NDAA includes provisions to bolster U.S. seapower

Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) included a number of provisions to bolster the U.S. military’s seagoing forces as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The bill, which includes provisions for Navy shipbuilding on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, passed through the committee by a convincing 22-4 vote, Overall, it authorizes $612 billion to fund the operations of the Department of Defense (DOD) and a number of national security programs for the Department of Energy.

“This year, we have assembled a bipartisan reform bill to help ensure that our military remains the best-trained, best-equipped, and most professional fighting force in the world,” Wicker explained. “In the Seapower Subcommittee, Sen. [Mazie] Hirono [D-HI] and I have focused on taking tangible steps to ensure the Navy’s acquisition and procurement strategies provide the best value to both the taxpayer and the warfighter.”

Notable provisions within the NDAA include: construction of new amphibious ship fleet for the U.S. Navy; programs to ensure the vitality of the National Guard; modernizing the U.S. Army’s air fleet with $187 million provision for the addition of 28 UH-72A Light Utility Helicopters; training for officials to identify risks, as well as counseling programs to assist in the prevention of military suicide; and new policies and programs to ensure an environment of religious freedom within the military.

The legislation now awaits consideration by the full Senate.