Sen. Cruz Secures Victories for Texas Military Communities in National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
The NDAA is one of the most crucial pieces of legislation to come before Congress every year, and this year, my colleagues and I fulfilled our Constitutional duty to equip our Armed Forces with the resources they need to defend America’s national security interests at home and abroad, while also securing bipartisan victories for Texas military communities.
The FY 2022 NDAA contains several provisions that I am proud to have championed, including millions of dollars in new construction projects that strengthen Texas bases and military communities at Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Hood, and Sheppard Air Force Base. It also fully funds key weapons systems like the F-35 and B-21 to ensure our military has the resources to project strength and defend our vital national security interests around the globe.
This summer, I met with Abilene’s local Military Affairs Committee to discuss aircraft operations at Dyess Air Force Base, needed upgrades, and how the base enriches the greater Abilene community. There, we discussed two amendments I authored for the NDAA, and I assured the Committee members I’m focused on making sure we see a continuity of mission so Dyess can remain the Air Force’s premier bombing base. This week, I was able to deliver on that promise by securing these amendments in the NDAA that will ensure the base’s B-1 bomber program is protected through the year 2023 but also ensure we fully fund the B-21 program as we transition to new weapons with a stronger capacity to defend America’s national security.
I secured 16 wins in the NDAA that champion Texas military communities as a pillar of America’s national security and advance America’s defense capabilities, including:
- CADET Act with one year implementation timeline;
- Prohibiting further reductions in B-1 bombers through 2023, which are made in Abilene, Texas;
- Fully funding the B-21 program;
- Preventing a reduction in our nuclear arsenal;
- Supporting procurement for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps of 85 F-35 aircraft, which are made in Fort Worth, Texas;
- Supporting additional funding for MQ-4 UAV’s, which are made in Red Oak, Texas;
- Fully funding the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program;
- Expressing the sense of the Senate that the continued development of the ground-based strategic deterrent (GBSD) is necessary and in the national security interest of the United States;
- Authorizing the purchases of Iron Dome, Arrow, and David’s Sling to support Israel.
Texas military bases also received funding for improvement projects, including:
- Two new barracks buildings.
Joint Base San Antonio:
- Two new Dormitories for recruits;
- Two new Child Development Centers in Lackland Air Force Base and Ft. Sam;
- Improvement to medical facilities;
- Vehicle Maintenance Facility;
- Kelly Field improvements.
Sheppard Air Force Base:
- One new Child Development Center.
This legislation also includes my CADET Act, a bill I introduced earlier this year to correct the unfair and antiquated policy at U.S. service academies that forces a midshipman or cadet who becomes pregnant or who fathers a child to either sign away the rights to the child, require an abortion, pay devastating financial responsibilities, or leave the academy altogether.
The Lone Star State has a long, proud legacy of Texans fighting to keep America a beacon of freedom for all. This victory for the parental rights of Texans and Americans training to serve our country in service academies comes just one month after I convened my ninth annual Service Academy Nominations Board meeting, in which the Board recommended the most qualified Texans to be nominated for America’s prestigious service academies.
We owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to all those who have bravely answered the call to defend The Constitution and our way of life, and I am proud my CADET Act was included in the NDAA to ensure we keep military families together.
This week, I was honored to support Texas military communities and the mission of our nation’s brave service members. As the threats to our freedoms are unceasing, I remain committed to fighting each and every day for the men and women of our Armed Forces in Texas and across this great nation who secure those freedoms.
Keep Texas Strong,