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Wittman Backs House Passage of FY25 NDAA

WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) today applauded the House passage of the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25 NDAA), which will set the framework for America’s defense policy. 

“After many hours of thoughtful debate, I am pleased to see Congress pass this critical piece of legislation to ensure the U.S. military is the most effective and lethal fighting force in the world,” Rep. Wittman said. “Congress passed a comprehensive bill that will improve quality of life for our military families, advance innovation across the Pentagon, and strengthen our defense systems to deter China and our other adversaries.”

The bill authorizes a 19.5% pay raise for junior enlisted and a 4.5% pay raise for Virginia’s 150,200 servicemembers, expands programs to help Virginia’s 57,900 military spouses attain and retain employment, and boosts access to childcare for the 96,800 children of military families in the Commonwealth.

The congressman played a critical role in crafting the bill as vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and chairman of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee

Watch Rep. Wittman’s floor remarks in support of the bill here.

This year’s NDAA includes the following provisions championed by Rep. Wittman:

Taking Care of Our Troops and Their Families

  • Countering Overlooked Base Impact Aid (COBIA) Act: ensuring local educational agencies properly account for children eligible to receive impact aid. 

  • Revitalizing the Troops to Teachers program, which helps transitioning service members seeking to pursue careers in education. 

  • Requiring the U.S Government Accountability Office to address U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) civilian recruitment and retention shortfalls when competing with the private sector.

Bolstering Our Tactical Aviation Forces 

  • Requiring the DoD to implement corrective actions, adopt current test practices, and integrate cutting-edge technology to put the Joint Strike Fighter program on track.

  • Increasing the number of F-35 aircraft manufactured for developmental testing.

  • Authorizing future procurement of F-15EX fighter aircraft. 

  • Supporting 6th Generation combat aircraft development.

  • Accelerating technology development of unmanned air systems including engine development for collaborative combat aircraft.

  • Developing affordable cruise missiles to the needed quantity to overwhelm adversaries in future conflict.

  • Stopped the Biden administration from retiring F-22 Block 20s and F-15E aircraft.

  • Authorized retirement of legacy aircraft incapable of performing current battlefield requirements. 

  • Urging procurement programs for unmanned air systems to use parallel acquisition pathways for hardware and software.

Protecting Forward Deployed Forces

  • Creating an Electronic Warfare Center of Excellence within the U.S. Department of Defense.

  • Establishing the Drone Corps as a basic branch of the U.S. Army.

  • Requiring the Secretary of the Army to report on the Army’s ability to defend against missiles and unmanned aircraft.

  • Expanding counter-unmanned aerial vehicle forces by including the Army Chief of Staff top three unfunded requirements totaling over $350 million.

  • Doubling U.S. Air Force counter-unmanned aerial vehicle capabilities in two years.

  • Establishing a DoD executive agent responsible for all DoD counter-unmanned aerial vehicle research, testing, and training activities.

  • Retiring legacy unmanned aerial vehicles incapable of supporting modern warfare.

Strengthening Our Navy

  • Restoring a second Virginia-class submarine that was originally cut by the Biden administration.

  • Increasing funding for future Ford-class aircraft carrier production to ensure a stable procurement schedule.

  • Creating a pilot program to examine how robotic technologies can be used for shipboard maintenance and inspection.

  • Developing unmanned undersea vehicles that keep our troops safe while enabling reconnaissance, mine laying, and mine detection missions.

Spurring Defense Innovation 

  • DOD Entrepreneurial Innovation Act: enabling small businesses at the forefront of cutting-edge technology to support DoD efforts. 

  • Recruiting more scientists and engineers to support defense innovation.

  • Requiring the U.S. Army and Air Force to report on National Guard cyber modernization efforts.

  • Granting greater authority to DoD to accelerate the adoption of new technology.

  • Advancing a mobile micronuclear reactor program to provide resilient energy to the U.S. military.

  • Expanding shared classified commercial infrastructure pilot programs within the DoD.

Preparing for the Battlefield’s Expansion into Space

  • Authorizing the Commercial Augmentation Space Reserve (CASR) to enable DoD-industry collaboration during conflict.

  • Requiring the National Reconnaissance Office to assess the effectiveness of data sharing between the private sector and commanders to help them win on the battlefield.

  • Requiring intelligence officials to brief Congress on topographical maps used for cockpit displays and battle management systems to improve situational awareness for warfighters.

Supporting Military Installations’ Infrastructure

Boosting Military Readiness

  • Prohibiting the Secretary of the Army from purchasing foreign-sourced energetic materials until domestic manufacturers have reached production capacity.

  • Requiring the DoD to develop a decontamination plan for chemical, biological, and radiological threats.

  • Requiring the U.S. Army to deliver a plan for improving its data management tools. 

  • Requiring the DoD to identify how to streamline its cumbersome clearance and vetting processes.

  • Requiring the DoD to show how they are addressing pharmaceutical supply chain risks.

Countering China’s Growing Military Aggression 

  • Ordering a DoD-wide effort to counter China's overseas basing efforts.

  • Boosting public-private collaboration with allies and private sector partners to prevent adversaries from gaining control over strategic assets abroad.

  • Preventing the sale of illicit Chinese vaporware on military bases.