Young Secures Key National and Indiana Priorities in Final Defense Bill
Senate-Passed Legislation Now Goes to President for Signature
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) voted today to adopt the final version of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Senator Young, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who served in the Marine Corps and now serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, worked to successfully include provisions in the NDAA Conference Report that support Indiana and our national security. The Senate voted 87-10 to approve the legislation and send it to the President for signature.
“We have an obligation to provide our service members the timely, predictable, and sufficient funding they need to defend our country, and this legislation will help do that,” Senator Young said.“The legislation sent to the President today for his signature includes provisions that are vital to our national security and important to the Indiana National Guard, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, and Grissom Air Reserve Base.”
Key provisions that Senator Young worked to include:
Maintaining America’s Air Dominance and Advocating for Fort Wayne
Senator Young successfully included language in the NDAA Conference Report related to the sustainment costs of the F-35 aircraft. The language will ensure that the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment briefs the House and Senate Armed Services Committees quarterly on efforts to ensure that excessive sustainment costs do not threaten the Department of Defense’s ability to purchase the required number of aircraft. Fort Wayne hopes to transition from A-10s to F-16s in the short term and then eventually to the F-35 aircraft. Senator Young and Congressman Jim Banks (IN-R-03) sent a letter this weekto Heather Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force, in support of transitioning Fort Wayne Air National Guard Base’s 122nd Fighter Wing from A-10s to F-16 fighter jets. Senator Young visited Fort Wayne and two other Department of Defense installations in Indianain June.
“F-35 sustainment costs risk preventing the Department of Defense from procuring the number of F-35 aircraft our national security requires. That would not be good for the taxpayers or our service members. If the Department of Defense is able to procure the full number of F-35s, I am confident in the 122ndFighter Wing’s ability to compete for the opportunity to station the aircraft at Fort Wayne,” said Senator Young.
Securing America’s Defense Industrial Base
Senator Young also joined forces with Senator Donnelly to include a provision in the NDAA Conference Report that seeks to ensure American companies are able to compete for the opportunity to win a contract to replace the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle transmissions. In April, Senator Young sent a letterto the Secretary of the Army expressing concerns about potential plans by the Army to develop and procure a foreign-made transmission for the U.S. Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Senator Young has pushed to ensure that American companies have an opportunity to compete for the contract. Senator Young helped host the Secretary of the Army in Indiana last month.
Modernizing America’s Nuclear Deterrent
In a March letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Young called for the committee to support sustainment and modernization of America’s nuclear triad. Following Young’s letter, the NDAA Conference Report includes several provisions that will modernize and strengthen America’s nuclear deterrent. Last year, Senator Young worked to successfully secure language in the FY 2018 NDAA Report (115-404) that encourages the Air Force and Navy to adopt common systems as they modernize our nation’s nuclear deterrent.
Addressing the National Security and Humanitarian Crises in Yemen
The NDAA Conference Report passed today includes Section 1290, an important provision Senator Young and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) worked successfully to include that seeks to end the civil war in Yemen, protect civilians, and address the world’s largest humanitarian disaster. In addition to an ISIS presence, Yemen is the headquarters for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is widely viewed as al Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate. Many experts believe the longer the conflict continues, and the worse the humanitarian crisis grows, the more opportunities Iran and Sunni terrorist organizations will have to recruit militants and terrorists to threaten Americans, our allies, and our interests.
Senator Young has led efforts in the United States Senate related to Yemen. A hearing that Senator Young convened earlier this year explored the connection between food insecurity and national security.
“This Yemen provision will provide the administration additional leverage and will hold our security partners accountable to their commitments. Our national security interests and humanitarian principles demand that we press all parties to engage in urgent and good faith negotiations to end the conflict that has helped create the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. If the war continues, millions of additional Yemenis may find themselves on the verge of famine. I look forward to this provision becoming law and carefully monitoring compliance,” said Senator Young.
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