Facebook Twitter K1-TEXT Email Print



Posted: Dec 15, 2021 11:53 AMUpdated: Dec 15, 2021 11:58 AM

Sen. Inhofe Praises Senate Passage of FY22 NDAA

Share on RSS


Garrett Giles

U.S. Senator for Oklahoma Jim Inhofe speaks on the Senate floor to garner support for the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) ahead of a Senate vote.

Inhofe, a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, encouraged all of his colleagues to support this year's NDAA bill. He says they needed to extend their 60-year track record of getting this bill done, and tell our troops that they love and support them.

The legislation would pass with a bipartisan vote of 89-10.

In a statement, Inhofe said:

“I am glad that after months of delay, the Senate finally came together and put service members first by passing the FY22 NDAA. I worked to ensure this year’s NDAA guarantees all of our Oklahoma installations and the surrounding communities are fully resourced and addresses real problems faced by military families when relocating to a new base. I also won the battle to strike the provision that drafts our daughters and our granddaughters. While I still don’t agree to every provision in the legislation, there is a reason the National Defense Authorization Act has passed for 60 consecutive years—it stays true to its objective of ensuring service members have the training, resources and equipment they need to complete the mission and return home safely.”

Sen. Inhofe says they still must find a deal on the appropriations bills to make sure they give our troops the resources they need. He says they need adequate defense spending to get there, while maintaining legacy riders and eliminating “poison pills.”

A summary of the key provisions for Oklahoma are outlined below:

Sufficient Defense Spending – a 3 Percent Increase Over the Biden Administration Budget

For months, Sen. Inhofe has been advocating for a defense budget that is sufficient and allows us to deter Russia and China. The bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission report urged Congress to grow military spending by at least three to five percent each year. When questioned by Sen. Inhofe in the Armed Services Committee, Secretary of Defense Austin, Deputy Secretary of Defense Hicks and every military and civilian leader he asked agreed with its findings—yet President Biden’s budget cut defense spending by not increasing it enough to keep up with inflation.

Inhofe’s amendment, which passed with significant bipartisan support, increases the defense budget for the fiscal year to meet the recommendations of the National Defense Strategy Commission Report.

Military On-Base Housing Waitlists

Because of the inflation caused by President Biden’s runaway spending, many communities are seeing soaring home and rental prices—and military families who are relocating have been seriously impacted. Service members are often unable to find adequate housing within their budgets off-base. Inhofe championed a provision to improve the lives of military families by streamlining the process for securing on-base housing. This provision urges the Department of Defense to allow service members and their families to join on-base housing waitlists for their next location upon being notified of a permanent change of station, instead of the current process which requires waiting on official orders. This change seeks to minimize the number of families that arrive at their new locations without long-term housing, providing more certainty and stability to service members and their families during the stressful experience of a move. 

“We appreciate Congressional leadership looking out for our Airmen and their families. Quality of Life issues like this have a direct effect on readiness,” said Col. G. Hall Sebren, Jr., Commander of the 72d Air Base Wing. “We continuously look for avenues to streamline PCS processes that allow Airmen to shift their focus back to the mission.”

Tinker Air Force Base and the Oklahoma City Community

Ensures the KC-46 and the B-21 missions are fully funded and keeps the Air Force’s Sustainment Center at Tinker operational for years to come.

Inhofe also championed innovative technologies, including 3D printing capabilities, to ensure Tinker remains a leader in maintenance and readiness for the KC-46, KC-135, B-1, B-2, B-21 and all other platforms at Tinker. These capabilities will allow Tinker to dramatically extend the life of aircraft and platforms across DoD maintained at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex (OC-ALC).

“Senator Inhofe is overwhelmingly supportive of Tinker Air Force Base and the Oklahoma City community with the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act,” said Patti Ripple, Director of Military Aviation and Aerospace for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “Thanks to Senator Inhofe’s provisions, the airmen and residents of Tinker will continue their sustainment of multiple weapon systems like the KC-46 and B-21. Funding for developing our workforce, air platforms, and technological capabilities at the Air Force Sustainment Center and the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex will also foster job growth with our Oklahoma industry partners. Growing the Air Force’s premier depot maintenance base is only possible with incredible advocacy from Senator Inhofe. We are thankful for the Senator’s continued support of our defense community and mission.”

Altus Air Force Base

Aerial refueling and strategic airlift are critical components of our military operations around the world. Sen. Inhofe is proud that the training for both are located in Altus, Mobility’s Hometown. This NDAA fully funds procurement for the KC-46A Pegasus Tanker for Altus to continue training airmen, as well as ensuring the KC-135 mission continues until the KC-46 is fully operational. The bill also fully funds continued operation of the C-17 schoolhouse.

“The Altus community is thankful for Senator Inhofe's staunch support of Mobility's Hometown and the work we do,” said Dr. Joe Leverett, Chairman of the Altus Military Affairs Committee. “In line with the priorities of the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command and Air Mobility Command, Inhofe included funding for procurement that ensures Altus will remain the premier base to train mobility airmen. As the KC-46A becomes the cornerstone of the air refueling mission, Senator Inhofe has helped Altus welcome in this platform while continuing to ensure Altus appropriately sustains the KC-135 mission. Senator Inhofe’s support for training across the KC-46, KC-135 and C-17 platforms greatly enhances the readiness of the hundreds of airmen trained at Altus every year. Altus AFB and its industry partners thank Senator Inhofe for his steadfast work on the NDAA.”

“Sen. Inhofe can always be counted on to provide for Oklahoma’s military installations—including Altus Air Force Base,” said Rusty Appleton, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Defense Industry Association. “By ensuring the essential missions at Altus are fully funded, Sen. Inhofe is investing in the future growth of Altus Air Base and the surrounding community.”

Vance Air Force Base

Inhofe authored provisions to support training and improve the quality of life for airmen at Vance Air Force Base by prioritizing the repair and/or replacement of the Air Force’s aging dormitories, some of which were constructed over 50 years ago. Inhofe also worked to maximize the number of operational aircraft at Vance and other Air Force Bases by expanding advanced manufacturing techniques to repair aircraft used for training.

“Senator Inhofe has been the loudest voice on capitol hill for a very long time supporting our country’s National Defense needs. His support of the NDAA helps to ensure that Vance Air Force Base and other military installations have the funds that they need to complete their missions,” said George Pankonin, Mayor of Enid, Okla., home to Vance Air Force Base.” Senator Inhofe continues to pave the way for readiness as well as quality of life for our service members and their families from his position as the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  The language in the NDAA this year supports the need for critical parts needed by maintainers and paves the way for DOD to review dormitories at all installations.  Vance Air Force Base trains hundreds of Airmen every year and providing them with the best housing and logistical support allows them to continue producing the best pilots in the world.  Senator Inhofe’s work on the defense bills and solid support in the Senate Armed Services Committee is greatly appreciated by both the military and the communities surrounding our military installations.”

McAlester Army Ammunition Plant

The NDAA makes progress toward energy stability and security for the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant with a provision that seeks to tap into natural resources for on-site energy production. This initiative would ensure this important installation is protected against threats such as power grid outages and cyber-attacks.

“Senator Inhofe’s language in this year’s NDAA sets the stage for the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP) to become energy resilient by tapping into the installation’s natural resources,” said Jessica Gregg, Executive Director of the McAlester Defense Support Association. “The MCAAP houses over one-third of the U.S. military’s conventional munitions, so it is important that our community can become energy resilient so we are always ready to answer the call to serve our nation. We are grateful to have the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee advocating on behalf of crucial installations like MCAAP.”

“The McAlester community is incredibly grateful for Sen. Inhofe’s work over the years to ensure the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP) is well taken care of,” said Krystal Bess, Executive Director of the McAlester Chamber of Commerce. “As a member of this community, I know first-hand how important the MCAAP is to the people of McAlester and Sen. Inhofe understands its importance as well as we do. I look forward to seeing all the good achieved for McAlester and our nation with the resources being provided from Sen. Inhofe’s language in the FY22 NDAA.”

Fort Sill and the Lawton Community

Fort Sill is essential to the Army’s modernization goals because it is home to the Long Range Precision Fires and Air and Missile Defense Cross Functional Teams (CFTs) and leads the entire Department of Defense in counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) capabilities. Inhofe supported the mission at Fort Sill by authoring provisions to develop new artillery weapons that are more precise and more lethal over a longer range. Through collaboration with industry and university partners at the world-class Fires Innovation Science & Technology Accelerator (FISTA) in Lawton, the Department of Defense will be able to leverage best-in-class technologies and practices in countering our adversaries.

“It’s an exciting time for the defense community in southwest Oklahoma and we are grateful for Senator Inhofe’s continued advocacy,” said Mike Brown, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. “Fort Sill’s work on UAS paves the way for the U.S. armed forces to maintain an advantage over foreign adversaries seeking to use modern UAS technology against our service members. Senator Inhofe has always been a champion of our developments in these areas and continues to do so in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. Inhofe is also assisting several teams at Fort Sill to drive innovation in new propulsion technologies for Short Range Air Defense. Developments in automation for air missile systems and radar technology will continue requiring high technology jobs at the Fires Innovation Science & Technology Accelerator (FISTA) and around the Lawton-Fort Sill community. Our community is grateful to the Ranking Member for his great advocacy in Washington.”

University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and The University of Tulsa

Inhofe has always recognized the important role Oklahoma’s universities play in our national defense and has included several research and development provisions in this year’s defense bill. He authored provisions that would allow universities, like the University of Oklahoma, to work with industry partners to use advanced technology in military manufacturing and maintenance—a natural connection with the mission at nearby Tinker Air Force Base. He also authored provisions to support drone research at OSU’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute and funding for the University of Tulsa’s continued leadership in cybersecurity capabilities.

“The University of Oklahoma is thankful for Ranking Member Inhofe’s initiatives in this year’s NDAA that support important research and development that keeps our nation’s military ahead of our adversaries,” said Dr. Tomás Diaz de la Rubia, University of Oklahoma’s Vice President for Research and Partnerships. “OU is pleased to continue partnering with the private sector and Tinker Air Force Base to develop advanced materials and integrate AI and big data technologies for cost savings for the Air Force. We also thank the Senator for securing funding that will help OU make advancements in radio frequency sensors in support of the armed forces. OU is proud to continue engaging in partnerships with academic and industry groups to keep our nation’s military strong.”

“Senator Inhofe is unwavering in his support for national defense, and we at Oklahoma State University are delighted to contribute expertise and R&D effort toward that noble goal,” said Dr. Kenneth Sewell, Oklahoma State University Vice President of Research and President of OSU’s Research Foundation. “We are honored that Senator Inhofe has leveraged OSU’s capabilities in counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) research as a key part of the national defense agenda. Senator Inhofe’s work on the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act elevates and accelerates the OSU Unmanned Systems Research Institute’s ability to continue developing important C-UAS capabilities that will be integral to protecting U.S. airspace and deterring the air capability of bad actors.”

“As cyber technologies continue to present challenges and opportunities for our nation’s military, The University of Tulsa is energized to further engage in research critical to keeping the U.S. military the best defending force on the globe,” said University of Tulsa Chair of the Board of Trustees Dana Weber. “Thanks to provisions in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, TU professors and students can continue developing national defense research that also expands our state’s technical workforce.”

Oklahoma National Guard

Inhofe successfully included provisions in support of the Oklahoma National Guard. The 138th Fighter Wing in Tulsa fly the most advanced version of the F-16, and Inhofe included a provision to support future upgrades to the F-16 defensive system capabilities, ensuring the importance of the mission for years to come. He also added a provision to enhance National Guard training with international military partners, the academic community and private partners specializing in military aviation training.

« Back to News