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Congressman Wittman backs National Defense Authorization Act

Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1)  supported passage of H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016. The annual legislation, which was approved by the House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 269-151 on May 15, provides policy guidance and authorization for the Department of Defense.

A press release quoted Wittman as saying, “The missions our armed forces are being asked to carry out are not getting any safer or simpler. It is our constitutional duty to ensure that our servicemen and women have the recourses necessary to carry out the military missions of this nation effectively and successfully,” Wittman said. “I’ve advocated for a number of requirements in today’s legislation that will maintain our military’s cutting edge capabilities. These requirements also ensure that DOD can meet the challenges of today as well as plan for the uncertainties of the future.”

During consideration both in Committee and on the full House floor, Wittman fought for a number of provisions which made it into the final version of the bill, his office said. These included:

·      Reject the request for an additional Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round;

·      Request an assessment of excess capacity to better understand those areas the Department of Defense believes need to be streamlined to achieve efficiencies;

·      Implement efficiency initiatives for CVN-80 and 81 and maintain funding authorizations for the refueling and overhaul of CVN-73;

·      Support advance procurement of the LX(R) amphibious ship, sustained funding for the Virginia Class submarines program, and continued progress for the LPD-28;

·      Direct several assessments of the military departments’ plans to rebuild readiness, enhance exercises, and modernize training requirements; and,

·      Provide an increased military construction program above FY15 enacted levels.

Wittman, the chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee and a member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, argued during floor consideration against a reduction in the carrier fleet.

He was quoted as saying, “Assuring military readiness is the most important aspect of our national defense. Readiness is a term of art that encompasses a wide array of characteristics about our military’s capabilities,” Wittman continued. “When we discuss readiness, we’re looking at factors such as the amount of training our troops receive and the maintenance and modernization of our equipment and technology. Our commitment to readiness is to guarantee our military is in the highest state of working order so that we can maintain superiority over our adversaries.

“This bill is a significant step toward building and maintaining these capabilities we have lost. We must ensure full spectrum readiness by preventing arbitrary defense cuts and maintaining our nation’s military status as the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. Ronald Reagan’s national security strategy of ‘peace through strength’ is what we must seek to achieve. I believe this year’s NDAA is a responsible bill that strengthens our military’s ability to carry out that mission.”

Wittman’s district includes part of Prince William County.

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