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.
Senator 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.
Senator Budd also led the effort to ensure this year’s NDAA sends a strong message that reductions 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.
Senator Budd said in a statement:
“As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I know how much North Carolina contributes to America’s strength on the world stage. 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 wins for North Carolina:
- 5.2% pay raise for North Carolina servicemembers and their families.
- Authorizes $398.9 million in military construction and planning and design funding for North Carolina’s military installations including:
- Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg ($165 million total)
- $85 million to construct a new prototype barracks.
- $50 million to construct a new barracks.
- $19.5 million to construct a new automated record fire range.
- $10.5 million to construct a new microgrid and backup power for Camp Mackall.
- Requires the Army to develop a plan to bring the roadway infrastructure at Fort Liberty up to the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s minimum standards.
- Camp Lejeune ($110 million total)
- $70 million to construct a Marine Raider Battalion Operations Facility.
- $20 million to begin construction of 10th Marines Maintenance & Operations Complex.
- $20 million to begin construction of a corrosion repair facility.
- Cherry Point ($109.5 million total)
- $40 million to begin construction of a maintenance facility & Marine air group headquarters.
- $50 million to begin construction of a new Maintenance and Operations Facility for the 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion.
- $19.5 million to complete an aircraft maintenance hangar.
- $12 million to complete the Army Reserve Center in Asheville.
- $2.2 million to complete planning & 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 Carolina 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 12304b 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 contained several national priorities:
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 championed the following additional provisions:
- Requires a plan to counter human trafficking operations, including human trafficking by transnational criminal organizations, in coordination with interagency and North and South American defense partners.
- 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.