U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ), who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), released the following statement after helping to craft the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed out of committee after an all-day session yesterday.

“Congress has no more important duty than providing for the defense of our nation,” McSally said. “I fought to ensure that this annual defense bill includes crucial support to Arizona’s men and women in uniform and to the critical missions at Arizona bases. In addition to a 3 percent pay raise for our troops, I championed improved support for our military families with special needs. Military family readiness is a key component to national readiness. Once again, with the credibility as an A-10 pilot and combat squadron commander, I successfully championed preventing proposed cuts to the A-10 fleet. This bill also contains strong support for our F-35 fleet, and new training grounds for the Arizona National Guard. This bill will prioritize infrastructure improvements at key airfields including Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, which is crucial to emergency operations for both Luke and Davis-Monthan Air Force Bases.” 

“The United States must bring home key national security supply chains from our adversary China,” McSally said. “I included language in this bill directing the Secretary of Defense to conduct an analysis of certain materials and technology sectors, such as personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and microelectronics to determine what actions are needed with respect to sourcing or investment to address industrial capacity. The Secretary of Defense must also submit a report to the Congressional defense committees assessing the merits of establishing a Functional Center for Security Studies in Irregular Warfare with the consideration of locating that functional center in Tempe, Arizona.”

“Building on historic reforms I successfully included in last year’s defense bill to combat sexual assault in our military, I secured new provisions to support victims of military sexual assault and improve the investigation process,” McSally continued. “Chief among those is a mandate that the Department of Defense maintain military justice records, regardless of the cases’ outcome, for not less than 15 years, and language to protect victims of sexual assault at military service academies from being placed in classes with their assailants.”

Click HERE for a one-pager on the FY2021 NDAA.

Click HERE for an executive summary of the FY2021 NDAA.

Wins Secured by McSally in the FY21 NDAA:

Protecting Critical Missions and Investing at Arizona Installation Communities

A-10: 

  • McSally inserted language that prohibits the Secretary of Defense from divesting or retiring any A-10 aircraft. She also required the Secretary of the Air Force to brief Congress on the required A-10 fleet size and validate the assumptions used to justify any future A-10 fleet size reductions.  

F-35:

  • McSally secured a provision that requires the Secretary of the Air Force and Secretary of the Navy to qualify and certify additional munitions for the F-35 aircraft that are already qualified for NATO member F-35 partner aircraft. Additionally, she secured a provision authorizing the U.S. Air Force to utilize and operate the 6 F-35 aircrafts that were withheld from Turkey because Turkey was suspended from the F-35 program.  

Camp Navajo Land Conveyance:  

  • The State of Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs is slated to receive more than 3,000 acres of land at Camp Navajo, Arizona as a result of language McSally authored in the Fiscal Year 2021 NDAA. 
  • The NDAA includes a McSally provision to authorize the transfer of land from U.S Army to the State of Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs for the purpose of training the Arizona Army and Air National Guard, and for defense industrial base economic development purposes that are compatible with the environmental security and primary national guard training purpose of Camp Navajo.

Maintaining Critical Infrastructure - Gila Bend Auxiliary Field:

  • Physical runway infrastructure is an essential component of the readiness of U.S. operational and strategic forces including the crucial reserve component forces that support the National Defense Strategy. In particular, the continued operation at Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field is crucial as an emergency divert field for both Luke Air Force Base and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. McSally has had to divert and land at Gila Bend herself with A-10 emergencies and knows the value of this field for safe military flying operations in AZ.
  • McSally secured language that directs the Secretary of the Air Force to prioritize airfields and assess the operational requirements of airfields, such as Gila Bend, and the state of airfields where runway degradation currently poses a threat to operations. This assessment also includes cost to repair, cost to replace, remaining useful life, and narrative on the required daily maintenance to ensure the runway is acceptable for full operations at the installation, and any challenges with infrastructure acquisition methods and processes.  

Hyper Velocity Projectile - Extended Range:

  • McSally secured a provision that reaffirms the importance of the development and testing of advanced guidance technology for the Hypervelocity Projectile - Extended Range (HVP-ER) and provided an additional $3 million increase to the HVP-ER program. Aerial testing for the HVP-ER is performed at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. 

Advanced Manufacturing, Materials, and Processes (AMMP):

  • McSally secured an additional $2 million for the AMMP program which provides important tools and materials and process technologies to the rest of the Army and accelerates the ability of the Army to enhance and meet the Army’s six modernization priorities. The University of Arizona is a member of the Advanced Manufacturing, Materials, Processes Consortium, which is led and administered by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, in coordination with the Army Research Lab. This program enables University of Arizona faculty members to receive funding and participate in Army Research and Development activities. 

Strengthening America’s Industrial Base and Expanding Education for Emerging Threats

Bringing Suppliers Home from China 

  • Understanding that robust domestic production is key to national defense and security, McSally fought and secured language to direct the Secretary of Defense to prioritize this critical necessity and conduct an analysis of certain materials and technology sectors, such as Personal Protective Equipment, Medical Supplies, and Microelectronics to determine what actions are needed with respect to sourcing or investment to address industrial capacity.

Irregular Warfare Center of Excellence 

  • McSally secured language to direct the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to submit to the congressional defense committees a report of an assessment of the merits of establishing and administering a Department of Defense Functional Center for Security Studies in Irregular Warfare with the consideration of locating the functional center in Tempe, Arizona.

Protecting and Supporting the Men and Women Who Serve

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response

  • McSally led language in the bill to protect victims of sexual assault at military service academies from being placed in classes with their assailants.  
  • The bill also recognizes that the trauma of sexual assault and the time commitment of supporting the criminal prosecution can be detrimental to student’s academic success. McSally’s language directs the Secretary of Defense to brief Congress on the feasibility of providing these victims the relief they need so they can heal and get the justice they desire. 
  • Victims of Sexual Assault deserve the best support we can provide them, McSally’s amendment requires the service Judge Advocate Generals to brief Congress on their respective Special Victims’ Counsel programs. This vital oversight function will ensure victims are receiving the care they deserve from professionals who are equipped to succeed.
  • Directs the DoD to include analysis from industry and academia as well as evidence-based studies when crafting programs to combat the scourge of sexual assault and harassment in our military. 
  • Victims may need to rely on records of military justice actions years after the offense.  To help these victims and ensure vital records are not lost McSally championed a change in law to mandate that the DoD maintain military justice records, regardless of the cases’ outcome, for not less than 15 years.

Supporting Military Families

  • McSally spearheaded a provision that standardizes and improves the Exceptional Family Member Program, a program that offers many services for military families with special needs.

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