Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, voted today in favor of advancing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015. This annual legislation, which contains a number of amendments and provisions authored by Fischer, authorizes defense spending and sets the policy and priorities for our military. Senator Fischer released the following statement:
“I am proud of the work done by the Senate Armed Service Committee and I am pleased that a number of amendments and provisions I supported were included in the final bill. Specifically, I focused on continuing to reform the military judicial process to combat sexual assault, preserving and strengthening our nation’s nuclear deterrent, and investing in the training of our special operations soldiers,” said Senator Fischer. “As Ranking Member, I’m particularly proud of provisions submitted by the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, which prioritized funding for training and readiness requirements of our soldiers that were not funded in the president’s budget request.”
ETC Subcommittee: The ETC subcommittee made difficult choices, offsetting budget increases with reductions in other programs, and produced a bipartisan consensus that authorizes additional funds for:
- Aircrew training hours, which was Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) top unfunded requirement.
- Pre-deployment training for special operations soldiers conducting some of the most difficult and demanding counterterrorism missions around the world.
- Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support for U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).
- Shortfalls identified by SOCOM on its fleet of MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
STRATCOM: The FY15 NDAA fully authorizes the fourth and final increment of funding for the construction of the new Command and Control Facility for U.S. Strategic Command. It also authorizes needed funding to support the building’s operations.
Sexual Assault: The committee fully incorporated S.1917 – legislation written by Senators Fischer, Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and already unanimously adopted by the Senate – to protect service members, promote accountability of commanders, and empower victims to have increased input. The committee will continue its important oversight role and will work closely with military leaders and the administration to ensure these reforms are effectively and efficiently implemented. The Fischer-McCaskill-Ayotte language:
- Extends protections to Military Service Academies
- Eliminates the “good soldier” defense
- Allows increased victim input in the prosecution of perpetrators
- Boosts accountability of commanders for addressing sexual assault and setting appropriate command climate
- Strengthens the role of the prosecutor in advising commanders on going to court martial
- Allows victims to challenge their discharge or separation from service
More information is available online HERE.