Scott Secures Important Military Construction, Troop Readiness Provisions As Defense Authorization Passes Committee

Washington, D.C. – After a weeklong mark-up process in the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and committee members passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 out of committee, a critical first step in authorizing $716 billion for our Department of Defense. This bill funds critical military readiness initiatives and construction projects in South Carolina, and across the country.

“From day one of having been blessed with the opportunity to serve on this critical committee, my priorities have been simple: focus on personnel readiness and equipment modernization,” said Scott. “Today with the passage of the NDAA out of committee, we are one step closer to reaching that goal by providing our troops with the adequate resources they need to carry out their missions. As someone who has two brothers who have both served in the military, I have an appreciation of the incredible sacrifices taken by our service members and it is an honor to be able to provide them with the resources they need to defend our nation.”

Scott was able to advocate for the inclusion of a number of his top defense and military preparedness priorities, which have been highlighted below:

  • Base Improvements –
    • Enhancements to MCAS Beaufort’s electrical grid and build a needed support facility for F-35s.
    • Construction of a recycling and hazardous waste facility at MCAS Beaufort.
    • Significant overhaul and improvement of Trainee barracks at Fort Jackson.
    • Range improvements and modernization initiatives at MCB Parris Island.
    • Resources to support the MQ-9 Reaper mission control element at Shaw AFB.
  • Troop Readiness – Requires the Army and the Director/ Operational Test and Evaluation to collaborate with academic experts to determine effective personal equipment to protect against blast injuries in training and combat, including traumatic brain injury.
  • Resources to Advance Shipbuilding – Added more than $650 million in resources to support amphibious ship building and procurement, an initiative that will benefit our national security readiness, naval forces, and jobs in the shipbuilding industrial base across South Carolina. 
  • Military Pay Raise – 2.6% pay raise for all service members effective January 1,2019.
  • Directs DoD to study faster ways to reimburse South Carolina when it calls up the National Guard to respond to natural disasters.
  • Directs the Air Force to report on needed security and access controls to JB Charleston.
  • Acknowledges the important work done by the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training Center.
  • Directs additional investment in science and technology for advances needed to counter threats from China and Russia.

This is the first time in eight years that the military’s budget was driven by the priorities of the sitting Secretary of Defense, which were outlined by Secretary James Mattis in the National Defense Strategy released earlier this year.