WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, released this statement on the conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19 NDAA).
“As the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and a conferee, I am proud of this conference report as I believe it provides the authorities and resources for our men and women of the Armed Forces to do the job we've asked them to do. This conference report provides the right capabilities to support our warfighters, including the 13 ships I have been fighting for that would support the Navy and reach our national policy of 355 ships. I believe this NDAA takes important steps towards restoring our military readiness and giving our Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force the tools and resources they need to deter our adversaries, support our allies, and respond to threats around the globe.
“Importantly, the conference report authorizes the fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier; a dual buy would be beneficial to both the taxpayers and to our maritime industrial base as it shows that Congress is committed to the thousands of workers who build and maintain aircraft carriers every day. This smart acquisition strategy has the potential to save taxpayers $2.5 billion. The Navy’s most recent Force Structure Assessment identified a need to maintain 12 aircraft carriers, and authorizing CVN 81 gets us on the right track to attaining that. I secured funding for CVN 81 in the House-passed Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY19 and I will be doing everything in my power to make sure it stays there.
“The conference report also fully funds the critical B-21 Raider bomber program, supports 15 KC-46A Pegasus aircraft, and authorizes $3.2 billion, an increase of $237 million, to support critical industrial base nodes that support the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine. For 57 years, this piece of bipartisan legislation has been signed into law as it is what is necessary to support our troops and set the defense policy for our nation. I’m glad to see that tradition is continuing and I look forward to voting in favor of the report this week.”
Specific Seapower and Projection Forces provisions included in the NDAA Conference Report for FY19:
Fully funds the B-21 Raider bomber program.
Supports 15 KC-46 Pegasus aircraft requested in the President’s budget request.
Authorizes $161.5 million to support an additional E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
Expands support for legacy C-130 aircraft with an additional $129.0 million for propulsion system upgrades.
Authorizes multiyear procurement authorities for C-130 Super Hercules aircraft, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft, and advanced missiles to generate better cost savings for the taxpayer and provide needed capability to the Navy.
Supports the President’s budget request and also provides additional funding to maintain the maximum production rate of critical munitions, such as long range anti-‐ship missiles and torpedoes, and also authorizes additional funding to address critical munition unfunded requirements.
In addition to the 10 navy vessels requested in the President’s Budget, adds an additional three Navy combat ships.
Authorizes the Fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier.
Authorizes $1.56 billion, an addition of $950.0 million, to support a total of three Littoral Combat Ships.
Authorizes $3.2 billion, an increase of $237 million, to support critical industrial base nodes that support the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine.
Authorizes an additional $750.0 million to more efficiently procure destroyers and amphibious ships.
Authorizes a total of six Polar Icebreakers to assure United States commercial access to expanding Northern shipping lanes.
Mandates retention of a United States Navy Hospital ship capability.
Authorizes $250.0 million to recapitalize the cable laying navy vessel, USNS Zeus.
Authorizes the procurement of additional navy vessels to begin the recapitalization of the Navy’s 43-year old auxiliary fleet which would help to transport Army and Marine Corps forces in times of conflict.
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.