Wittman statement on the release of the FY21 NDAA SPF mark
Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) released the following statement after the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces published its proposals for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
“This mark is laser-focused on providing our sailors, soldiers, marines, and airmen the tools they need to keep our nation safe. This mark accelerates a number of our nation’s priorities including the Navy’s undersea strike capabilities and includes the number one unfunded priority of CNO Gilday, a second Virginia Class submarine.
“I also believe that our nation has the world’s best ground forces, but if we can’t get the Army to the fight, they can’t complete their mission. This mark recapitalizes the surge sealift forces with the authorization of four additional sealift vessels, establishes a Tanker Security Fleet to address the sea logistics gap, and requires the Air Force to retain sufficient airlift so that Joint-Force can move forces with agility. With these mobility forces, we can ensure our nation’s logistics are ready to respond.
“The mark also helps to ensure we are good stewards of taxpayer funds by providing necessary oversight of developing programs. The mark reduces the authorized number of KC46As from 15 to 12 and requires the Air Force retain certain KC-135 and KC-10s until we have a capable KC-46A aircraft. I am particularly pleased that the subcommittee accepted my amendment to prohibit the KC-46A aircraft from going into full rate production until this tanker is able to meet basic test requirements. Finally, the mark also limits Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV) development until capabilities and operational concepts are fully developed.
“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, countries such as Russia and China continue to expand their naval presence and look to outpace the capabilities of the United States. This mark seeks to rollback recent gains of our competitors. I was pleased to support the advancement of these important provisions to the full committee and look forward to continuing to promote these issues as the NDAA process moves forward.”
- Recommends the restoration of a second Virginia Class submarine and the required advanced procurement to maintain the two per year build rate;
- Recommends to the full committee that the Navy procure 8 battle force ships including one Columbia class fleet ballistic missile submarine; two Virginia-class submarines; two DDG 51 Arleigh Burke destroyers; one guided missile Frigate (FFG); and two T-ATS towing, salvage, and rescue ships;
- Prohibits the retirement of LCS-3 and LCS-4 until all operational tests have been completed;
- Prohibits the retirement of any aircraft carrier before its first refueling;
- Establishes a statutory floor that the Air Force is required to retain for air refueling aircraft;
- Establishes a statutory floor that the Air Force is required to retain for tactical airlift aircraft;
- Recommends 6 P-8 Poseidon aircraft;
- Recommends 4 additional V-22 Osprey aircraft;
- Recommends continuing support for the propulsion and propeller upgrades of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve C-130H airlift aircraft;
- Authorizes efficient construction of the first two Columbia class ballistic missile submarines.
- Restricts funds associated with the Secretary of Defense until the 30-year shipbuilding plan is delivered.
- In Fiscal Year 2021, prohibits the retirement of any navy vessel until the Secretary of Defense provides a Navy force structure assessment.
- Authorizes the procurement of up to 4 used sealift vessels.
- Requires the Secretary of Defense to provide ship requirements to implement the Commandant’s Planning Guidance.
- Establishes a Tanker Security Fleet to help fill the gap in at sea logistics;
- Recommends full funding for the B-21 Raider program;
- Recommends full funding for the VC-25B Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization (PAR) program;
- Recommends funding of the 4th National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) for the State Maritime Academies and recommends additional funds for previously authorized ships;
- Continues to provide strict oversight of the Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV)