Senator Budd votes to advance FY 2024 NDAA, secures pay raise for servicemembers and construction funding for installations

Washington, D.C. – Senator Ted Budd (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted to advance the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to the Senate Floor.

Budd secured a 5.2% pay raise for North Carolina servicemembers and their families, as well as nearly $400 million for construction at North Carolina’s military installations.

Budd also led the effort to ensure this year’s NDAA sends a strong message that reduction to special operations force structure should not be considered given the vital and increasing role special operations forces play in strategic competition, in addition to conducting counter-terrorism operations and responding to no-notice crises.

“As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I know how much North Carolina contributes to America’s strength on the world state,” said Budd in a press statement. “The Old North State has a proud tradition of supporting our military, and it is my honor to vote for an NDAA that supports North Carolina’s servicemembers, their families, and our military installations. This year’s package also helps the United States confront the Chinese Communist Party, invests in American manufacturing, and secures critical supply chains. I will continue working to get this important bill across the finish line and signed into law.”

The package contained several notable benefits for North Carolina, including the following:

— 5.2% pay raise for service members and their families.

— The authorization of $398.9 million in military construction, planning and design funding for state military installations including:

— Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg ($165 million total)

— Camp Lejeune ($110 million total)

— Cherry Point (109.5 million total)

— $12 million to complete the Army Reserve Center in Asheville

— $2.2 million to complete the planning and design of the North Carolina National Guard’s Aviation Support Facility in Salisbury.   

— Expresses a Sense of the Senate that reductions to special operations force structure should not be considered. Such cuts would have a negative impact on North Caroline communities surrounding Fort Liberty and Camp Lejeune.

— Amends Section 150 of the FY2022 NDAA to include an accounting of remaining service life, upgrades, and other modifications made to each F-15 as part of a report required before divesting aircraft, including F-15E’s at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

— Amends Section 1230fb of Title 10 to ensure National Guardsmen, Reservists, and families receive pre-mobilization health benefits without delay in the event the president’s budget is delivered late to Congress.

The package also contained several national priorities, including the following:

— Deterring China and Russia

— Authorizes the full budget request for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and the European Deterrence Initiative.

— Modernizes our nuclear arsenal to ensure the United States maintains strategic deterrence against potential adversaries.

— Authorizes $1.9 billion to fully fund the next amphibious transport dock, LPD-33 despite the Biden Administration leaving it out of the budget request.

— Authorizes multiyear procurement of 10 Virginia-class submarines including long lead time materials to save the taxpayers’ money. 

— Authorizes an increase of $190 million to support continued development of the nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile despite the Biden Administration’s attempt to kill the program.

— Requires a report on the feasibility and advisability of establishing a quantum computing innovation center within the Department of Defense (DOD). 

— Improves DOD’s ability to build the capabilities of foreign security forces. 

— Boosting U.S. Manufacturing and Securing Supply Chains

— Directs the DOD to make advanced purchase commitments of titanium sponge from a domestic source for inclusion in the National Defense Stockpile. 

— Authorizes $5 million to scale new technologies for titanium metal powder production. 

— Recognizes the importance of domestic production, processing and refining of strategic and critical materials necessary for defense requirements such as niobium, tantalum, and scandium, which predominantly come from non-allied foreign countries.

Senator Budd also championed the following additional provisions:

— Establishes a Foreign Military Sales Center of Excellence to improve the training and education of personnel engaged in foreign military sales planning and execution. 

— Directs DOD to brief Congress on efforts to facilitate the use of the foreign military sales process to deliver non-program of record defense articles and services to allies and partners.

— Authorizes $10 million to accelerate semiautonomous adversary air platform development. 

— Requires the Army to update its tactical wheeled vehicle strategy every 5 years.

— Directs DOD to submit a plan to fully deploy internet operations management program DOD-wide and integrate a security orchestration and automation capability into the program to better secure DOD networks.

— Directs DOD to submit an implementation plan for Thunderdome Zero Trust Architecture to better secure DOD networks.

— Authorizes co-development and co-production of Iron Dome, David Sling, and other missile defense efforts with Israel. 

— Directs DOD to develop a strategy for improved integrated maritime domain awareness and interdiction capabilities to counter seaborne threats in the Middle East.

The NDAA must still pass the Senate, conference with the House of Representatives, and final passage, as well as receive the President’s signature to become law. Senator Budd will continue to fight for these provisions throughout the legislative and appropriations process.

By Randolph Record

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