Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted to advance the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023.

“As the leading advocate in Congress for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, I am proud to give Upstate New York and the North Country a seat at the highest levels and deliver 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. “Our country must never fall behind in providing for a strong national defense, which is why I am proud to bring an end to the Biden Administration’s authoritarian COVID vaccine mandate on our servicemen and women that has weakened our military recruitment and impaired our military ranks. Additionally, I have secured several provisions to support Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, the most deployed Army division since 9/11, which is integral to our nation’s military readiness. I am proud to have advanced a defense bill that puts taxpayer dollars to good use by strengthening our military and providing a well-deserved pay raise to our brave men and women in uniform as they work to keep us safe.”

This NDAA provides for $858 billion in total defense spending for FY 2023, surpassing President Biden’s inadequate proposal of $813 billion and ensuring growth of 4% above inflation. Stefanik secured a number of provisions to support Fort Drum, the 10th Mountain Division, and military families, including the following highlights:

Supporting Our Servicemembers and Their Families 

  • Authorizes a 4.6% pay raise for servicemembers, plus an additional $750 million to offset the cost of food and housing inflation for junior servicemembers
  • Rescinds the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on all active and reserve servicemembers and ends servicemember separations for failure to take the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Establishes more child care options by directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide childcare fee reductions for child care providers, including at Fort Drum
  • Reinforces the rights of parents of children attending DoDEA schools to review curriculum, instructional materials and disciplinary policies, with additional mandatory reporting on parents’ rights and DoDEA schools, based on Stefanik’s Servicemember Parents Bill of Rights

Strengthening Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division

  • $10 million for short range reconnaissance drones used by the 10th Mountain Division
  • Requires an updated assessment for an East Coast Missile Defense site at Fort Drum and a funding profile for its establishment
  • $197 million the procurement of additional CH-47 helicopters
  • $32.5 million for arctic organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE) gear for the 10th Mountain Division
  • $3.6 million for the planning and design of a new firing range for the Next Generation Squad Weapon

Fighting for Wins for Upstate New York and the North Country

  • $25 million for military munitions cleanup at formerly used defense sites
  • Includes Stefanik’s bipartisan St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes Waterways Protection Act to ensure that the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Center of Expertise for Great Lakes Oil Spill Preparedness and Response will study the impact of oil spills in the St. Lawrence River and develop best practices for responding to any spill that may occur in freshwater environments

Keeping Pace with Emerging Technologies in the 21st Century

  • $20 million to build an Ion Trap Quantum Computer at AFRL Rome
  • $10 million for Quantum Cloud Computing testbed at Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in Rome, New York
  • $10 million for a Trusted DoD/Federal UAS Traffic Management system at AFRL Rome
  • $5 million for artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) testbed for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2)
  • $5 million for an Internet of Things (IoT) Laboratory at AFRL Rome

Strengthening National Defense and Deterring Foreign Adversaries

  • Requires a technical fielding plan for extending Shared Early Warning information regarding missile threats to allies and partners
  • Extends the authority for U.S.-Israel cooperation on countering unmanned aerial systems until 2026
  • Provides acquisition authority for strategic and critical minerals to strengthen supply chains critical to U.S. economic and national security
  • Provides $11 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative to deter Chinese aggression
  • Requires regular reporting on terror threats emanating from Afghanistan as well as DoD’s ability to counter such threats

After the Senate passes this final version of the NDAA, it will be sent to the President to be signed into law.