Sullivan, Senate Pass Strong FY 2021 Defense Authorization

Numerous Alaska, Arctic Priorities Featured in Senate Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today voted with 85 of his colleagues to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, which authorizes $740.5 billion in critical defense spending and includes numerous Arctic and Alaska priorities championed by Sullivan. Provisions secured by Sullivan include $193 million in military spending for Alaska, a new “Ted Stevens Arctic Center for Security Studies” in Alaska, ambitious 10-year goals to increase U.S. domestic sourcing of critical minerals used in defense weapon systems, significant continued investments in America’s missile defense, and a study on diversity and inclusion at the higher ranks of the U.S. military.  

“This year’s defense authorization continues our four-year effort to rebuild America’s military, following the devastating Obama-era cuts, and restore our military readiness to where it needs to be to meet the complex array of threats facing our nation,” said Senator Sullivan. “Importantly, that increased focus and investment flows in large part through the great state of Alaska which, as the most strategic place in the world, will be crucial to projecting power and responding to crises in both the Arctic and Indo-Pacific regions. Thanks to the bipartisan work of the Armed Services Committee, with the firm support of the broader Senate, Alaska is poised to see a new world-class institution bringing much-needed attention and scholarship to America’s Arctic, and nearly $200 million more dollars in vital military spending. I will be working diligently to ensure these provisions make it through Senate and House negotiations and onto the President’s desk.”

Key Sullivan Priorities in the Senate’s FY 2021 NDAA

Alaska Military Construction

The Senate’s FY 2021 NDAA authorizes $48 million for a communications center at Fort Greely, $59 million for a new dorm-style barracks and $55 million for a child development center at Fort Wainwright, $30 million to upgrade the Cobra Dane missile defense radar on Shemya Island, and new studies on military recruitment in rural areas and suicide prevention at remote installations. Click here to learn more. 

Ted Stevens Arctic Center

The Senate’s FY 2021 NDAA includes a Sullivan-authored, Senator Murkowski-inspired amendment for a new regional Department of Defense (DOD) Center, named after the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), which would be the first DOD regional center in the Arctic and the first new DOD regional center since 2000. The center would be located in Alaska and would support defense strategy objectives and policy priorities through a unique academic forum, while also fostering strong international networks of security leaders. Click here to learn more.

Critical Minerals

The Senate’s FY 2021 NDAA includes two Sullivan-authored amendments to address the United States’ rising dependence on China and other foreign countries for minerals and metals that are critical for virtually all modern technology, including strategic defense technologies. These provisions set forth U.S. policies to achieve ambitious 10-year critical mineral goals and would require the DOD to produce a study on U.S. defense critical mineral needs. Click here to learn more. 

Missile Defense

The Senate’s FY 2021 NDAA includes several Sullivan-authored missile defense amendments that mandate a new program of record for a new interim ground-based interceptor (GBI), and include funding for the Missile Defense Agency to develop the Hypersonic Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) and $48 million in military construction for a new communications center at Fort Greely. Click here to learn more. 

Diversity and Inclusion

The Senate’s FY 2021 NDAA includes a Sullivan-authored diversity and inclusion amendment that supports the DOD’s efforts to create both an immediate-term Defense Board and a longer-term Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion in the Armed Forces. Additionally, the amendment requires the DOD to better understand its internal demographics by requiring a report on service demographics and recommendations for recruitment into Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs and military service academies, including programs in connection with flight instruction, special operations, and national security fields. Finally, this amendment also includes a “Sense of the Senate” to express the view that the Defense Advisory Committee should be made up of a broad and diverse group of individuals, active and retired, from all components, from inside and outside of the military, to focus on diversity in the Armed Forces.


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