Forbes praises House passage of defense policy bill

randy forbesCongressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, released the following statement on the House of Representatives’ passage of the annual defense policy bill, the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“There is no higher Constitutional obligation than to provide for our national security, and the defense policy bill just passed by the House does that. My legislation to increase shipbuilding to the highest level since the Reagan-era, included in this bill, begins the process of building the 350-ship Navy our country requires. The next President will face a dangerous world with growing threats, and this legislation is a down-payment on the military needed to meet those threats. I look forward to working with the Senate to send legislation to the President’s desk that gives our warriors the tools they need to execute their missions and come home safely.”

Among the key provisions in Forbes’ Seapower legislation that were included in the House-passed defense policy bill:

  • Revitalizes Navy Shipbuilding and Accelerates Key Programs.The mark authorizes procurement of 3 additional ships ($433M for a destroyer, $856M for an amphibious ship, and $385M for a Littoral Combat Ship) above the administration’s plan. Between the SCN account and the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund, it authorizes $20.6 billion for shipbuilding—$2.3 billion more than the President’s budget and the highest level of shipbuilding funding, accounting for inflation, since Fiscal Year 1988.
  • Prohibits Inactivation of Navy Cruisers.The Seapower mark prevents the administration from inactivating 11 of 22 cruisers under a “phased modernization plan” and holds the administration accountable for cruiser modernization by withholding funding from the Office of the Secretary of Defense until modernization contracts have been signed.
  • Denies Navy’s Request for Authority to Disestablish a Carrier Air Wing.The mark, along with efforts made by the Readiness and Military Personnel Subcommittees in their marks, denies the Navy’s request for authority to disestablish one of ten extant carrier air wings (CVW) and funds the continued operation of that critical element of force structure.
  • Transfers Funding into the National Sea-Based Deterrent Fund and expands its authorities.The mark shifts the first procurement funding for the Ohio Replacement submarines into the NSBDF and grants the fund additional authority for “continuous production,” allowing the Navy to procure components like missile tubes in one large production run at substantially lower costs.
  • Calls for Navy to Build Aircraft Carriers 20% Faster.Forbes’ legislation calls upon the Navy to build aircraft carriers every four years instead of five, a change in tempo that will increase the size of the carrier fleet. The mark also authorizes the “block buy” of components for multiple carriers, reducing costs for the taxpayer. Carriers will continue to be the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s ability to prevent and win America’s wars.

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