WASHINGTON – After the Senate passed the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, released the following statement:

“It’s our job to provide our men and women in uniform with the support, protection and preparation they need to effectively defend our nation. Each year, through the bipartisan NDAA, we work to address the needs of our servicemembers, as well as bolster our nation’s security against evolving threats posed by our adversaries around the globe. I am glad to see several of my priorities included in this year’s bill to help members of our military best protect themselves and our country.”

The final FY19 NDAA package secured 30 of Iowa Senator Ernst’s provisions to strengthen our nation’s security and support our military, including:

  • Bipartisan legislation with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to track, treat and prevent traumatic brain injury among servicemembers;
  • Additional research funding for physiological episodes plaguing our Air Force airmen and Naval aviators, along with a provision that provides for an additional $31 million in funding;
  • Support for the continued assistance to Iowa’s sister-state, the Republic of Kosovo, and the Kosovo Security Force’s gradual transition to a multiethnic army;
  • Full funding for our missile defense and anti-tunneling coordination with Israel;
  • A provision to ensure that the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) artificial intelligence initiatives and research and development (R&D) are better coordinated with academic research and industry;
  • A pay raise for troops, and a limit on the president’s ability to deny troops their mandated pay raise;
  • Increased reporting to counter Russia’s information and intelligence operations in Serbia;
  • A provision encouraging DoD to invest in R&D and procurement of wearable and mobile solar power capabilities;
  • Encouragement for the Defense Department to take steps to maintain secure, domestic sources of high purity aluminum;
  • A provision to direct the creation of a U.S. Army Advanced Manufacturing of Excellence in partnership with an arsenal;
  • Efforts to recognize the importance of DoD contracts with military paint training programs that use advanced technology in preparation and training;
  • Direction that the Secretary of Defense should establish a Defense Institute on Human Factors Modeling and Simulation to maximize the effectiveness of the warfighter in each service branch;
  • An increased focus on producing domestic explosives for the U.S. military, and a need to stockpile explosives that must be purchased from foreign sources; and
  • Protection of the rank of Chief Military Chaplains across each service branch.