that President Biden’s anemic defense budgets—all of which have amounted to inflation-adjusted cuts to our joint force—send the wrong signal to America’s adversaries.”

The FY 2024 NDAA authorizes $168 million in military construction provisions for Alaska, including:

  • Runway extension at JBER - $107.5 million
  • Unaccompanied personnel housing at Ft. Wainwright - $34 million
  • Aircrew alert facility at Hangar 18 on JBER - $7 million
  • Soldier performance readiness center at Ft. Wainwright - $7.9 million
  • Precision-guided missile complex at JBER - $6.1 million
  • AMC standard dual-bay hangar at Eielson Air Force Base - $3.7 million
  • Consolidated munitions complex at Eielson Air Force Base - $1.2 million
  • JPARC joint range operations facility at Eielson Air Force Base - $1.1 million

Other Alaska provisions in the FY 2024 NDAA:

  • Allow the Department of Defense (DOD) to treat PFAS-contaminated soils at Eielson Air Force Base.
  • Give Alaska’s small businesses a greater ability to secure DOD contracts.
  • Allow the Army’s Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) Program to be used for natural disaster response in Alaska.
  • Exempt Alaska small businesses, including Alaska Native Corporations, from having to comply with the Biden administration’s burdensome greenhouse gas regulations.
  • Allow military personnel to receive counseling from licensed mental health professionals residing outside of Alaska.
  • Make sure that the Biden administration’s unilateral decision to expand the definition of “domestic source” to include Australia and the United Kingdom under Title III of the Defense Production Act (DPA) does not become a backdoor avenue to halt domestic mining operations for critical minerals, including those in Alaska.
  • Better positions Alaska ports for infrastructure grants from the Maritime Administration (MARAD), including emphasis for strategic seaports, like the Port of Alaska in Anchorage; adding eligibility for projects that support the seafood industry; adding eligibility for projects that support dock electrification; and permanently waiving the requirement for a cost benefit analysis for projects in Alaska in recognition of the geographic isolation and the reliance of Alaska’s communities on ports.

In addition to the $168 million authorized in this year’s NDAA, the DOD this summer announced a $203 million military construction project at JBER that Senator Sullivan was able to secure. Construction of the Joint Integrated Test and Training Center, which is the first center capable of joint and multinational force training, is expected to begin in the fall of 2024 and, once fully completed, will require an increase of approximately 116 personnel—for a total of $371 million military construction dollars for Alaska this year.

“Alaska constitutes three pillars of America's military might,” said Sen. Sullivan. “First, we are the cornerstone of missile defense. Almost all of the radar systems and all of the ground-based missile interceptors protecting the whole country are located in Alaska. Second, with over 100 fifth-generation fighter jets, we are the hub of air combat power for the Arctic and Indo-Pacific. Third, we are a platform for expeditionary forces—Arctic-tough warriors of the newly-minted 11th Airborne Division who can quickly get to all parts of the world. We are also home to the DoD’s newest regional center, the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies. With an additional $371 million dollars in military construction funding for our state—and many other provisions we were able to secure in this NDAA—Alaska will be further cemented as the center of gravity for America's Arctic and Indo-Pacific security operations.”

Other Sen. Sullivan-authored provisions in the FY 2024 NDAA:

  • Restrict certain Navy funding if the secretary of the Navy does not submit a 30-year shipbuilding plan that meets the congressionally mandated minimum of 31 amphibious ships, which Sen. Sullivan led in the FY 2023 NDAA. 
  • Require the secretary of defense to prioritize U.S. military basing, training, and exercises with NATO member countries that have achieved defense spending of no less than 2 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) by 2024.
  • Require an independent assessment of the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 modernization effort, along with yearly reports from the Marine Corps about implementing its Force Design 2030 modernization plan.
  • Require DOD to develop and submit to Congress a strategy on reducing DOD’s reliance on supply chains for critical and strategic minerals from adversarial countries, like China.
  • Require the secretary of defense to assesses whether adequate consideration has been given to fighter aircraft coverage in Alaska to conduct the homeland defense mission.

The FY 2024 NDAA also includes:

  • A 5.2 percent pay raise for service members.
  • Several provisions pushing back on the divisive, far-left, “woke” ideology being pursued by the Biden administration within the DOD. These provisions build on Sen. Sullivan’s successes in the FY 2023 NDAA that focused the military on warfighting and lethality, and directed the DOD to cease a department-wide effort to root out “extremism” in the ranks given the lack of data or evidence warranting such an effort.
  • A provision that establishes U.S. policy to oppose the granting of “developing nation” status to China in future treaties and international organizations and directs the secretary of state to pursue changing the status of China to “developed nation” in treaties or organizations where a mechanism for change exists. This provision builds on Sen. Sullivan’s 2022 amendment to the Kigali Amendment, which passed unanimously and conditioned the Senate’s advice and consent to the ratification of updates to the Montreal Protocol on the U.S. taking action to remove China’s designation as a “developing nation.”

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