Sullivan Shapes FY 2024 Defense Authorization with 32 Amendments
Senator’s work continues military build-up in Alaska with more than $371 million for state
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), voted with 25 of his committee colleagues yesterday to advance the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from committee. The legislation includes 32 provisions offered by Senator Sullivan, and authorizes roughly $168 million in military construction and equipment for Alaska and the Arctic. In addition to the provisions in the NDAA, the Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced an additional $203 million military construction project at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) that Senator Sullivan was able to secure.
“This year’s NDAA affirms Alaska’s importance to our nation’s defense during this dangerous time in our history,” said Sen. Sullivan. “We were able to include a number of important provisions that I authored in the FY 2024 NDAA to bolster our state’s military capabilities, including significant military construction funding for our state, a provision that will provide opportunities for future funding to communities that have Coast Guard bases—like Kodiak, a more robust ‘Arctic Security Initiative’—which will bring more investment to Alaska, a much-deserved increase in pay for our service members, and greater support and resources for their families in Alaska.
“While I was disappointed that the amendment to increase the President’s defense budget—which we’ve done in a bipartisan way in the last two NDAAs—was blocked by my Democratic colleagues, I was able to secure several provisions that I have long been pushing for to address our military’s readiness. 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.”
$168 Million in Military Construction Provisions for Alaska in the FY 2024 NDAA:
- Runway extension at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) - $107.5 million
- Unaccompanied personnel housing at Ft. Wainwright - $34 million
- ADAL alert crew facility at Hangar 18 on JBER (Air National Guard - ANG) - $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 (ANG) - $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:
- Opens up a DoD program that funds infrastructure improvements, including for schools, police stations, and other facilities for communities in Alaska near Coast Guard stations.
- Allows the DoD to treat PFAS-contaminated soils at Eielson Air Force Base.
- Gives Alaska’s small businesses a greater ability to secure DoD contracts.
- Allows the Army’s Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) Program to be used for natural disaster response in Alaska.
- Exempts Alaska small businesses, including Alaska Native Corporations, from having to comply with the Biden administration’s burdensome greenhouse gas regulations.
- Allows military personnel to receive counseling from licensed mental health professionals residing outside of Alaska.
- Creates an Arctic Security Initiative which directs the Pentagon to identify the resources and activities needed to fully fund and implement Arctic strategies.
In addition to the $168 million authorized in this year’s NDAA, the DoD recently 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 fall 2024 and, once fully completed, will require an increase of approximately 116 personnel—for a total of $371 million military construction dollars authorized and appropriated to Alaska.
“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. Finally, this year’s NDAA also includes the ‘Arctic Security Initiative,’ which will ultimately mean investment being directed to America’s Arctic—to Alaska—in defense of our nation’s interests in this critically-important region. 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 Provisions in the FY 2024 NDAA:
- Fences 50 percent of the Navy’s operations and maintenance funding for administration and services if the Secretary of the Navy does not submit a 30-year shipbuilding plan that meets the congressionally-mandated minimum of 31 amphibious ships within 60 days of enactment.
- Requires the Secretary of Defense to prioritize those NATO member countries that have achieved defense spending of not less than 2 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) by 2024 when making decisions about U.S. military basing, training, and exercises.
- Requires an independent review, assessment, and analysis 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.
- Requires 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.
- Reforms the Foreign Military Sales process to speed decisions on approval of weapons systems to security partners, impose deadlines for processing foreign weapon purchase requests, and prioritize sales based on the National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy.
The FY 2024 NDAA must now be debated and voted on by the full Senate. A separate defense authorization will make its way through the House of Representatives. Once both the Senate and House pass their versions of the bill, they must then be reconciled in a bicameral conference committee, and then approved by each chamber before a final version is sent to the President to be signed into law.
This marks the 63rd consecutive year that SASC has come together on a bipartisan basis to advance a major defense authorization.
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