Alaskan Congressman Don Young voted today in favor of the Conference Report of H.R. 4310 -- the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013. The bill contains several of Rep. Young's Alaska specific amendments, including a back-door BRAC prevention measure. The legislation -- which passed by a vote of 315-107, will authorize roughly $640.2 billion in National defense funding for both domestic and overseas operations, including a 1.7% pay increase for our men and women in uniform.
"This bill ensures that our nation's military receives the support they need to carry out their mission both abroad and at home," Rep. Young said. "I want to applaud the entire Alaska Congressional Delegation's unified commitment to keep the F-16 Aggressor Squadron at Eielson by ensuring a thorough evaluation of the facts. My amendment will require the Defense Department to match up the decisions with hard data before they go ahead with any force structure move. This is true for both Air Force and Army moves and is especially important in the case of Eielson."
Alaska Specific Amendments:
Strategic Seaports Study:
The Conference Report to H.R. 4310 also contains an amendment introduced by Rep. Young that includes the Port of Anchorage in the National Defense Strategic Seaports Study, that was included in FY12 NDAA legislation. The amendment requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to expedite completion of the study and to provide a copy of the report to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to ensure the facilities at strategic seaports meet the Department of Defense's requirements.
State Government-Sponsored Aerospace Infrastructure:
Rep. Young secured language in H.R. 4310 that will encourage the DOD to, where operationally and economically feasible, consider state government space facilities like the Kodiak Launch Complex for more future small and medium lift launches from Kodiak.
Space Available Travel:
Working with Senator Mark Begich, Rep. Young has been a leader in the House of Representatives in expanding full space-available travel to National Guard Gray-Area Retirees, introducing two bills this Congress and sponsoring two amendments to H.R. 4310. Rep. Young also sent a letter to the Armed Services Committee supporting the Senate-passed language, which made it into the final bill.
Other important provisions that will benefit Alaska include:
Full funding for the intercontinental ballistic missile defense program, including Ft. Greely
$92 million for upgrades to Clear Air Station's radar program
$18.3 million for construction of two ranges to provide marksmanship training for soldiers at Ft. Wainwright and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.