Washington, D.C. – The day I was sworn in as your Representative in Congress, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. There is no promise that I take more seriously than this one.
For too long, our military has struggled to complete the tasks they’ve been given – not because of a lack of skill or dedication, but because the government has failed to provide our men and women in uniform with the tools and resources necessary to accomplish their missions.
This week, however, the House moved to reverse this trend and passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. This legislation increases defense spending by more than 10 percent compared to last year, increases the end-strength of every service branch, and fully funds our missile defense capabilities so that we stand ready to counter threats from rogue nations like North Korea. The men and women of our Armed Forces deserve our very best, and I’m proud that this bill authorizes a 2.4% pay raise for our troops.
As many of you know, Georgia is home to several vital military installations. Fort Gordon, located partially in the 10th District near Augusta, is the Army’s cyber security hub, and its Center of Excellence is tackling the issues that continue to grow in importance for our national security. This bill fully funds all cyber operations while providing resources for recapitalizing major Georgia-based programs, like the aging Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) fleet operated out of Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia, and the Columbia-class submarine fleet, which will replace the current nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine fleet operated out of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Camden County, Georgia. The legislation also authorizes the acquisition of 87 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and 20 C-130Js, both of which are assembled in Marietta, Georgia at a facility adjacent to Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
It’s clear that Georgia’s military installations are at the forefront of our war-fighting capabilities, and I’m proud of the hard work achieved by our service members here in the State and around the world. I am confident that this year’s NDAA will provide them with the resources they need to keep America safe, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and President Trump to get this legislation signed into law.