Congresswoman Stefanik Announces Visit to Fort Drum with Vice President Mike Pence

January 13, 2021
Press Release

On Sunday, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik will join Vice President Mike Pence at Fort Drum to thank soldiers and their families for their service to the United States of America. She released the following statement:

“It is an honor to welcome Vice President Pence to our district to express the Trump Administration’s appreciation for our selfless military community. As the chief advocate for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, I express my sincere gratitude to Vice President Pence and the entire Trump Administration for their unwavering commitment over the past four years to rebuild America’s military readiness and support the brave men and women who proudly serve.

Throughout the last year, I led the charge to successfully enact several provisions benefitting Fort Drum in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which were signed into law earlier this month. Our men and women in uniform deserve the maximum amount of resources that the federal government can provide, as they make incredible sacrifices to protect America’s interests here at home and abroad.”

In the FY21 NDAA, Congresswoman Stefanik ensured Fort Drum was named the preferred site for a land-based missile defense underlayer, advocated for a pay raise for our troops, and helped pass many other provisions to benefit Fort Drum, North Country military families, and our military community:

Wins for Fort Drum and the North Country Military Community:

  • Directs DOD study on cyber infrastructure for Mission Training Complex
  • Directs DOD study on infrastructure improvements to Childcare Development Centers
  • Directs DOD to conduct a study and inventory of firefighting operations, management, and equipment
  • Allows civilian DoD emergency and protection workers stationed on a military base access to the commissary and exchanges
  • Directs USD for Acquisition and Sustainment to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services by February 1, 2021, as to military installations where biomass will be considered during analysis of alternatives for achieving additional installation energy resiliency (Fort Drum is the only military installation that is 100% energy-resilient with the long term biomass Re-Energy contract)
  • Provides significant funding for testing harmful water contamination and clean-up, including the remediation of harmful chemicals like PFAS
  • Requires notification to agricultural operations located in areas exposed to DOD PFAS use
  • Allows for awarding of cash prizes for the development of non-PFAS-containing fire-fighting agents

Wins for Servicemembers and Military Families:

  • Requires Transition Assistance Programs (TAP) to educate servicemembers of sexual assault and sexual harassment, on care provided by the Veteran’s Administration (VA)
  • Adds Parkinsonism, bladder cancer, and hypothyroidism to the list of diseases associated with exposure Agent Orange
  • Directs a pilot program for the temporary issuance of maternity uniforms to pregnant servicemembers, at no cost
  • Requires a strategy for increasing diversity in the military as part of the National Defense Strategy
  • Ensures that election officials track and confirm the receipt of military and overseas absentee ballots
  • Requires reporting on the oversight of known environmental hazards in government-owned family housing, including overseas housing
  • Repeals the provision allowing the Department of Defense to place families in substandard housing

Wins for New York State National Guard and Reserves:

  • Provides transitional health benefits for certain members of the National Guard serving under orders in response to COVID-19
  • Requires a report on lapses in TRICARE coverage for members of the National Guard
  • Restores funding to the High Energy Laser Advanced Technology Research
  • Directs DOD to fund the Military Munitions Response program to clean unexploded ordinance on military installations around the state