Dec 11 2020

Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. The bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate includes multiple bipartisan provisions secured by Senator Tillis to improve the quality of life for servicemembers and military families.
As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, Senator Tillis and his subcommittee colleagues passed an across the board 3 percent pay raise for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines for the second consecutive year. Additionally, Senator Tillis continued to build on his previous work to take meaningful steps to address the significant issues with the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI). Senator Tillis’ personnel subcommittee provisions also addressed military sexual assault prevention and response, DoD COVID-19 vaccine and biotechnology research, and steps to combat Russian and Chinese aggression.
Senator Tillis also secured the authorization of $215.8 million for North Carolina military installations in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. Since being elected in 2015, Senator Tillis has secured more than $3 billion for Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, Cherry Point, New River, and Seymour Johnson.
“I am proud to have worked hard on behalf of every North Carolina servicemember to secure provisions that will greatly improve the quality of life for the brave men and women in uniform, including securing the second consecutive pay raise of over 3 percent, continuing improvements to military housing, and providing resources to support DoD research into a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Senator Tillis. “North Carolina continues to play an important role in defending our nation against foreign threats, and as long as I’m a U.S. Senator, I will always prioritize supporting servicemembers and veterans to ensure they have the resources they need.”


Senator Tillis’ Priorities Secured in the NDAA:

Military Privatized Housing Initiative (MPHI):

  • Authorizes direct hire authority for installation military housing office positions responsible for supervising privatized military housing projects,
  • Prohibits the service secretaries from leasing any substandard family housing,
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to implement recommendations relating to military family housing issued in a report from the DOD Inspector General,
  • Requires the DOD Inspector General to conduct an audit of medical conditions of service members and their families who have resided in unsafe or unhealthy privatized military housing.

End Strengths/Pay and Compensation

  • Authorizes the following active duty end strength levels:
    • Army: 485,900
    • Navy: 347,800
    • Marines: 181,200
    • Air Force: 333,475
  • Provides for a 3 percent pay raise for members of the Armed Forces.
  • Reauthorizes more than 30 types of bonuses and special pay.

COVID-19 Response

  • Requiring DOD to maintain a 30-day supply of personal protective equipment sufficient for every Active and Reserve service member, and ensuring that DOD’s medical laboratories have the technology needed to facilitate rapid research and development of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics in case of future pandemic
  • Provides reserve retirement relief for service members affected by the COVID-19 stop movement order,
  • Implements a pilot program on civilian and military partnerships to enhance interoperability and medical surge capability and capacity of the National Disaster Medical System, which will provide training, expand capacity, and 
  • Establishes a framework for well-coordinated federal response to pandemics and other threats.

 Military Justice and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response

  • Requires DOD to survey sexual assault response coordinators and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates on their experiences in assisting victims of sexual assault and report on the results, 
  • Requires DOD to develop a policy at the military service academies and military educational institutions to minimize the association between an alleged victim and the accused while the parties complete their course of study, 
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to prescribe a policy that would allow victims of sexual assault to report the assault without fear of being disciplined for minor misconduct that was collateral to the sexual assault.

Combatting Russia and China

  • Extends the limitation on providing sensitive missile defense information to Russia and on the integration of U.S. missile defense systems into those of China and Russia,
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on the risk to DOD personnel, equipment, and operations due to Huawei 5G architecture in host countries and possible steps for mitigation, 
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to consider 5G and 6G security risks posed by vendors like Huawei and ZTE when making overseas basing decisions,
  • Protects the defense industrial base and supply chain, as well as intellectual property and technology, from disruption, infiltration, or theft by the Government of China  
  • Fully funds the European Deterrence Initiative and increases funding to support rotational forces in Europe,
  • Requires a report on Russian support to racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist groups and networks in Europe and the United States that creates or causes growing national security threats, information warfare, and increasing risks to societal stability and democratic institutions,
  • Extends restrictions on military-to-military cooperation with Russia and any activities that would recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea,

Supporting Military Families and Readiness

  • Continues efforts to promote professional development opportunities for military spouses, by authorizing $2.5 million to assist with the development of interstate compacts on licensed occupations for military spouses through the cooperative agreement with the Council of State Governments,
  • Standardizes and improves the Exceptional Family Member Program, which supports military families with dependents with special needs during their assignment, and establishes requirements for the Office of Special Needs to develop and update individualized services plans, Continues efforts to provide military families with quality, affordable child care, adds funding for child development centers playground equipment and furniture to address safety issues, and encourages DOD to develop policies to identify and remove recalled consumer products from child development centers,
  • Authorizes additional funding to maintain the student-teacher ratios at DOD schools and increases funding for Impact Aid by a total of $70 million to support school districts educating military children, which includes $20 million for Impact Aid for children with severe disabilities.
  • Improves DOD efforts to track and respond to incidents of child abuse involving dependents on members of the Armed Forces that occur on military installations,

Additional Provisions Introduced by Senator Tillis:

  • Limits the divestments of KC-10s, which have all their maintenance work done in Greensboro, NC.
  • Requires DOD to study the future of Marine Corps Aviation to best modernize the force structure and protect F-35s based in NC.
  • Fosters a technology and research partnership between Fort Bragg and NC State.
  • Supports Historically Black Colleges Flight Programs by helping develop partnerships with local military bases and assesses the feasibility of providing financial assistance to ROTC students partaking in flight training.
  • Deepens our cooperation with our European allies by expanding cooperation on air and surface transportation.
  • Clarifies the Secretary of the Navy is responsible for paying for needed repairs and renovations at Fleet Readiness Center-East.
  • Helps to protect the defense industrial base and supply chain, as well as intellectual property and technology, from disruption, infiltration, or theft by the Government of China.
  • Supports the development of fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks to beat China in the geopolitical race to 5G. 

FY2021 Military Construction for North Carolina Installations

Fort Bragg – $119.9 million

  • Fort Bragg SOF Group Headquarters: $53.1 million
  • Fort Bragg SOF Operations Facility: $43 million
  • Fort Bragg SOTF Chilled water Upgrade: $6.1 million
  • Fort Bragg SOF Military Working Dog Facility: $17.7 million 

Camp Lejeune - $20 million

  • Camp Lejeune II MEF Operations Center Replacement: $20 million

MCAS Cherry Point - $51.9 million

  • Cherry Point Fitness Center Replacement and Training Pool: $51.9 million

Army Reserve Center: Ashville, NC - $24 million

Total MILCON Funding - $215.8 million