Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Conference Report of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the final version of the annual defense bill and will be sent to the president to be signed into law after the House approves it.
Senator Ted Budd (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted in favor of the package after successfully securing several wins for North Carolina.
Senator Budd supported a 5.2% pay raise for North Carolina servicemembers and their families, secured authorization of more than $890 million for construction at North Carolina’s military installations, added a provision to protect F-15E Strike Eagles at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, and a provision to assess optimal force structure for special operations forces, supporting U.S Army Special Operations Command at Fort Liberty (formerly, Fort Bragg).
Senator Budd said in a statement:
“In order to be a strong nation, we need a strong military. The NDAA’s conference report provides significant support to North Carolina’s servicemembers, their families, and our military installations. At the same time, it limits divestment of F-15E fighters, which not only bolsters North Carolina’s Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, but maintains one of our country’s most reliable fighter aircraft for the remainder of this decade.”
“This year’s package also helps the United States confront the Chinese Communist Party, invests in American manufacturing, and secures critical supply chains. I am thrilled to see this package pass both chambers and look forward to it soon being signed into law.”
Wins for North Carolina:
- 5.2% pay raise for North Carolina servicemembers and their families.
- Authorizes over $890 million for military construction and planning and design funding for North Carolina’s military installations including:
- Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg ($263.5 million total authorized)
- $61 million to construct an Aircraft Maintenance Hangar
- $85 million to construct a new prototype barracks.
- $50 million to construct a new barracks.
- $21 million to construct a new automated record fire range.
- $36 million to construct a Child Development Center.
- $10.5 million to construct a new microgrid and backup power for Camp Mackall.
- Camp Lejeune ($356.78 million total authorized)
- $70 million to construct a Marine Raider Battalion Operations Facility.
- $51.3 million for phase 2 of a 2nd Radio BN Complex.
- $66.27 million to begin construction of 10th Marines Maintenance & Operations Complex.
- $32.89 million for Amphibious Combat Vehicle Shelters.
- $45 million to begin construction of a corrosion repair facility.
- Cherry Point ($269.79 million total authorized)
- $35.1 million to begin construction of a maintenance facility & Marine air group headquarters.
- $45 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.
- Limits divestment of F-15E Strike Eagles and ensures that Seymour Johnson Air Force Base remains the heart of the F-15 fighter enterprise.
- Requires the Secretary of Defense to assess the optimal force structure for special operations forces and report to Congress within 90 days.
- The Army’s plan to make significant cuts to special operations force structure would have a negative impact on North Carolina communities surrounding Fort Liberty as well as the country’s ability to deter adversaries. This assessment will help Congress conduct more detailed oversight of the Army’s plans.
- 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.
National security wins:
- Deterring China and Russia
- Extends the Pacific Deterrence Initiative.
- Modernizes our nuclear arsenal to ensure the United States maintains strategic deterrence against potential adversaries.
- Authorizes procurement of the next amphibious transport dock, LPD-33 despite the Biden Administration leaving it out of the budget request as required by Congress.
- Authorizes multiyear procurement of 13 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.
- Improves DOD’s ability to build the capabilities of foreign security forces.
- Boosting U.S. Manufacturing and Securing Supply Chains
- Authorizes $10 million to scale new technologies for titanium metal powder production.
Senator Budd also championed the following provisions:
- Directs the Department of Energy to acquire enough uranium to ensure the next generation nuclear power deployment and jumpstart domestic uranium production.
- Establishes a Foreign Military Sales Center of Excellence to improve the training and education of personnel engaged in foreign military sales planning and execution.
- Authorizes $12.5 million to accelerate semiautonomous adversary air platform development.
- Authorizes $15 million for procuring 20T Dump Trucks, largely produced in North Carolina.
- Authorizes $8 million for Airborne Pathfinder, a program at Fort Liberty, to improve soldier readiness and effectiveness.
- Requires the Army to update its tactical wheeled vehicle strategy every 5 years, providing more consistent demand signals to industry.
- 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.
- Directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan for countering human trafficking.
- Directs the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State to provide a briefing to Congressional Committees on bilateral agreements supporting the United States military posture in the Indo-Pacific region.