Today, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which determined there will be no military base realignments or closures in 2013.
The Base Realignment and Closure process, commonly referred to as BRAC, closes excess military installations. This bill prohibits a BRAC round from being proposed, planned, or carried out in 2013. U.S. Representative Richard Hanna (NY-24) voted in favor of the NDAA, an annual bill which is necessary to perform some of the most basic and essential responsibilities of Congress -- such as funding our Armed Forces and national defenses and paying the salaries of our servicemen and women.
Rep. Hanna also included an amendment in the NDAA which will bring further clarity and accountability to the Air Force's specific immediate and long-term plans for the Air Force Research Laboratories, including Rome Lab, and our national cyber operations. The amendment requires the Secretary of Defense to produce and submit a report that will seek clear commitments and address specific, detailed questions about the future of Rome Lab and the other Air Force Research Laboratories.
"This amendment will produce a report that I trust will highlight the importance of the future of cybersecurity," Rep. Hanna said. "Cyber operations are vitally important to the defense of this nation and Rome Lab is at the core of this model. We are confident that we will now have a detailed report that will show just how critical our research labs are to our national security.
"I have consistently voiced the importance of the work being done at Rome Lab and I will continue to do so," Hanna continued. "Top officials from the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Pentagon have assured me that they're committed to the long-term viability of Rome Lab and it is because Rome has established itself as the center of cutting-edge research."
Rome Lab is located at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, N.Y. It is the site of the former Griffiss Air Force Base, which was closed through the 1993 BRAC process. It is also home to Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS), Rome Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) site, as well as several private firms that have a symbiotic relationship with these public-sector operations.
Highlights of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013
SUMMARY: This bill provides the pay, funding and authorities for America's men and women in uniform and is the key mechanism by which Congress fulfills its primary constitutional responsibility to "provide for the common defense."
TROOP PROVISIONS: This bill provides our war fighters and their families with the care and support they need, deserve and have earned. Among them:
- PAY: This bill authorizes a 1.7 percent pay increase and extends bonuses and special pay for men and women in uniform.
- TRICARE: TRICARE is the health benefits program for active duty personnel and other beneficiaries, including dependents of active duty personnel, military retirees, and dependents of retirees. This bill restates the firmly-held sense of Congress that prior service to our nation is a pre-payment of healthcare benefits in retirement. This bill protects our veterans and does not increase TRICARE fees or take away veteran benefits, as the President's budget proposed.
"I will continue to work to protect our nation's vital defense assets and veterans," Rep. Hanna said. "This bill also included an amendment that I co-introduced to honor the service of the Air Raid Wardens, the Civil Air Patrol and all other Americans who volunteered for service for the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense during World War II. Service to our nation should never go unnoticed and this bill ensures that."