Defense bill to impact Alaska significantly

    Washington, D.C. (KINY) U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) applauded the President for signing the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law,


    The legislation authorizes $634.2 billion for base budget requirements, $65.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), and includes a number of provisions important to Alaska. “I thank the President for signing this important legislation into law, which will ensure that our fighting men and women have what they need to protect our nation,” said Senator Sullivan. “In a world with an increasingly complex and diverse array of threats, I am hopeful that this bill helps begin the process of rebuilding a military constrained by sequestered-budgets and Obama administration defense cuts. While there is still much more to do, this bill reverses lost military readiness with $26.2 billion in additional funding above the President’s request. The NDAA also authorizes much needed procurement – such as 90 F-35s and 17 KC-46s – and increases our military’s end-strength by over 20,000 servicemembers spread across all four services, the active-duty, guard, and reserve, and even authorizes 2.4% pay raises for all military members.”


    The FY 2018 NDAA also includes authorization of $12.3 billion for the Missile Defense Agency – a 57 percent increase over the President’s initial request – and includes $200 million in military construction for a new missile field at Fort Greely, AK, as well as authorized funding needed to procure an additional 20 missile interceptors required to operationalize the field.  Additionally, the bill includes funding for advancing key missile defense technologies and for beginning to build a space-based sensor layer. Notably, this bill also authorizes up to 28 additional interceptors for homeland missile defense – the second largest capacity increase ever. “Any strategy on North Korea must include a robust and integrated missile defense,” said Senator Sullivan. “For the past year – in hearings and in legislation – I have stressed that Congress must lead on bolstering our nation’s missile defense. I’m grateful that provisions in the bill that I introduced, the Advancing America’s Missile Defense Act, were included in this NDAA, including twenty-eight more interceptors, advancing a new missile field at Fort Greely. With the passage of the Defense Authorization today and the President’s budget request earlier this month, we are finally getting serious about advancing America’s missile defense.”


    Other Key Provisions: Working with many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Senator Sullivan successfully included numerous provisions in the FY 2018 NDAA to advance initiatives that will play an important role in ensuring the long term security of Alaska, the Arctic and the United States. These initiatives include the authorization to build a new heavy-class polar icebreaker, a U.S Navy study on ice-hardening its ships, and provisions aimed at improving and increasing the Alaska Guard’s combat search and rescue capabilities. 


    Alaska Military Construction:  Authorizes $368.9 million for military construction in Alaska to continue to support the beddown of two squadrons of F-35As at Eielson AFB and to construct a new 20-GBI missile field at Fort Greely.


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