June 18, 2018

Young Secures Key National and Indiana Priorities in Senate-Passed Annual Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) worked successfully to include several provisions in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was passed today by the United States Senate. Young, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who served in the Marine Corps and now serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, included provisions in the NDAA in support of Indiana and our national security. The NDAA authorizes funding and provides authorities for the U.S. military, and the Senate passed the bill today by a vote of 85-10.  

Senator Young said, “Congress has an obligation to provide our servicemembers what they need to defend our country, and this legislation will help do that.” Young continued, “The annual defense bill includes provisions that are important to the Indiana National Guard, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, Grissom Air Reserve Base, as well as the many Hoosier defense suppliers who provide our servicemembers the equipment they need to accomplish their missions, and I was proud to support the bill today.” 

Today’s passage by the Senate of the annual defense bill follows Senator Young’s visit on Friday to key military bases in Indiana. Senate and House Conferees will now seek to resolve differences between the two versions of the legislation.  

Here are details on key provision’s that Senator Young worked successfully to include: 

Maintaining America’s Air Dominance and Advocating for Fort Wayne

Young successfully included an amendment in the Senate-passed NDAA related to the sustainment costs of the F-35 aircraft. The amendment 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.   

In a statement, Senator Young said, “As Russia and China increasingly develop military capabilities that undermine American military superiority, it is important that the Department of Defense is able to procure advanced weapons systems like the F-35 in the required quantity. Maintaining American military superiority is the best means to deter conflict and protect Americans. However, growing F-35 sustainment costs risk preventing the Department of Defense from procuring the necessary number of F-35 aircraft.  That would not be good for the taxpayers or our service members.” Young continued, “The 122nd Fighter Wing has a tremendous reputation and track record of mission accomplishment. If the Department of Defense is able to procure the full number of F-35s, I am confident in the 122nd’s ability to compete for the opportunity to station the aircraft at Fort Wayne. That is why I introduced this amendment and why I plan to push the Pentagon to keep F-35 sustainment costs under control.”

Securing America’s Defense Industrial Base

Senator Young also joined forces with Senator Donnelly to include an amendment in the NDAA 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. Young has pushed to ensure that American companies have an opportunity to compete for the contract.   

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 bill includes several provisions that will modernize and strengthen America’s nuclear deterrent. Last year, Senator Young worked successfully to secure language in the FY 2018 NDAA Report (115-404) that encourages the Air Force and Navy to increase integration as they modernize our nation’s nuclear deterrent

Addressing the National Security and Humanitarian Crises in Yemen

The version of the NDAA passed today by the full Senate includes an important provision 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. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) passed the Young-Shaheen legislation on May 22, and the senators subsequently worked successfully to include the provision (Section 1266) in the version of the NDAA passed by the Senate today.