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Wittman Backs FY24 NDAA

Secures Major Wins For Defense Innovation, Military Readiness, Servicemembers’ Families

Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), vice chair of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and chairman of the Tactical Air and Land Forces (TAL) Subcommittee voted in favor of the committee’s advancement of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24). 

The bill’s investments will support U.S. servicemembers and their families, ensure military and industrial base readiness, and deploy innovative technologies while implementing efficient budget savings accountability measures.

Following his vote in favor of reporting the FY24 NDAA out of the committee, Rep. Wittman released the following statement:

“As we navigate an increasingly competitive global landscape, the United States must invest in the necessary capabilities to secure our national defense today, for the next decade as we close in on the Davidson window, and for generations to come. We must combat increased aggression from the Chinese Communist Party, increase defense innovation, and ensure our warfighters are fully equipped to defend our nation.

In keeping with the debt ceiling agreement, we have authorized a budget of $886 billion. Within that topline, we have made smarter choices to compete with China in the Indo-Pacific and provide for security in Europe. This year’s bill counters the Biden administration’s policies that have weakened our national defense.

For example, this markup expands our naval fleet by procuring nine ships, rejects the administration’s request to retire five battle force ships early, and prioritizes ship maintenance. It also invests in fighter modernization and expands Army force structure. 

The impacts of this year’s NDAA will help secure and protect the United States, as well as our allies and partners. I thank my fellow members of the House Armed Services Committee for coming together to craft this critical piece of legislation."

The following legislation championed by Rep. Wittman has been included in whole or in part in the FY24 NDAA:

Autonomous Systems Adoption and Policy Act (H.R.3553): Accelerates and supports the adoption of autonomy technology classification and integration efforts into current and future weapons systems.

COBIA Act (H.R.4861 117th): Requires the commanders of each military installation to annually confirm the number and identity of children eligible to be counted for purposes of the federal Impact Aid program. 

DOD Entrepreneurial Innovation Act (H.R.2005 – 117th): Requires the secretary of each military department to identify promising Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs for inclusion in future budgets.

COMFORT Act (H.R.3267): Authorizes non-medical counseling services for military families, provided by mental health professionals.

Independent and Objective Oversight of Ukrainian Assistance Act (H.R.855): Establishes enhanced reporting requirements and oversight of assistance to Ukraine.

H.R.3011: Establishes a Department of Defense (DoD) task force on servicemember mental health improvement efforts. 

“Through his leadership role on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Wittman has continually fought for investment in the hard power we need to prepare for the Davidson window this decade when China is anticipated to field a military capable of taking Taiwan by force,” HASC Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) said. “Rep. Wittman has championed key efforts in this bill, including accelerating the modernization of our fighter force structure, protecting our existing naval fleet, and embracing bold emerging technologies within the tactical air and land portfolio.”

The bill includes many of Rep. Wittman’s top priorities, including:

Advancing Near-Term Defense Modernization

  • Builds more projection forces than requested to ensure overmatch in a fight with the Chinese Communist Party

  • Invests in fighter and unmanned platform modernization and prevents the premature retirement of F-22 force structure

  • Aligns future tactical aviation capabilities with anticipated technology advancements

  • Rejects the Biden administration’s effort to reduce the size of the Navy by saving five ships from early retirement, including three dock landing ships capable of projecting amphibious forces for the Marine Corps

    • Requires the DoD to provide a plan to resource and retain any ships prevented from divestment by the FY24 NDAA through the end of FY27 or their estimated service life

Spurring Innovation Across the DoD

  • Provides oversight for the department’s use of new tools authorized by Congress to accelerate innovation across the services by directing a Comptroller General Review of the functions of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering

  • Initiates a feasibility review of expanding the Air Force’s Strategic Funding Increase program to scale SBIR Phase II awards to Phase III awards 

  • Advance and accelerate the development and delivery of autonomous technology and programs for U.S. military operations

  • Supports the initiation of the “Space Constellation Security Program” concept by requiring the Chief of Space Operations to deliver a strategy report for standing up a Commercial Augmentation Space Reserve

Competing with the Chinese Communist Party 

  • Positions DoD to better reflect national defense priorities across all federal departments and agencies to secure supply chains, advance American interests in global markets, and improve the integrity of the U.S. industrial base

  • Requires assessment of the energetics industrial base, expanded use of innovative energetic formulas, and ensures lethality is a key performance parameter in future munitions procurement decisions

  • Orders professional military education to establish advanced research programs on near-future, high-end warfighting in East Asia

  • Expands international technology-focused partnerships and experimentation activities in the Indo-Pacific

    • Orders DoD to report opportunities to enhance supply chain visibility and security for critical minerals and rare earth elements before 2027

Military and Servicemember Priorities

  • Supports a 5.2% increase in servicemember basic pay, the largest pay raise in over 20 years