Murkowski: Defense Authorization Bill invests in Alaska defense capabilities, bolsters Arctic security, supports servicemembers

Washington, D.C. (KINY) – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted in favor of the conference report for H.R. 2670, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24), supporting its passage in the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 87-13.

The conference report passed the House Thursday morning by a vote of 310-118, and will now go to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

This year’s NDAA authorizes $886 billion for national defense and border security, provides servicemembers with a 5.2 percent pay raise, and reinforces support for American allies including Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. The bill also includes a host of Arctic and Alaska-specific wins that Murkowski and the Alaska delegation secured, including provisions that fund military projects in Alaska, support servicemember quality of life, address overdoses in the military, and work to strengthen relationships between Tribes and the military.

“The NDAA is one of the most important measures that Congress passes each year because it helps ensure that servicemembers can protect our security and defend our nation. I’m proud of the work we did to ensure this year’s bill invests in Alaska’s defense infrastructure, bolsters Arctic security, and supports our military service members and their families,” said Murkowski. “This NDAA improves our capabilities, gives our servicemembers a well-earned raise, and simultaneously focuses on everything from food security to new tools to help those in crisis. I’m proud to support it.”

BILL HIGHLIGHTS

Improving Quality of Life for Alaska Military Members and Their Families

  • Improving Troops’ Basic Needs Allowance: Studies have shown that food insecurity impacts nearly one in four servicemembers, and one in eight military families, highlighting the need to do better to ensure their basic needs are met. That’s why Murkowski fought to help create the Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) in FY 2022, and why she pushed for modifications in this year’s NDAA that will create greater efficiencies within BNA while making it easier for servicemembers to apply for it.
  • Using Research and Data to Help Troops in Crisis: Building off the work she did through her “Department of Defense Overdose Data Act,” Murkowski added requirements for greater reporting on military overdoses so that the Department of Defense (DOD) will have greater insight and tools to help servicemembers in crisis.

Investments in Alaska

  • Military Construction: Includes authorizations to begin the planning and design for new construction projects at installations across Alaska. This is the first step in what will be a years-long process to modernize and strengthen Alaska’s military infrastructure. These projects will better serve our warfighters by providing them with state-of-the-art facilities that are conducive to operations in the austere environment that defines service in Alaska. In the years ahead, the new military construction facilitated by these provisions will bring billions of dollars of investment into Alaska.
  • Taking Advantage of Alaska’s Expansive Range for Military Exercises: DOD reports have highlighted the importance of training exercises that simulate contested and rugged conditions for military readiness. Alaska’s unrivaled, expansive ranges provide the perfect setting for real war conditions, and Murkowski has authorized increased funding for military exercises in the state that will ensure our military is better prepared for challenging combat situations. 
  • Improving Relationships with Local Tribal Partners: Our military works best with our communities when there is a transparent and open dialogue between them. That’s why Murkowski included a Tribal liaison position at DOD installations that have ongoing consultation and coordination with Tribes. When this model has been employed in the past, it has led to remarkable success and improvements between Tribes and DOD.

Infrastructure Authorizations for Alaska

  • $107.5 million to continue the runway extension at Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson (JBER).
  • $34 million to complete the enlisted unaccompanied housing project at Fort Wainwright.
  • $18.1 million to design a combat alert cell at JBER.
  • $9.5 million to design a Permanent Party Dorm at Eielson Air Force Base.
  • $7.9 million to design a soldier performance readiness center at Fort Wainwright.
  • $7.0 million to design an alert crew facility at JBER.
  • $6.1 million to design a precision-guided missile complex at JBER.
  • $5.0 million to design a dual bay hangar at Eielson Air Force Base.
  • $3.0 million to design a joint mobility center expansion at Eielson Air Force Base.
  • $2.0 million to design an HC-130J simulator facility at JBER.
  • $1.7 million to design a fire station at Eielson Air Force Base.
  • $1.4 million to design a Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex at Eielson Air Force Base.
  • $1.2 million to design a consolidated munitions complex at Eielson Air Force Base.