December 8, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. | U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after she voted to pass the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.

“As the leading advocate for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, I am proud to successfully deliver critical results in this year’s NDAA to strengthen the Fort Drum community, fully equip our troops, increase our military readiness, and support the families of servicemembers in our district,” Stefanik said late Dec. 7 following the bill’s passage.

“I worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to successfully craft this critical legislation to provide for a strong national defense, especially after the United States’ failed withdrawal from Afghanistan and as our adversaries in Russia and China rapidly develop their own militaries for the 21st Century.”

Stefanik said she was “proud to have worked with my colleagues to pass a NDAA which puts taxpayer dollars to good use by strengthening our military and providing our brave men and women in uniform with the resources they need to keep us safe. I commend the House for coming together to pass this essential piece of legislation, and I will continue to be an outspoken advocate for our troops and military families.”

The final NDAA provides for $768 billion in total defense spending for FY2022. Throughout the process, Stefanik introduced and fought to include a number of provisions to support Fort Drum, the 10th Mountain Division, and military families, including the following highlights:

Supporting Servicemembers and Their Families

-Authorizes a 2.7% pay raise for our troops

-Expands the in-home childcare for servicemembers pilot program to provide financial assistance for in-home childcare

-Requires reporting on facility improvement for Child Development Centers

-Establishes a Casualty Assistance Reform Working Group to improve the casualty affairs programs

Strengthening Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division

-Supports our 10th Mountain Division warfighters by providing $33 million to extend the range of the MQ-1 Gray Eagle – an unmanned aircraft at Fort Drum

-Funds technology upgrades at military bases, including Fort Drum

-Funds the procurement of Arctic equipment to ensure soldier safety and readiness for units deployed to Arctic regions, including the 10th Mountain Division

-Authorizes $1.12 billion for upgrades of the Stryker armored vehicle used by the U.S. Army

-Provides $26 million for Army procurement of critical firetrucks and firefighting equipment

-Provides $27 million for the Wellfield Expansion Resiliency Project at Fort Drum

Fighting for Wins for the North Country

-Funds the procurement of advanced bomb suits made in NY-21

-Funds partnerships for research to improve defense technology with institutions of higher education like Clarkson University

-Acquires an additional MQ-4C Triton, an aircraft that sources components from advanced manufacturers in NY-21

-Authorizes funding for the cleanup of unexploded ordinance on military installations

Keeping Pace with Emerging Technologies in the 21st Century

-Authorizes funds to implement recommendations from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence – established by Congresswoman Stefanik – including the improvement of digital technical skills in the military and progress for the creation of a U.S. Digital Service Academy

-Establishes pilot programs with technology incubators and small businesses to ensure our military can rapidly acquire the best-emerging technologies

-Improves recruitment and retention of technical and scientific talent in the DoD with expanded scholarships and benefits

Strengthening Nuclear Arsenal and Deterring Foreign Adversaries

Stefanik has been a leading advocate for the modernization of our strategic arsenal that can defend our homeland and deter our foreign adversaries. Read her op-ed in Real Clear Defense on the need for a stronger missile defense system here.

-Provides $2.5 billion for the modernization of our ground-based strategic weapons

-Reverses President Biden’s cuts to missile defense

-Supports the Next Generation Interceptor to protect the U.S. homeland from ICBM threats

Establishing an Independent Afghanistan Commission

In September, Stefanik and Wittman introduced legislation to establish the National Commission on United States Involvement in Afghanistan.

-Creates an independent commission to examine America’s involvement in Afghanistan and provide recommendations and reports aimed at enhancing foreign policy and national security decision making

The final NDAA will be sent to the President to be signed into law.

Read the full article here.