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Congressman Brown Advances Policies to Foster Justice, Security, and Readiness in the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act

“I believe as a nation we can and must do more, both at home and abroad.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04), the senior CBC member on the House Armed Services Committee and a 30-year Army veteran, joined a bipartisan majority to advance the sweeping National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (H.R.4350)  The bill sets policy for the Department of Defense (DOD), and authorizes approximately $768 billion in discretionary spending for national defense.

Additionally, in this year’s NDAA, the House of Representatives passed a 2.7 percent military pay increase. The legislation includes Congressman Brown’s amendments to address the growing threat of extremism within the ranks of the military, ensure equal justice in the military justice system, continue to advance diversity and equity in the military and defense industrial base, improve the lives of servicemembers and their families and support Maryland’s critical role in our national security.

“I believe as a nation we can and must do more, both at home and abroad. But our national security is more than our weapons, ships, and planes. At the center of our mission are the men and women who serve in uniform,” said Congressman Brown. “We take good care of our troops who protect our nation and our values around the globe. We came together to ensure a significant portion of this additional $25 billion goes to support our military personnel with quality child care, housing, health care, and benefits.”

Congressman Brown continued, “More must be done to tackle the issues of extremism,  inequality in our military justice system and representation within senior leadership, defense industrial base and elite units. We cannot wait years, let alone several decades, before meeting these challenges We make a commitment to those who have worn the uniform, to have their backs. This legislation delivers on that promise and meets the moment.”

“For more than sixty years this committee’s focus has been to provide the Department of Defense and the men and women who serve our country with the tools to meet the ever-changing national security threats we face,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith.” For the sixty-first consecutive year, the Armed Services Committee has fulfilled its critical responsibility and completed, on a bipartisan basis, a defense bill that will bolster our national security and provide for the common defense.”

Chairman Smith continued, “This year the defense bill focuses on transforming DoD to better deter our adversaries while taking advantage of new, innovative technologies and implementing more cost-effective approach to develop and acquire crucial platforms. The future of our defense depends on our committee’s tough policy discussions about what DoD needs, how to fill these needs, and the necessary tradeoffs to ensure the United States maintains a competitive edge over its adversaries.

A fact sheet on the National Defense Authorization Act is available here. A full list of policies put forward by Congressman Brown can be found below.

Countering Extremism, Diversity, and Inclusion:

  • Countering Extremism in the Armed Forces Act - Creates the Office of Countering Extremism within the Department of Defense to address extremism in the military. Additionally, this legislation enhances data collection related to extremist incidents in the Department, improves training to identify and counter extremist insider threats, and prohibits servicemembers from being a member of an extremist organization. 

  • H.R.5107, The BEACON Act - Requires University Affiliated Research Centers and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers that receive contracts from the Department of Defense to subcontract 5% to Historically Black Colleges and Universities or minority institutions. Additionally requires The Department to establish a ten-year plan to elevate a consortium of HBCU/MIs to the research capacity of a UARC.

  • Diversity in the Defense Industrial Base Act - Requires defense contractors who have a major acquisition contract to report annually on the demographics of their workforce and their initiatives to increase the diversity of the defense industrial base. Additionally requires the Department to aggregate the data in a summary report, with analysis of trends.

  • Strengthening Relations in Military Communities Act of 2021 - Requires the Department of Defense to establish a survey of our military communities to improve the critical bonds and relationship between our servicemembers, military families, their neighbors, and fellow Americans.

Military Justice Reform:

  • The Military Justice and Sexual Assault Reporting Improvement Act - Establishes a comprehensive reporting structure on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, and rank for offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Additionally, permanently authorizes the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response reports and requires reporting on disparities in citations issued by military police.

  • The Oversight of Independent Review Commission Recommendations Act - Requires the Department to provide a report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Review Commission on sexual assault.

  • Racial disparities in drug testing and evaluation - Required the Department of Defense to provide a report on the feasibility of tracking the racial demographics of random drug testing and evaluation.

Readiness:

Countering Terrorism:

Veterans & Servicemembers:

  • Report on potential locations for a new national cemetery - Directs the Department of Defense, in coordination with the Department of Veterans Affairs, to report to Congress on potential locations for a new national cemetery due to changes in burial eligibility requirements at Arlington National Cemetery. 

  • Service Academy Nominations - Reallocates service academy nominations in the event of a vacant House or Senate seat. In the event of a vacant House seat, nominations would be split evenly between the Senators and must go to students from the affected House district. In the event of a vacant Senate seat, the nominations would be made by the other Senator.

  • Virtual Reality for Soft and Hard Skill Training - Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress on the Department’s current and planned future use of commercial-based VR and augmented reality platforms for training activities, including aircraft maintenance, aircraft operations, advanced pilot education, sexual assault prevention, and suicide prevention. 

Acquisition:

  • H.R.5153, The Defense Software Acquisition Cadre Act -  Requires the Secretary of Defense to establish a cadre of software development and acquisition experts. The cadre will ensure a consistent, strategic, and highly knowledgeable approach to developing and acquiring software for the Department

  • F-35 Propulsion System Strategy - Requires the Secretary of the Navy in coordination with the Under Secretary for Acquisition and Sustainment to deliver a competitive acquisition strategy for an advanced propulsion system, including assessing the Adaptive Engine Transition Program engine, for both the F-35B and F-35C to meet future combat effectiveness requirements.

  • Freeze Dried Platelets - Directs the Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and the Defense Health Agency to fund the planning and development of clinical trials for trauma of freeze-dried hemostatic products, especially platelet-derived products. 

Workforce:

  • Training for Corrosion Prevention and Control - Encourages the Department to take advantage of existing registered apprenticeship programs to train personnel to perform corrosion prevention and control work.  

  • Professional Development in the Department of Defense Education Activity - Requires the Comptroller General to conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of professional development activities offered by DoDEA to school-level employees. 

Investment in Maryland’s Military Installations and Institutions:

A total of $1.1 billion in investment in Maryland defense infrastructure, including medical centers, research and development activities, and production facilities.

  • $175M to improve the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore and create resiliency in our nation’s shipbuilding capacity.

  • $153M for increment 5 of the medical center addition at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

  • $118M for investment in Fort Detrick infrastructure, including $24M for a new medical waste incinerator and $94M for a new headquarters for USAMRMC.

  • $298M for facilities improvement at Fort Meade, including a SOF Operations Facility and operations facilities at National Security Agency West Campus.

  • $134M for infrastructure improvements at Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head, including investments in energetics laboratories and facilities.

  • $26M for a new fire crash rescue station at Joint Base Andrews.

  • $8M to complete a military working dog kennel at Joint Base Andrews.

  • $29M for a moving target simulator in the Combat Systems Simulation Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

  • $122M for the Naval Air Warfare Center for phase 3 of the aircraft prototyping facility and a replacement rotary-wing hanger.

  • $1.5M for planning and design of an aircraft prototyping facility at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

  • $22M at Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division for a ship systems integration and design facility.

  • $1.985M at Morgan State University to research the use of digital twins and digital engineering to address Navy ships and submarines maintenance and readiness.

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