The House Armed Services Committee Readiness Subcommittee has passed its portion of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, a member of the Readiness Subcommittee, announced in a statement that he supported passage.
“The Readiness Subcommittee is responsible for the single largest account within the Department of Defense budget and oversees military readiness, training, logistics, maintenance, military construction, installations and family housing issues, and the BRAC process,” Brooks said. “The Readiness Subcommittee’s NDAA contains provisions that are good for both national security and the Tennessee Valley’s Redstone Arsenal community.”
“I’m particularly pleased the Readiness Subcommittee’s base bill increases oversight of and expedites the critical Military Munitions Response Program (“MMRP”) that addresses and cleans up hazards associated with Department of Defense sites (like Redstone Arsenal) that developed, used or tested munitions or explosives,” Brooks said. “Unfortunately, the Department of Defense has historically used MMRP funds to address non-munitions related, environmental concerns.”
“I am proud and excited to support the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program, much of which is done by Redstone Arsenal engineers, technicians, and scientists,” Brooks said. “The Readiness Subcommittee’s base bill requires a review of the material condition of the Army’s rotocraft fleet, challenges in fleet sustainment issues at both the depot and unit level, and Army plans to sustain rotocraft fleets to meet expected demand for combat aviation formations. As founder and Co-Chairman of the Army Aviation Caucus, I have every confidence PEO Aviation and supporting Army Aviation community will strike the proper balance between developing and fielding new aircraft and improving and sustaining current aircraft.”
“Key Redstone Arsenal agencies— namely Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, and U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command— rely heavily on access to the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll for missile and hypersonic weapons testing,” Brooks said. “This year’s Readiness Subcommittee base bill includes $32 million for Family Housing Replacement Construction on Kwajalein Atoll. There is currently a deficit of Kwajalein housing, and, unfortunately, many of the existing homes were not designed for the tropical climate, and have been plagued by improper ventilation, mold, mildew and rotting wood. When America asks members of our defense community to travel halfway around the globe to conduct tests critical to our national security, the least we can do is provide them with proper accommodations.”
Kwajalein Atoll is part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Since European arrival in the 16th century, it has been under Spanish, German, Japanese and American control. The island was the site of a World War II battle between U.S. and Japanese forces. Postwar, the atoll played an important command and control role in the Bikini Atoll atomic weapons tests.
The military base there remains an important U.S. military installation.
The NDAA has been signed into law 59 consecutive years and authorizes Department of Defense programs. The full House Armed Service Committee will soon debate the overall NDAA. If the full House of Representatives approves the NDAA it will then go to the Senate for their consideration.
Brooks represents Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. Brooks’ re-election for a sixth term is virtually certain as he has no Democratic general election opponent. Redstone Arsenal is an important U.S. military installation in Huntsville.