Passed: FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act
Coffman Includes Key National Security Priorities in Annual Defense Bill
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 344-81. Working across party lines, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) used his position on the House Armed Services Committee, as well as his leadership position, as Chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, to include dozens of provisions that continue his commitment to national security, our service men and women at home and abroad, and their families.
“My priorities in this year’s NDAA reflect the priorities of the men and women serving our country in uniform. I will continue to work across party lines to make sure that we have the best trained, best equipped and best led military in the world.”
As Chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, Representative Coffman included provisions that will have a direct impact on our service members and families at Buckley, and those protecting our freedoms across the World. Some of these important provisions include a fully funded, by-law pay raise, for all our service members of 2.4% (this is an increase from the President’s Request of a 2.1% pay raise), improving sexual assault prevention and response by adding a new provision to the Uniform Code of Military Justice to specifically prohibit non-consensual sharing of intimate images, and improves the process for assisting service members discharge upgrade request by ensuring the boards of review take into full consideration the individuals effected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
In May, Representative Coffman held a hearing where Military leadership testified on some of their recruiting shortfalls. As a result, Representative Coffman worked successfully to include a provision in the FY 2018 that authorizes the Army National Guard to use recently retired senior enlisted members to serve as recruiters.
This year, Representative Coffman continues to focus on the pilot shortage crisis that is negatively impacting our national security. Military aviation is experiencing a significant shortage of qualified and experienced pilots. In March, Representative Coffman held a hearing to assess the full extent of the pilot shortage crisis, and as a result of the hearing worked to include a provision encourages the Air Force to evaluate all options for improving recruitment and retention, as well as to the extent possible to move pilots to the Active Guard and Reserve where pilots are leaving the military during their 12th year to fly for the airlines.
In Aurora, the FY 2018 NDAA includes proposals that protect and strengthen the missions at Buckley Air Force Base (AFB), which is the largest employer in Coffman’s district. Buckley AFB has been securing land through the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI). The REPI program helps stop encroachment base that can limit or restrict flying-operations by acquiring land to act as a buffer between military bases and civilian communities. The FY 2018 NDAA included $75 million in funding for this program.
In addition to the REPI program, Buckley also received $38 million in funding for the new Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Operations Facility. This facility will upgrade the 460th Operations Group’s, at Buckley AFB, ability to provide top-notch space-based missile warning capabilities.
In this regards, Coffman added “As ballistic missile threats continue to become increasingly worrisome to our national security. We need to continue to support the 460th Operations Group at Buckley AFB, and I am pleased that the FY 2018 provided authorization to fund this important project in Aurora.”
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