“NDAA will help modernize our military equipment, restore our military readiness, and provide a much-deserved pay raise to our troops”
-House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers
In case you’re too busy, here’s a quick summary:
-For years, our military has been facing a readiness crisis due to massive budget cuts in defense funding.
-The National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 is working to rebuild our military preparedness.
-The legislation provides a necessary budget topline, the largest pay raise for our troops in eight years, Pentagon reform, and an increase of $26.4 billion in essential readiness recovery.
“Imagine taking a 1995 cadillac and trying to make it a Ferrari.”
Sgt. Argentry Uebelhoer is a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps. He recently shared with Fox News the problems he and many others are facing when working with outdated aircrafts due to budget cuts.
“[We]’re trying to make it faster and more efficient but it’s still an old airframe so [it’s] constantly breaking,” he explained in the interview.
In a series of special reports by Fox News, the House Armed Service Committee brought to light the extremity of our military’s readiness crisis. Planes that couldn’t fly, ships that couldn’t sail, soldiers that couldn’t deploy — all while threats were growing.
Half a decade of cuts to our defense budget has forced our service members to take on endless hours of additional maintenance work that may or may not fall outside their range of expertise. These hours spent in maintenance have taken time out of the necessary training that our soldiers need to properly prepare for combat.
“When you have these budget issues and essentially cut the water off a little bit, that stagnates our training which immediately influences our ability to react,” Captain Frank Gilliard of the U.S. Air Force Reservists told Fox News.
We cannot keep piling missions on our men and women in uniform while they are fixing 20 year old equipment with replacement parts cannibalized off museum exhibits (yes, this happens). For six years, we have just been getting by — cutting resources as the world becomes more dangerous, asking more and more of those who serve, and putting off tough choices.
It’s time we support our military personnel in their efforts to defeat our enemies and secure our freedoms. Thankfully, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 begins this rebuilding process.
For 56 years, the NDAA has been equipping, supplying, and training our troops; caring for them and their families; and setting national security policy in a dangerous world.
This year’s NDAA authorizes increasing the size of our military to combat the threats we face while also increasing funding for maintenance, training opportunities, and for modernizing facilities, ships, planes, and weapons (among other things).
Today, the House voted on the final version of this bill, which will then head to the Senate for a final vote before being sent to the president’s desk. After extensive consultation with our military leaders,our military personnel will finally get the equipment, care, and pay raise they deserve and need through this year’s NDAA.
Here are the top 10 things you should know about the FY 2018 NDAA Bill
- Overwhelming bipartisan support: The House vote was 344-81, while the Senate vote was 89-8.
- Provides the necessary topline of nearly $700 billion—a $26 billion increase above the President’s budget request.
- Largest pay raise for our troops in eight years.
- Increases the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Amy Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, as well as Air Guard.
- Permanently preserves special survivor indemnity allowance (SSIA) payments to more than 60,000 surviving military spouses.
- Makes major reforms in the Pentagon buying practices including E-commerce, defense contract auditing, and increased oversight into service contracts
- $1.9 billion for facilities maintenance
- $4.4 billion to strengthen Missile Defense (includes budget amendment)
- Increased End Strength
- Increased Naval presence
- Better-equipped Ground Forces
- Aviation Readiness
- Critical munitions shortage
- Increase funding for military facilities to restore and maintain infrastructure ranging from barracks to hospitals and runways to hangars.
- Reform the way we will fight and win wars in space.
- Makes key investments in critical military capabilities to confront aggression and threats around the world.
- Implements new oversight tools as DOD undergoes its first audit.
Repairing and rebuilding our military is key to defending our country, but it’s also the number one way we can care for our troops — men and women who have chosen to protect us.
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