Sullivan Defends Alaska and the Arctic with Rugged Defense Authorization for Fiscal Year 2023


invests in military mental health and well-being; Blocks the “woke” agenda of the far left in the army

WASHINGTON— U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), voted with 22 of his committee colleagues yesterday to advance fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would increase the Department of Defense (DOD) budget by $45 billion beyond President Joe Biden’s inadequate defense budget proposal that amounted to an inflation-adjusted cut. The legislation includes 33 provisions proposed by Senator Sullivan and authorizes $365 million in military construction and equipment for Alaska and the Arctic.

“Our world has become much more dangerous over the past year, with the first outbreak of war on the European continent in decades and the escalation of provocations in the Taiwan Strait,” he added. said Senator Sullivan. “Even amid this myriad of threats, President Biden has refused to deliver a defense budget that even keeps pace with the runaway inflation his administration’s policies have unleashed. This bipartisan Defense Authorization Act crafted by the Armed Services Committee dramatically increases the military budget for our troops and their families, addresses the challenges posed by this new era of authoritarian aggression, and invests in the necessary capabilities and equipment to our strengths. to deter and, if necessary, defeat our global adversaries.

“It is also important to note what is not in this defense authorization. I have fought vigorously against misguided amendments and Pentagon policies that seek to advance the “woke” agenda through the ranks. I thank my colleagues for helping me eliminate distractions from our military’s primary mission and purpose: lethality and victory in our country’s wars. »

“Senator Sullivan understands what our military needs to win now and in the future,” said SASC ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). “He has advocated tirelessly to increase the line of defense and provide our troops with the resources they need to counter all the threats we face, including China and Russia. And let me tell you: no one understands the importance of the Arctic to our national security better and fights harder for our troops serving in Alaska than Dan Sullivan.

The fiscal year 2023 NDAA:

  • Authorizes $857 billion in defense funding, boosting revenue by $45 billion over the Biden administration’s anemic proposal, to address the effects of inflation and accelerate the implementation of national defense strategy. This budget would represent 4.6% real growth compared to the defense budget adopted for the financial year 2022.
  • Increases funding for the purchase of combat aircraft, surface ships and submarines, armored fighting vehicles, ammunition, long-range fire and short-range fire.
  • Includes a provision offered by Senator Sullivan requiring the Navy to maintain a minimum of 31 amphibious warfare ships to support the US Marine Corps.
  • Authorizes FY 2023 end-of-active-duty forces for the Army of 473,000; the Navy, 354,000; the Marine Corps, 177,000; the Air Force, 325,344; and the Space Force, 8,600.
  • Allows significant funding increases for breakthrough technologies such as microelectronics, hypersonic weapons, and low-cost deployable aircraft.
  • Authorizes full fiscal year 2023 budget request for the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), a DOD effort established in 2014 to increase the readiness and responsiveness of U.S. forces in Europe, in partnership with allies Americans, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Extends through Exercise 2023 the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI), a DOD effort established in 2021 to increase the readiness and responsiveness of U.S. forces in the Pacific, in partnership with U.S. allies, following China’s militarization of the South China Sea and other provocative actions in Asia.
  • Continues research and development of the sea-launched nuclear cruise missile.
  • Includes $1 billion Sullivan-led authorization for National Defense stockpile to acquire strategic and critical minerals currently in short supply.
  • Requires DOD to produce a report clarifying the roles and responsibilities of each service and combatant command involved in missile defense.

Refocusing the Pentagon on mission and core priorities

The fiscal year 2023 NDAA repels the “woke” agenda imposed on the military by the Biden administration, including three amendments proposed by Senator Sullivan:

  • Order the Pentagon to stop investing in a DOD-wide effort to root out “extremism” given the extraordinarily low rate of extremism in the military, as determined by the Secretary of State’s task force. Defense on the fight against extremist activities.
  • Re-emphasize lethality, deterrence and winning wars as primary considerations when determining and implementing defense policies.
  • Blocking a Pentagon policy proposal that would allow each service member to veto their assignment to a duty station if they disagree with state or local laws and regulations. community to which he is assigned.

Continued military build-up in the Arctic and Alaska – $365 million

Senator Sullivan secured a number of Alaska- and Arctic-focused provisions in the fiscal year 2023 NDAA, including $365 million in military construction and equipment.

“I like to say that Alaska is the three pillars of American military power,” said Senator Sullivan. “We are the cornerstone of missile defense. Almost all of the radar systems and ground-based missile interceptors protecting the entire country are located in Alaska. With more than 100 fifth-generation combat aircraft, we are the hub of air combat power for the Arctic and Indo-Pacific. We are a platform for expeditionary forces – the hardened Arctic warriors of the all-new 11e Airborne division that can travel quickly to all parts of the world. We are also home to DOD’s newest regional center, the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies. Now, with $365 million authorized for military construction and maintenance, and many other provisions we were able to secure in this NDAA, our state will be even more cemented as the center of gravity for American security operations in the ‘Arctic.

The fiscal year 2023 NDAA:

  • Includes a Sullivan Amendment requiring the Secretary of Defense to establish authorship Sullivan Arctic Security Initiative (ASI). The ASI, the DOD’s third region-specific initiative, includes a five-year plan to fully fund the DOD and individual service-specific strategies for the Arctic that have been released over the past few years. The initiative should lead to a significant increase in attention and funding for the Arctic.
  • Builds on historic military buildup in Alaska and the Arctic over the past several years, including the arrival of F-35 fighters at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, the establishment of the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies and the activation of 11e Airborne Division.
  • Provides $65 million for Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment (OCIE) and $9 million for cold weather gear.
  • Authorizes $50 million to improve Fort Wainwright’s recreational facilities, improvements that were canceled in the President’s budget proposal.
  • Authorizes $63 million for an aircraft maintenance hangar at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), which was canceled in the President’s budget proposal.
  • Authorizes $68 million for dormitory at Clear Space Force Station.
  • Authorizes $100 million for a runway extension at JBER.
  • Authorizes $5.2 million for the removal of soil contaminated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), which was canceled in the President’s budget proposal.
  • Authorizes $5 million for the digitization of the Alaska Long Range Radar Site, which was canceled in the President’s budget proposal.
  • Directs the DOD to report on bulk fuel and runway infrastructure improvements necessary to make the closed military base on Adak Island operational again.
  • Directs the Commandant of the Marine Corps to advise the SASC of the applicability of Expeditionary Forward Base Operations (EABO) and reserve forces to the defense of U.S. interests in the Arctic.
  • Recognizes the advantages of Alaska’s unique geographic location for land-based testing of hypersonic weapons and defenses, particularly the Aleutian test area.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to consider improving infrastructure at strategic seaports required by the FY2020 NDAA, such as the Port of Alaska, for inclusion in the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program (DCIP).

Prioritizing the health and well-being of service members

The FY2023 NDAA includes important provisions focused on the mental health and well-being of service members, including seven provisions proposed by Senator Sullivan, some of which come from the Don Young Arctic Warrior Actpresented by Senators Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-California).

These provisions aim to expand access to mental health providers and support at remote military installations, encourage behavioral health students to work in the military health system upon graduation, and improve working conditions. life of servicemen stationed in Alaska.

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