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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I rise to thank my good friend and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee for including my amendment on section 811 of the fiscal year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act in one of today's en bloc packages and to ask if he is concerned, as I am, that implementation by Federal agencies of section 811 of the FY10 National Defense Authorization Act has been inconsistent and contrary to the congressional intent.

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Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. I thank the gentleman and ask the distinguished chairman of the Armed Services Committee if he agrees with me that section 811 was not intended to be a cap or bar on sole-source awards above $20 million, and to also ask if he is concerned about the growing number of reports that agencies are treating the threshold requiring sole-source justification as a prohibition on such awards.

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Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Chairman, I ask you to join me and my colleague from Hawaii (Ms. Hanabusa) in continued oversight of Federal agency implementation of section 811 and in requesting the Comptroller General provide us a full report with respect to any inconsistencies in the ways agencies are implementing section 811, the negative impacts such section is having on Native American contractors, and provide recommendations on how the provision should be better implemented. Such a report will aid Congress in ensuring that section 811 is implemented so as to make clear that the provision does not impose a cap or limit on awards covered by the provision, so long as the justifications and approval are obtained pursuant to provision, and that the provision is intended to provide a level of oversight and approval, not act as a prohibition or limit on awards.

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Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. I thank the chairman for including my amendment in this package.

My amendment is very simple. It asks the Department of Defense to report on what actually makes an installation in the Pacific strategically important. In my many meetings with military leaders, I'm always told about the strategic importance of various installations in Alaska and all across this country; however, ``strategic'' is never fully defined. My amendment merely asks the Department of Defense to qualify and quantify exactly what makes an installation strategic.

As every Alaskan knows, Alaska has numerous strategic installations that proudly protect this country from harm. Among those bases is Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, which is the home to the 18th Aggressor Squadron. This squadron provides our Nation's pilots with real-life training they need to be the best in the world. Throughout the year, but especially during Red Flag-Alaska, the F-16 Aggressors fight realistic mock battles in the largest training range in the United States, and it's one of the most terrain diverse training areas in the world.

Eielson Air Force Base is also home to the strategically important 168th Air Guard Refueling Wing. These KC-135s provide legs for our Nation's northern air bridge, which allows us to project power into the Arctic and the Northern Pacific. I have confidence that my amendment and the following DOD report will show what General Billy Mitchell recognized in 1935, namely, that Alaska is the most strategic place in the world.

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