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Congressman Brown Secures Key Wins for Servicemember Wellbeing and Maryland in the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act

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, secured key priorities in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (S.1605)  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, Congress passed a 2.7 percent military pay increase, instituted new protections for survivors of sexual assault, bolstered research at HBCUs and Minority Institutions and funding for Maryland-based military institutions.

“The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 includes many important provisions that I fought for. It advances diversity and equity in the military, strengthens our military communities, requires a plan for equity in defense research at HBCUs, and makes progress on behalf of survivors of sexual assault in the military,” said Congressman Brown. “I strongly believe that we can and must do more to improve the lives of our servicemembers and their families. I believe we can and must do more to counter the serious threat posed by extremism in the ranks and for equal justice for all under military law. I will continue to take on these fights.”

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.

Improving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

  • Improving Participation of Minority Institutions in Defense Research - Includes portions of H.R.5107, the BEACON Act, including requiring the Secretary of Defense to develop a plan to promote defense-related engineering, research, and development activities at minority institutions to improve the capacity of such institutions to perform such work. The NDAA also requires the Secretary of Defense to establish goals and incentives to encourage federally funded research and development centers, science and technology reinvention laboratories, and University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs) that are funded by the Department to assess the capacity of support, collaborate, and partner with minority institutions. 

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)/Minority Institutions (MIs) - $73 million in authorized funding for HBCUs and MIs to perform defense-related research, development, testing, and evaluation work. 

  • H.R.6211, Strengthening Relations in Military Communities Act of 2021 - Requires the Department of Defense to perform 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:

Countering Terrorism:

  • H.R. 5130, the Consortium to Study Irregular Warfare Act of 2021 - Establishes a research consortium of institutions of higher education to study irregular warfare and the response to irregular threats. The previous iteration of the consortium has also studied and advised the Department of Defense on extremism in the military.

Veterans & Servicemembers:

  • Tuition Assistance - Secured $16 million in authorized funds for tuition assistance for the Army. 

  • Data Recorder Feasibility Report - Directs the Secretary of the Army to provide a report no later than March 1, 2022, on the design, cost, scope, and potential benefits of a pilot program to test the use of data recorders to improve tactical vehicle safety. 

  • Strategy to Improve Military Vehicle Safety - Requires the Secretaries of the Army and Navy to develop plans to address the recommendations included in the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report Military Vehicles: Army and Marine Corps Should Take Additional Actions to Mitigate and Prevent Training Accidents, resulting from a request led by Rep. Brown. The Secretaries are also required to implement their respective plans no later than June 2023. 

  • H.R. 5791, the Service Education Reallocation for Vacant Elected (SERVE) offices Act of 2021 - Ensures the award of 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.

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.

  • Commercial Item Determinations Report - Directs the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment to submit an unclassified report on the training available for the acquisition workforce related to commercial item determinations and price reasonableness determinations under Federal Acquisition Regulations Part 12. 

Investment in Maryland’s Military Installations:

A total of $573 million in investment in Maryland defense infrastructure, including medical centers, research and development activities, and production facilities.

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

  • $24M for a new medical waste incinerator at Fort Detrick.

  • $354M for facilities improvement at Fort Meade, including a SOF Operations Facility and operations facilities at National Security Agency West Campus.

  • $1.5M for the planning and design of a contained burn facility at Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head.

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

  • $10M to complete a military working dog kennel at Joint Base Andrews.

  • $3.6M to construct a 6,000 square foot recycling center at Aberdeen Proving Ground. 

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

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