Rep. Jackson Secures Major Victories for TX-13 During the National Defense Authorization Act Markup for Fiscal Year 2023

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WASHINGTON — Last week, Congressman Ronny Jackson (TX-13) championed Texas’ defense priorities during the House Armed Services Committee’s (HASC) markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023. Jackson issued the following statement in support of the legislation, which passed out of committee by a vote of 57-1. The NDAA is expected to be considered on the House Floor in the coming weeks.

Jackson said: “I’m proud to share that last week’s NDAA markup was a huge success for the defense workforce in Amarillo, for the servicemembers and their families at Sheppard Air Force Base, and for the entire Thirteenth Congressional District of Texas. Having served in the military for 29 years before coming to Congress, I take great pride in advocating for our district’s defense priorities as a legislator. The NDAA has been signed into law every year for over six decades, and I look forward to seeing that happen once again this year. This legislation will help ensure our military remains the greatest fighting force in the world.”

HASC Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-AL) said: “Rep. Ronny Jackson’s decades of service in the U.S. Navy has given him unique insights into the needs of our servicemembers. Rep. Jackson’s background has allowed him to be a leader on our committee in ensuring that the needs of our warfighters are being met in the FY23 NDAA.”

Topline Wins:

• Authorizes $850 billion in total defense spending for Fiscal Year 2023, rejecting Joe Biden’s proposed defense budget

• Largest servicemember pay raise in decades

• 2.4% pay bonus for enlisted personnel to help combat struggles caused by inflation

• Continues critical modernization efforts for the nuclear triad, which guarantees the significant role of Pantex in Amarillo for decades to come

• Protects servicemembers’ from the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate

Amarillo:

• Expedites construction of the HE Synthesis, Formulation, and Production facility and the HE Science & Engineering Facility at Pantex

• Directs the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to develop a plan for the modernization of Pantex

• Expresses Congressional disapproval of NNSA’s continued delays on the management and operation contract at Pantex

• Improves the Nuclear Weapons Council by directing risk management efforts relating to the nuclear weapons stockpile and the nuclear security enterprise

• Provides oversight of the NNSA’s management and operation contracting process

• Seeks to improve recruitment and retention efforts at Pantex

• Provides $212 million in funding for the new Bell Boeing V-22 aircraft which will be assembled in Amarillo

• Directs upgrades to MV-22 and CV-22 aircraft that will be upgraded in Amarillo

• Increases funding and support for the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program

• Directs additional information be provided to Congress on certain acquisition programs that could impact Amarillo’s workforce

Jason Harrison, Amarillo Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, said: “We are fortunate to have Congressman Jackson representing the needs and interests of our Amarillo business community and some of our city’s key industries and major employers.   These initiative wins were crucial to the future growth of both Pantex and Bell, as well as critical to the security of the country.  We were thrilled some of our local leaders were able to meet with Congressman Jackson and his staff on our recent trip to Washington for DC Days so that we could continue to foster our strong relationship.  Meeting with his staff, that of the NNSA, and the AVLC gave us valuable first-hand knowledge of the hard work they do to build a more successful business community in Amarillo.”

Mitch Snyder, President and CEO of Bell, said: “Bell is grateful to Congressman Jackson for his tireless efforts to advance the V-22 Program and all Department of Defense (DoD) vertical lift modernization efforts. Amarillo is home to a skilled workforce and a top-notch Bell facility that constitutes the only U.S. tiltrotor industrial base, which will play an important role in supporting the Joint Force for years to come. Congressman Jackson’s support of tiltrotor programs will provide our military with the capabilities they need to compete and win in demanding environments. The operational advantages of Bell’s aircraft provide the DoD the ability to carry out missions that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Bell appreciates Congressman Jackson’s leadership and continued advocacy on behalf of the great workforce in Amarillo.”

Wichita Falls:

• Provides needed funding and oversight for the T-7’s development and procurement

• Supports T-38 and T-6 sustainment and collecting important data to ensure a smooth transition to the T-7

• Requires an assessment of T-38 engine availability

• Includes important language to ensure the T-7 program remains on track

• Ensures the Secretary of the Air Force is coordinating with all participants of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program regarding the T-7

• Requires a briefing on improving employment for families of foreign servicemembers serving in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program at Sheppard

• Directs a study on expanding employment opportunities for military spouses and supporting employment when the servicemember receives a permanent change of station

• Mandates a study regarding the impact of wind turbines on pilot training and the need to protect military training routes flown at Sheppard

• Directs a report on creating a more transparent and fair way to calculate the basic allowance for housing for servicemembers

Glenn Barham, Sheppard Military Affairs Committee President, said: “The provisions Congressman Jackson was able to secure during the NDAA markup will have a positive impact on Sheppard Air Force Base’s airmen and their families for years to come. Keeping the T-38 and T-6 aircraft in peak condition while keeping our eye on the future with the new T-7 Red Hawk will be crucial for our airmen’s training and readiness. However, servicemembers and veterans alike know that taking care of our military families is just as important as providing equipment. I appreciate Congressman Jackson’s leadership on protecting Sheppard’s critical military training routes, improving the process for calculating BAH rates, and expanding employment opportunities for military spouses. Congressman Jackson has proven to be a fierce advocate for our service members and their families while serving the 13th District in Congress. I look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure Sheppard Air Force Base and the Wichita Falls community continue to prosper for decades to come.”

Foreign Policy:

• Supports Israel by authorizing cooperative programs and by continuing to identify and analyze the military capabilities of Iran and its military proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah

• Provides support from the United States to the creation of India’s indigenous defense platforms to reduce their reliance on China or Russia

• Mandates that the Biden Administration report on the impact that U.S. sanctions have on the Russian military and its proxies

• Requires a report on upgrading the capabilities of the United States Fifth Fleet in Bahrain

• Requires a briefing on operations in Somalia to combat terrorist organizations

• Places a prohibition on the Biden Administration from using DoD aircraft to transport currency or other items of value to the Taliban

Border Security:

• Requires consistent briefings on support provided by the military at the southern border due to the national security crisis created by Biden’s open-border policies

• Requires the Department of Defense to report to Congress on readiness impacts and costs associated with support provided to the Department of Homeland Security

• Directs an identification of the military capabilities and training efforts of cartels

• Analyzes current intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support DoD provides to DHS and identifies additional means of securing the southern border

Military Health System Reforms:

• Prohibits the DoD from reducing military medical end strength for three years

• Sets the grade of the Navy Surgeon General to O-9, ensuring parity with the Army and Air Force

• Re-establishes the position of the Medical Officer of the Marine Corps

• Directs a study on the establishment of the Medical Officer of the Space Force

• Requires information be provided on the composition of medical personnel in the military

• Directs the Department of Defense to create a definition for “major military health care contract” to improve oversight and transparency of these high value contracts

• Requires the Government Accountability Office to review the award of any TRICARE contract with a total value over $1 billion

• Improvements for licensure reciprocity for health-care professionals providing treatments as part of a mission relating to emergency, humanitarian, or refugee assistance.

• Requires the Secretary of Defense to perform a feasibility study on the establishment of a new defense health command

• Provides oversight of the modernization efforts for the fleet of Navy hospital ships and requires a briefing on these efforts

• Directs a briefing on civilian debt owed for treatment at a military treatment facility and seeks to improve such partnerships, such as the one at Brooke Army Medical Center

•Ensures the DoD maintains adequate military medical readiness levels

• Provides extensive oversight for the upcoming award of the T-5 TRICARE contracts

• Evaluates increasing the time a servicemember has to evaluate their health plan when coming off of active duty

• Seeks to improve coordination of various TRICARE contractors operating in different regions

 

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