Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 passed out of the committee by a vote of 57-2.

“As the leading advocate for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, I am proud to give the North Country a pivotal voice as I fight for initiatives to protect and strengthen the Fort Drum community, fully equip our troops, increase our military readiness, and support the families of servicemembers in our district,” Stefanik said. “The recent crisis in Afghanistan has made clear the need for a strong national defense, especially as our adversaries in Russia and China rapidly develop their own militaries for the 21st Century. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s defense budget fell far short of meeting our national security needs. That is why I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to pass a NDAA which puts taxpayer dollars to good use by strengthening our military and providing our brave men and women in uniform with the resources they need to keep us safe.”

This NDAA provides for $778 billion in total defense spending for FY2022. Throughout the process, Stefanik introduced a number of provisions to support Fort Drum, the 10th Mountain Division, and our military families, including the following highlights:

Supporting Our Servicemembers and Their Families

  • Authorizes a 2.7% pay raise for our troops
  • Expands the in-home childcare for servicemembers pilot program to provide financial assistance for in-home childcare
  • Requires a 10-year facility improvement plan for Child Development Centers
  • Establishes a Casualty Assistance Reform Working Group to improve the casualty affairs programs

Strengthening Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division

  • Requires a report to leverage Fort Drum for a future layered missile defense system to protect the homeland against our adversaries’ sophisticated missile arsenals
  • Supports our 10th Mountain Division warfighters by providing $133 million to extend the range of the MQ-1 Gray Eagle – an unmanned aircraft at Fort Drum
  • Funds technology upgrades at military bases, including Fort Drum
  • Funds the procurement of Arctic equipment to ensure soldier safety and readiness for units deployed to Arctic regions, including the 10th Mountain Division
  • Authorizes $981 million for upgrades of the Stryker armored vehicle used by the U.S. Army
  • Provides $26 million for Army procurement of critical firetrucks and firefighting equipment

Fighting for Wins for the North Country

  • Funds the procurement of advanced bomb suits made in NY-21
  • Funds partnerships for research to improve defense technology with institutions of higher education like Clarkson University
  • Acquires an additional MQ-4C Triton, an aircraft that sources components from advanced manufacturers in NY-21
  • Authorizes $50 million to fund the cleanup of unexploded ordinance on military installations

Keeping Pace with Emerging Technologies in the 21st Century

  • Authorizes $984 million to implement recommendations from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence – established by Congresswoman Stefanik – including the improvement of digital technical skills in the military and progress for the creation of a U.S. Digital Service Academy
  • Requires reporting on the emerging technologies of our foreign adversaries to ensure the United States maintains its technological superiority
  • Establishes pilot programs with technology incubators and small businesses to ensure our military can rapidly acquire the best emerging technologies

Strengthening Nuclear Arsenal and Deterring Foreign Adversaries

Stefanik has been a leading advocate for the modernization of our strategic arsenal that can defend our homeland and deter our foreign adversaries. Read her recent op-ed in Real Clear Defense on the need for a stronger missile defense system here.

  • $2.5 billion for the modernization of our ground-based strategic weapons
  • Requires an assessment of infrastructure necessary to support nuclear, hypersonic, and strategic weapons programs
  • Supports research, engineering, and development from the Missile Defense Agency for the technology to counter sophisticated ballistic and hypersonic missiles

After the full House of Representatives and Senate pass their versions of the NDAA, they will reconcile the differences between the two bills in a Conference Committee before sending the final version to the President to be signed into law.