“A lack of consistent funding would be absolutely devastating to our ability to defend our country.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee, supports the U.S. Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020. The annual defense bill includes dozens of provisions of importance to Georgia’s military community and exposes the dangerous impacts that continuing resolutions have on readiness. Now that the U.S. Senate has approved this authorization bill, Congress will work to fully-fund the Department of Defense and secure the United States’ military readiness.
“The world is more dangerous today than any time in my lifetime. This defense bill delivers the resources our women and men in uniform need to defend against evolving threats from Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia,” said Senator Perdue. “With nine military installations, Georgia plays a critical role in carrying out President Trump’s National Defense Strategy. This bill is very important. However, if Congress doesn’t fund the government before September 30, we are staring down the barrel of a potential continuing resolution this year. A lack of consistent funding would be absolutely devastating to our ability to defend our country. It’s critical that Congress work diligently to fund the military, so we can provide certainty for our armed forces as they protect Americans at home and abroad.”
Senator Perdue’s provisions address a range of issues from readiness to improving military housing conditions and employment opportunities for military spouses. Here are some highlights:
- Supports New Mission In Georgia: Supports the Air Force’s plan for the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) and requires a personnel transition strategy in order to develop the initial cadre for ABMS from the current workforce at Robins Air Force Base.
- Prevents Air Force Capability Gaps: Holds the Air Force accountable for the timely development of ABMS, while also providing additional funding for development of ABMS and JSTARS sustainability to help prevent a capability gap.
- Exposes Impact Of CRs: Ensures responsible government funding by outlining the direct impacts that continuing resolutions (CRs) have on the Department of Defense’s ability to plan for future missions.
- Prioritizes Accountability: Keeps the DOD corrective action plans, brought on by the recent audit of the Department of Defense, on track as designed, while also holding underperforming military departments and Defense agencies accountable for achieving an auditable financial statement.
- Improves Military Housing: Includes various provisions to increase accountability of the Military Privatization Housing Initiative (MPHI) program, including creating a tenant bill of rights, designating a Chief Housing Officer, implementing a formal dispute resolution process on each military installation, and establishing a standard policy for lead-based paint inspection.
- Creates U.S. Space Force: Initiates the sixth branch of the United States military to organize, train, and equip space warfighters and address the reality that space is a contested domain, supporting a key priority of President Trump.
- Examines China’s Predatory Investments: Requires an annual assessment on infrastructure projects funded through China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and their potential to be converted into Chinese military assets.
- Starts Process To Create A Robotics Center: Directs the Army to consider establishing a Robotic Development Center at the Army Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, in order to integrate robotic system development and technology into the fighting force.
- Privatizes Stormwater Utilities: Supports a plan to privatize stormwater conveyance systems and ensure Georgia’s bases are able to deal with increasing levels of stormwater in a cost-effective manner.
- Promotes Military Spouse Employment: Multiple provisions address issues with low rates of military spouse employment and provide better access to beneficial programs that will help military spouses navigate the challenges of military life while supporting their families and their service members.
- Modernizes A-10 Aircraft: Supports funding for the modernization and upgrades to A-10C, including those in the 23rd Fighter Group at Moody Air Force Base, which will help maintain the platform’s effectiveness through the 2030s.
- Ensures On-Time Delivery of Columbia-class: Funds the continued development and procurement of the Columbia-class submarine to be stationed at Kings Bay, while also increasing support for the submarine industrial base and supply chain. Following recent delays, this bill provides proactive oversight to ensure the Columbia-class remains on track to be the lead submarine in FY28 and deployed by FY31.
- Increases Cyber Institute Funding: Increases funding for academic cyber institutes at colleges and universities to ensure a robust cyber pipeline for Active Duty, Guard, and Reservists and develop capabilities that will enable the warfighter to maintain dominance in cyberspace in the long run.
- Provides Disaster Recovery For Georgia Bases: Secures almost $700 million for ongoing disaster recovery efforts at multiple military installations, including Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center.
- Improves Depot Infrastructure: Requires the Secretary of Defense to formulate a strategy to improve depot infrastructure to ensure that depots have the capability and capacity to support the readiness and material availability goals of current and future weapons systems.
- Expands Mentor-Protégé Program: Supports Georgia small businesses by extending the Mentor- Protégé Program for three years and repealing the half-size standard restriction for protégé participants.
- Incentivizes STEM Hiring: Directs the Department of Defense to develop competitive strategies to recruit, hire, and retain America’s best and brightest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
- Safeguards Georgia MilCon Projects: Authorizes over $200 million in funding for four major military construction projects in Georgia, including the Aircraft Maintenance Hangar at Hunter Army Airfield, the consolidated joint air dominance hangar at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Phase 3 of the Air Force Reserve Command Headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, and Cyber Instructional Facility at Fort Gordon.
- Bolsters STARBASE Program: Increases support for STARBASE, a program that aims to improve the knowledge and skills of students in STEM. This program has locations in Atlanta, Savannah, Warner Robins Air Force Base, and Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
- Establishes New Cyber Capabilities: Secures funding for the Cyber Innovation Laboratory facility at Fort Gordon, which will give cyber warriors the ability to train in a realistic and adaptive threat environment.
- Expands HBCU Research: Increases opportunities for aerospace education and research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.
- Sustains Marine Depot Maintenance: Requires the Marine Corps to address its aging facilities at Production Plant Albany and Production Plant Barstow, and provide options on how it plans to increase throughput and efficiencies by adopting innovative processes and equipment solutions like automation, robotics, and welding positions.
- Addresses Air Battle Manager Shortage: Requires the Air Force to address the recent lack of Air Battle Manager accessions and how it plans to meet the necessary level for a sustainable inventory.
- Promotes Georgia Industries: Ensures funding for a wide range of military equipment and platforms that are produced by businesses across Georgia.