NDAA Conference Report Passes House, Includes Pine Bluff Arsenal Support
WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives passed the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act on Tuesday (November 14). The report includes a provision requiring “the Secretary of Defense to conduct a report on the need for a Joint Chemical-Biological Defense Logistics Center.” The report would study the viability of the logistics center being located at Pine Bluff Arsenal in Jefferson County.
“The Pine Bluff Arsenal is uniquely equipped to house our military’s chemical and biological agents,” Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) said. “For decades, PBA has proven itself capable of handling the most sensitive chemical components. Inclusion of this study on the viability of a large-scale clearing house for our nation’s chemical and biological agents is important for military readiness and important for the working military professionals at Pine Bluff Arsenal.”
According to Pine Bluff Arsenal, it provides “America's Joint Warfighter with specialized ammunitions, smoke, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defense capabilities through expert manufacturing, storage and logistics.”
Other highlights of the NDAA (provided by the office of Majority Whip Steve Scalise):
- The NDAA provides $634.2 billion for base budget requirements and $65.7 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.
- Funds requirements identified by the military services that will help rebuild our military and restore readiness by providing additional aircraft, ships, and systems for our warfighter, as well as funding for depot maintenance and facilities sustainment.
- 90 F-35s, 24 F/A-18s, 3 Littoral Combat Ships, 3 destroyers, 85 Abrams Tank upgrades, 93 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 53 UH-60M Blackhawks, and additional critical modernization priorities.
- Funds a 2.4% pay raise for the troops, increases end strength for the Active and Reserve forces, improves the delivery of health care services, and ensures our service members and their families receive the benefits they deserve.
- Prohibits nonconsensual sharing of intimate images, includes additional provisions to protect victims of sexual assault, and improves sexual assault prevention and response.
- Provides the resources necessary for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria to combat ISIS and other terrorist organizations.
- Increases funding for the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) to support our European allies and deter Russia.
- $350 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, $100 million for Baltic nations’ development of joint defense programs, and $705 million for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow.
- Reaffirms the U.S. deterrence commitments to Japan and South Korea and continues to invest in ballistic missile defense capabilities to defend U.S. territories and our allies from potential threats from North Korea.
- Continues to reform acquisition at the Pentagon by increasing efficiencies through competition and enhancing oversight.
- The NDAA also authorizes funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) weapons activities and defense nuclear nonproliferation program.
- Maintains current prohibitions on transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.