Collins measures included in NDAA

The recently-passed National Defense Authorization Act includes a number of amendments authored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that aim to prevent sexual assault in the military and bolster the nation’s shipbuilding programs.

Collins, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, authored an amendment to allow a decades-old A-12 aircraft lawsuit to be settled. That will allow construction of a steel deckhouse, steel hanger and vertical launching system modules to continue at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.

Settling the lawsuit would lead to the Navy receiving $400 million in military hardware at no cost, including a $200 million credit for construction of the steel deckhouse.

“The NDAA, realized through a bipartisan and bicameral effort, illustrates the importance that Congress places on our nation’s shipbuilding programs, which support the Navy in meeting its essential national security commitments around the globe,” Collins said. “The funding for the tenth DDG-51 destroyer that will be built right here in Maine by the outstanding men and women at Bath Iron Works has been authorized, and I will continue to work to see that the money is actually appropriated.”

Collins also noted that $11.5 million has been allocated in the NDAA to consolidate shipyard structural shops at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

“The infrastructure of our public naval shipyards is woefully out of date compared to our other naval facilities,” Collins said. “Accelerating the consolidation and modernization of the shipyard structural shops is critical to improving the operational efficiency at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.”

The NDAA also contains bipartisan provisions coauthored by Collins to reduce instances of sexual assault in the military and to reform the trial process. The measures originated in the Coast Guard STRONG ACT and the Better Enforcement for Sexual Assault Free Environments Act.