Senate Approves 2010 National Defense Authorization Act
U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Veterans'' Affairs Committee, praised the Senate's passage last night of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, an annual bill that authorizes funding for our servicemen and women and their families, critical military construction projects at Georgia bases, as well as Georgia-made weapons systems. Additionally, the bill includes a provision, sponsored by Chambliss and Isakson, to ensure that all ballots cast by U.S. troops overseas are counted in elections.
"This is an important bill that addresses many critical quality-of-life issues for our military men and women, said Chambliss. "I'm pleased an amendment to ensure that our military men and women serving overseas are able to participate in the electoral process was included in the final bill."
"Georgia is a big winner in this Defense Authorization bill, thanks in large part to the work of Senator Chambliss on the Committee," said Isakson. "This legislation sets the priorities for our nation's military needs, and I am proud of the strong commitment it shows to Georgia."
The bill authorizes $679.8 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Defense. It provides a 3.4 percent, across-the-board pay raise for all military personnel, authorizes a total of $163.5 billion for military members, including costs of pay, allowances, bonuses, death benefits, permanent change of station moves and health care. It also reauthorizes more than 25 types of bonuses and special pays aimed at encouraging enlistment, reenlistment and continued service by active-duty and reserve military personnel.
The bill includes the following provisions sponsored by Sen. Chambliss:
* The Military and Overseas Voters Empowerment Act ("MOVE Act"), which requires all states to provide military voters with ballots no later than 45 days before an election. It also requires states to institute and maintain an electronic and fax system for sending voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications.
* A requirement for the Department of Defense to submit a report to Congress detailing the types of duties performed for the National Guard by non-dual-status technicians, a description of the current requirements for non-dual-status technicians, and a description of various means of addressing any shortfalls in meeting such requirements, including both temporary and permanent shortfalls.
* A provision directing the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics to take appropriate steps to monitor and manage changes to requirements when program requirements are first established and the time when those program requirements are formally incorporated into a Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP), and to ensure that changes are not made without appropriate consideration of cost impacts.
* A provision requiring the task force on care and treatment of wounded warriors, as established in the bill, to examine the extent to which the Department of Defense, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, has established public and private partnerships to assist in the training of medical care case management personnel needed to support America's returning wounded and ill service members.
* A provision directing the secretary of defense, in conjunction with the secretary of the Air Force, to conduct a review and report on the feasibility of adding anti-jamming capability to commercial communications satellites no later than March 1, 2010.
* A requirement for an additional report on the feasibility of exporting the F-22 to be prepared by a federally funded research and development center. This report will be in addition to the report on exporting the F-22 required by the Department of Defense.
* A requirement for a report by the secretary of the Air Force on the alternatives for and value of re-engining the Joint STARS aircraft, stationed at Robins AFB, including a prohibition against the Air Force taking any actions that would adversely affect the re-engining effort until the report is delivered to Congress
* A provision, sponsored by senators Kerry and Chambliss, making the reserve retirement provision enacted in the FY08 NDAA retroactive to include duty performed since Sept. 11, 2001.
* A provision, sponsored by Sen. Lincoln, which allows for an increase in the Department of Defense's share of expenses for the National Guard Youth Challenge Program to 100 percent of operating costs in the first two years of a state's program, and 75 percent of operating costs for future years. The National Guard Youth Challenge Program trains and mentors at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 18 who have dropped out of high school, and puts them on the path to become productive, employed and law-abiding citizens.
The bill also includes an amendment co-sponsored by Chambliss and Isakson that would establish a pilot program within the Department of Veterans Affairs to pair service dogs with veterans who have returned from service with physical or mental wounds, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Chambliss offered an amendment to restore military construction (MILCON) full funding for the brigade complex at Fort Stewart, but the amendment was not agreed to by the committee.
"I am also disappointed the bill does not include funding for the 7 additional F-22s included in the bill as reported out of Committee", said Chambliss. "Air Force leaders have consistently affirmed their requirement for at least 60 additional F-22s, and it is regrettable that the bill does not support this requirement."
""I'm extremely disappointed the Senate did not recognize how essential the continued production of the F-22 is to our national security. This aircraft is the most sophisticated fighter jet in the world with the latest stealth technology to reduce detection by radar, and this plane is vital to 21st century American military superiority," Isakson said.
Additional Georgia-related projects included in the bill:
* Transplantation for Combat Wounded Repair - $2 million - Intended for Emory University - Using this funding, Emory University will conduct research to develop methods to better support tissue repair and repair of lost limbs or organs.
* Bioengineering for Enhanced Soldier Survivability - $2.5 million - Intended for Georgia Tech - Using this funding, Georgia Tech will conduct research in advanced tissue and bone regeneration and wound care and treatment issues relevant to military trauma care.
* Advanced SAM Hardware Simulator Development - $4 million - Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) - This will allow for an in-depth understanding of the Chinese surface-to-Air missile (SAM) system to help the U.S. predict and identify weaknesses and potential aggression from the Chinese.
* Cognitive Map-Based Modeling and Simulation for Tactical Decision Support - $4 million - Intended for Columbus State University - This supports a partnership between Columbus State University (CSU) and the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) which aims to explore cognitive map-based modeling and simulation to support tactical decision-making by military planners in training and operational scenarios.
* National Nanotechnology Manufacturing Center Research - $4 million - Intended for the National Nanotechnology Manufacturing Center in Swainsboro - Using this funding, the National Nanotechnology Manufacturing Center will deliver innovative solutions to warfighter needs and gaps by utilizing nanotechnology enabled materials, devices and supporting equipment.
* Integration of Design and Manufacturing (lDM) through Product Life-Cycle Management (PLM) - $2 million - Intended for School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology - This technology could result in improvements to flight technology and support advances in vertical takeoff and landing operations.
* Advanced Lithium Battery Scale-Up and Manufacturing - $5 million - Intended for Excellatron Solid State, LLC, in Atlanta - This technology shifts the paradigm in battery performance by delivering more than five times the performance of the current state-of-the-art lithium battery.
* Saft High Energy Li-Ion Technology for Aviation Batteries - $2 million - Intended for Saft America Inc. in Atlanta - Li-ion batteries will save weight on board aircraft, thus reducing fuel consumption and, ultimately, cost.
* VICE - $4.9 million - Intended for Dynamic Animation Systems, Inc., in Fairfax, Va. - This project provides soldiers improved training capabilities and exposes soldiers to different, realistic scenarios. A major portion of the project will be conducted at Fort Benning Infantry School.
Military Construction Funding Authorized for Georgia:
Battle Lab $30,000,000
Combined Arms Collective Training Facility $10,800,000
Dining Facility $15,000,000
Fire and Movement Range $2,800,000
Trainee Barracks Complex, Phase I $74,000,000
Training Area Tank Trails $9,700,000
Training Battalion Complex $38,000,000
Training Battalion Complex, Phase I $31,000,000
Training Battalion Complex, Phase I $31,000,000
Warrior in Transition (WT) Complex $53,000,000
TOTAL FORT BENNING $295,300,000
Forensic Lab $10,800,000
Barracks & Dining, Increment 2 $80,000,000
Brigade Complex $48,000,000
Warrior in Transition (WT) Complex $49,000,000
TOTAL FORT STEWART $177,000,000
TOTAL ARMY (GEORGIA) $483,100,000
ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
Fort Benning Readiness Center $15,000,000
Atlanta Army Reserve Center/Land $14,000,000
TRICARE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITY
Fort Benning, Blood Donor Center $12,313,000
Fort Benning, Dental Clinic $4,887,000
SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
Fort Benning, SOF Expand BN HQ $3,046,000
DOD DEPENDENT EDUCATION
Fort Benning, Wilson ES Gymnasium $2,330,000
Fort Stewart Elementary School $22,501,000
MOODY AIR FORCE BASE
Rescue Operations/Maintenance $8,900,000
HUNTER ARMY AIR FIELD
Hunter Army Aviation Readiness Center $10,509,000
BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURE RELATED MILCON
Fort Benning AAFES Troop Store $1,950,000
Fort Benning Armed Forces Reserve Center $18,000,000
Fort Benning Equipment Concentration Site $43,000,000
Fort Benning General Instruction Complex 2 $58,000,000
Fort Benning Maneuver Center $42,000,000
HQ & CDI Building Expansion
Fort Benning Medical Facility, Increment 2 $77,000,000
GEORGIA MILCON TOTAL $816,536,000
Additionally, the bill authorizes fiscal year 2010 active-duty end strengths for the Army of 547,400; the Marine Corps, 202,100; the Air Force, 331,700; and the Navy, 328,800. It also authorizes the secretary of defense to increase the Army's active-duty end strength by 30,000 above 2010 levels during fiscal years 2011 and 2012 if sufficient funding is requested in the budgets for those fiscal years.
The bill also prohibits retirement of C-5 aircraft before the Air Force completes testing and reports on the results of tests of the C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining program (RERP). It requires the secretary of the Air Force to submit certain analyses before retiring any of the strategic airlift aircraft after that prohibition expires.