The Senator from Mississippi has been a strong advocate for increasing the size and capabilities of the US Navy fleet.
Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted Thursday to advance the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (FY 22 NDAA) to the full Senate. Legislation passed by the committee outlines America’s military priorities and national security interests for the years to come.
“Today, the Senate Armed Services Committee presented a strong, bipartisan proposal to support our nation’s military service members and enhance our national security,” Wicker said. “I thank President Reed and Senior Member Inhofe for their work on this legislation.”
Wicker has criticized the president’s budget, saying it does not address the needs of the United States military, particularly the Navy. The legislation in its current form would authorize a maximum figure of $ 777.9 billion for national defense, which is $ 25 billion above President Biden’s budget request. It would also provide a 2.7 percent salary increase for all members of the military and an additional $ 2.5 billion for the US Navy’s shipbuilding plan on top of the president’s budget request.
“You especially hear me seeing bipartisan support for an increase in funding for the United States Navy over and above the president’s budget request. As our nation’s adversaries rush to increase the size and capabilities of their fleets, it is important that we make the necessary investments to maintain our competitive advantage and deter future conflict. “
The Senate defense proposal contains several of Senator Wicker’s priorities for pushing forward the United States Navy, including language that:
- Authorize the acquisition of an additional Arleigh-Burke (DDG) class destroyer beyond the president’s budget request;
- Request the Navy to support a new acquisition of destroyers for several years in fiscal year 23 until the next generation of destroyers is ready to go into production;
- Extend the authorization until fiscal year 22 for a bulk purchase of amphibious ships, including LPD 31, 32 and 33, and LHA 9;
- Recommend an increase in funding of $ 100 million for LHA-9;
- Recommend $ 250 million in advance procurement funds for LPD 32 to purchase long-term material as part of the amphibious ship package; other
- Encourage multi-vessel bulk purchases for amphibious vessels and guide the Navy in conducting a cost analysis of potential savings for various potential procurement strategies.
Wicker’s office says the defense proposal also contains the senator’s requests to support cutting-edge research and development and other Mississippi priorities, including language that:
- Meet a Mississippi Army National Guard requirement to build a MATES facility at Camp Shelby;
- Authorize funds to strengthen underground electrical infrastructure and build a 10 megawatt power generation plant at Camp Shelby;
- Prohibit the Air Force from reducing KC-135 Air National Guard aircraft designated as Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory (PAI) from bases in Mississippi and across the country in fiscal year 22;
- Recommend additional funding for research on applications of graphene for military engineering; other
- Recommend additional funding for high-performance computing and advanced networking for DoD’s research engineering needs.
You can read the full executive summary of the National Defense bill by clicking on here.