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September 24, 2021

Rep. Kirkpatrick Secures A-10 Amendment in NDAA Passage

NDAA Includes Crucial Benefits for Servicemembers and Military Families and Strengthens National Security

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Kirkpatrick voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation that makes key investments to improve the lives of Servicemembers and military families, while also strengthening our national security. In today’s passage of the NDAA, Rep. Kirkpatrick secured a vital amendment for southern Arizona that will ensure greater transparency in the Air Force’s A-10 re-winging effort. The amendment will require a report to the congressional defense committees on the progress the service has made towards re-winging the A-10 fleet, planned locations for the upgraded aircraft, and oversight on the funds appropriated for the effort.  The Secretary of the Air Force will have to submit this report within 45 days after the date of the enactment of the FY22 NDAA. The A-10 remains a cornerstone of the country’s national security, Rep. Kirkpatrick continues to support its modernization.

“I am incredibly proud that our A-10 amendment was successfully included in the NDAA passage, said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “The A-10 is a crucial asset to the close air support mission and is an iconic symbol of the Arizona defense community—the fleet at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base remains the largest in the country. Protecting this aircraft is one of my top priorities in Congress. We will continue to advocate for the A-10 program as well as for increased transparency surrounding its future.

“Especially representing southern Arizona, a district with such a significant military presence, I was proud to vote and contribute to a bill that honors the service and sacrifice of our troops and their families,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “With this year’s defense funding bill, we secured crucial benefits and protections for our Servicemembers that will make our nation safer and stronger, while also making strong investments in our national defense and in our security interests.”

In addition to Rep. Kirkpatrick’s A-10 amendment, this legislation includes a number of important priorities that Democrats fought for and secured, including:

·   Vital benefits for Servicemembers and their families, including a 2.7 percent pay increase, expanded parental leave, improved mental health care services and a new basic needs allowance for lower-income Servicemembers.

·   Combating sexual assault in the military by creating an Office of Special Victim Prosecutor to prosecute these crimes, removing the commanding officer from these decisions and finally criminalizing sexual harassment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

·   Significant investments in emerging technologies to modernize institutions of national security, including a 36 percent increase in defense-wide research and development, as well as new funding to improve DOD research labs.

·   Action on the climate crisis by removing barriers to improving the extreme weather resilience of critical defense infrastructure and requiring the DOD to consider climate risks in its strategic planning.

·   Addressing strategic and security challenges, ranging from competition with China, to the risks posed by violent extremism and white nationalism, to strengthening our cybersecurity infrastructure, to strengthening the provisions providing for the needs of our Afghan partners with Special Immigrant Visas.

·   Recruiting a stronger, fairer, more diverse Armed Services by promoting academic partnerships with minority-serving colleges and universities, rooting out extremism among Servicemembers and establishing a $15 minimum wage for covered DOD service and construction contracts.

“From a much-deserved pay raise to a long-overdue transformation of how we combat the scourge of sexual assault in the military to investments in cutting-edge and life-saving technologies, Democrats have delivered a funding bill that meets the needs of our Servicemembers and strengthens our national security. As we continue to confront the complex challenges our nation faces, I will keep fighting to honor our sacred commitment to our troops and ensure the safety of Arizona families,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. 

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