Below is Rob Wittman’s note to constituents about this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and what it means for Virginia.
On December 12, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 into law. I’m proud of the work Congress has done to get this critical legislation to the President’s desk.
This year’s NDAA funds our armed forces; increases troop end strength; sets in earnest the modernization of our military; and ensures that our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are properly compensated for the daily sacrifices they make for a grateful nation. We are providing the authorities and resources for our men and women of the Armed Forces to do the job we’ve asked them to do.
As this bill went through the committee and conference process, I worked to ensure the NDAA included my language that it be the policy of the United States to achieve the Navy’s requirement of 355 ships. Growing our Navy’s fleet will allow us
to deter our adversaries, support our allies, and respond to threats and humanitarian challenges around the globe.
The FY18 NDAA also contains numerous local priorities critical to Virginia and Seapower provisions.
Virginia Specific Provisions:
Improvement of the U.S. Navy’s public shipyards, such as the Norfolk Naval Shipyard:
- Requests an employment development plan to estimate resources needed, workforce hiring targets, training necessary, and overtime support.
- Identifies deficiencies and develops a plan with proposed infrastructure projects associated with returning our Navy to a 355-ship fleet, specifically as it relates to nuclear work.
Langley Air Force Base:
- Encourages the Chief of Staff of the Air Force to ensure that Combined Air Operations Center-Experimental (CAOC-X) and other regional CAOCs are resourced, manned, and fully utilized to serve as a training venue for the planning, execution, and command and control of joint forces taking part in major regional joint exercises.
George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge:
- Requests a briefing from the DoD on the military value of the Coleman Bridge’s swingspan to include a discussion with local and state stakeholders who have financial responsibility for the management of the bridge.
The Domestic Maritime Centers of Excellence Act:
- My legislation, added to the NDAA, advances the capabilities of two-year community and technical colleges to assist the Federal Government and industry in securing the talent pipeline for domestic maritime industry jobs, which means more shipbuilders and repairmen to sustain and expand trade and grow our Navy’s fleet.
Seapower Specific Provisions:
- Establishes the policy of the United States to have available not fewer than 355 battle force ships.
- Builds on the eight ships requested by the administration and adds an additional five ships.
- Authorizes multiyear procurement authority for 15 Arleigh Burke-class Destroyers for the next five years at a rate of three destroyers per year.
- Authorizes multi-year procurement authority for 13 Virginia-class Attack Submarines for the next five years at a minimum rate of two submarines per year and provides the Navy advanced procurement authority to support a third submarine in 2020, 2022 and 2023.
- Prohibits the retirement of additional Ticonderoga-class Cruisers.
- Directs the Department of Defense to obtain 12 aircraft carriers by the end of fiscal year 2023.
- Provides expanded authority to more efficiently procure new Ford-class Aircraft Carriers and overhaul existing Nimitz-class Aircraft Carriers.
- Expands the authority of the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund
- Restricts major overhauls and repairs of U.S. naval vessels in foreign shipyards.
- Prohibits the retirement of mine countermeasure ships until the Navy is able to deploy the Littoral Combat Ship mine warfare capability.
- Fully authorizes the Maritime Security Program.
The FY18 NDAA sends a strong signal that we are dedicated to defending the safety and security of all Americans, restoring military readiness, and ensuring our veterans receive the care they deserve.
Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime an issue that concerns you comes before the House.
It’s an honor to serve you and Virginia’s First District in the People’s House.