CONGRESSMAN WILSON PRAISES COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF FY21 NDAA
On July 2, Congressman Joe Wilson, Senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after the House Armed Services Committee completed the markup of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021:
“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act reaffirms Congress’s commitment to our men and women in uniform. Through modernization of the nuclear triad, upgrades to counter emerging threats, and improvements to mission readiness, this bill advances peace through strength.
“Due to unprecedented times, our men and women in uniform have been serving on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic. In this NDAA, the health and safety of our servicemembers was prioritized by ensuring the Department of Defense has the diagnostic equipment, testing capabilities, and personal protective equipment necessary for our Armed Forces.
“As a veteran and father of four sons who have served in the military overseas, I appreciate these victories for our servicemembers and am committed to continue working for our military and their families. I am grateful to have worked with my colleagues to advance this important, bipartisan legislation by unanimous vote.”
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FY21 NDAA
Congressman Wilson’s statements are in italics
Modernization of the Nuclear Triad
“A two-site solution to plutonium pit production, with 50 pits to be produced at the Savannah River Site, is the best way to manage the cost, schedule, and risk of such an important undertaking. As with every weapon, we must continue to invest in upgrades and improvements to our nuclear inventory.”
The National Nuclear Security Administration, in accordance with the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review’s requirement of 80 pits per year by 2030, determined the need for a two-site solution to plutonium pit production. The FY21 House NDAA supports funding for 30 pits to be produced at Los Alamos National Laboratory and 50 pits to be produced at the Savannah River Site.
Supporting our Military Families
“I am focused on ensuring our servicemembers and their families continue to receive the benefits they deserve by supporting a three percent pay raise, reforms to military housing, and more childcare options at our military installations.”
This NDAA includes a three percent pay bump, which would go into effect next January. This represents the first time in a decade that troops will consecutively receive salary boosts of at least three percent.
Continuing the progress from last year, sweeping reforms to military family housing are included in this NDAA in response to concerns about the management, oversight, and condition of military family housing.
This bill also calls for military leaders to provide childcare to any troops or department civilian employees working on a rotating shift at a military installation.
“The Department of Defense is increasingly concerned about cyber vulnerabilities in the defense supply chain, specifically among small- and medium-sized manufacturers. This legislation provides much-needed assistance to small defense manufacturers with cyber compliance and enhances cybersecurity throughout our defense supply chain by expanding DOD’s cyber initiatives with Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers.”
Originally H.R. 7265 - Small Manufacturer Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, this amendment authorizes the Secretary of Defense to provide financial assistance to Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers for cybersecurity services to small defense manufacturers.
Body Armor for Females Modernization Act
“I am grateful my bill H.R. 5491 – Body Armor for Females Modernization Act was included in the FY21 NDAA. This bill works to reduce injuries to all of our brave servicemembers by ensuring they have the right equipment from day one.
“Fort Jackson trains more than 60% of all women entering the Army each year. Women deserve the proper fitting personal protective equipment from the day they enter the military – not just when deploying.”
This bill will ensure our service-members have the right equipment from day one and improve overall combat effectiveness while increasing our military’s readiness.
Military Aircraft in South Carolina
“With over five military installations in South Carolina, these bases fulfill both active-duty and National Guard training exercises. This bill supports the President’s budget for 79 F-35 aircraft, AH-64 Apache, and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and provides an additional five CH-47F Block II Chinook helicopters.”
Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort supports flight for F-35 aircraft. McEntire Joint National Guard Base supports AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Blackhawk, and CH-47F Block II Chinook helicopters.
Savannah River Site
“As the only Member of Congress to have worked at the Savannah River Site, our office understands how important the Savannah River Site is to both our state and nation.This bill includes an additional $40 million for H-Canyon operations at the Site and an additional $6.5 million for Payments in Lieu of Taxes for the counties of Aiken, Barnwell, and Allendale.”
The H-Canyon at the Savannah River Site (SRS) is the only hardened nuclear chemical separations plant still in operation in the United States. The SRS covers over 310 square miles and spans three counties. Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PiLT) funding goes to these counties to support schools, emergency services, and county operations that would have otherwise received taxes through development on that property.