Senator Ernst Strengthens U.S. Security and Support for Armed Services in the National Defense Authorization Act

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) secured 30 specific provisions to strengthen our nation’s security and support the people who defend our nation in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bipartisan FY19 NDAA bill passed the Senate Armed Services Committee today and is headed to the full Senate for consideration.

 

“From providing the necessary equipment and resources, to ensuring our servicemembers are in top condition, this year’s NDAA improves military readiness,” said Senator Ernst, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. “I am pleased to see the NDAA include many of my efforts to address aggression and threats by our adversaries around the globe.”

 

The Senate Armed Services Committee passed the NDAA with Senator Ernst’s support and 30 of Senator Ernst’s measures, including:

·         Bipartisan legislation with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to track, treat, and prevent traumatic brain injury among servicemembers;

·         Additional research funding for physiological episodes that are plaguing our Air Force airmen and Naval aviators, along with a provision that provides for an additional $31 million in funding;

·         Support for the continued assistance to Iowa’s sister-state, the Republic of Kosovo, and the Kosovo Security Force’s gradual transition to a multiethnic army;

·         Full funding for our missile defense and anti-tunneling coordination with Israel;

·         A provision to ensure that the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) artificial intelligence initiatives and research and development (R&D) are better coordinated with academic research and industry;

·         A 2.6 percent pay raise for troops, and limits the president’s ability to deny troops their mandated pay raise

·         Increased reporting to counter Russia’s information and intelligence operations in Serbia;

·         A provision encouraging DoD to invest in R&D and procurement of wearable and mobile solar power capabilities;

·         Encouragement for the Defense Department to take steps to maintain secure, domestic sources of high purity aluminum;

·         A provision to direct the creation of a U.S. Army Advanced Manufacturing of Excellence in partnership with an arsenal;

·         Efforts to recognize the importance of DoD contracts with military paint training programs that use advanced technology in preparation and training;

·         Direction that the Secretary of Defense should establish a Defense Institute on Human Factors Modeling and Simulation to maximize the effectiveness of the warfighter in each service branch;

·         An increased focus on producing domestic explosives for the U.S. military, and a need to stockpile explosives that must be purchased from foreign sources; and

·         Protection of the rank of Chief Military Chaplains across each service branch.