LoBiondo Applauds Approval of National Defense Authorization Act includes Priorities for South Jersey

Nov 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, today applauded passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which sets national security priorities for the upcoming year including increasing collaboration between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Defense Department on unmanned aerial systems – research conducted at the FAA Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township.

“Congress is finally heeding the concerns of President Trump and our military leaders to stop the degradation of our defense readiness. Today, in light of the growing threats both domestic and from abroad, we begin to reverse course to ensure those charged with protecting our homeland are given the resources they need to succeed,” said LoBiondo. “In South Jersey I have continued efforts to expand the physical footprint and operational capabilities of the 177th Fighter Wing base since joining the House Armed Services Committee. Through this legislation and over the next year, I will continue to work with the men and women at the 177th to ensure they have all the resources they need to successfully complete their vital homeland security mission.”

Building on past success, the FY18 NDAA plans for modernization of the radar for F–16 fighter aircraft across the National Guard. LoBiondo previously secured $40 million for the research and development of the active electronically scanned array radar (AESA) systems to replace the existing 1970s technology. The new radar system helps to better detect the evolving threat picture, identify new potential threats that current technology cannot, and allow greater capabilities to the Air National Guard F-16 fleet for national security efforts. Aircraft that perform the Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) mission are receiving the upgrades including the 177th Fighter Wing, which is slated to receive their AESA radars in 2019.

Other key provisions included in the FY18 NDAA conference report are:

  • Annual report on personnel, training, and equipment needs of non- federalized National Guard in response to natural and man-made disasters, and,
  • Improved employment assistance for members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps and veterans by requiring the Defense Department to create a database for sharing unclassified information that allows military training be transferred into civilian equivalent certifications for potential employers, including commercial driver’s licenses.

The FY18 NDAA also authorizes a 2.4 percent pay raise for all members of the uniformed services effective January 1, 2018, and includes a provision prohibiting an additional base realignment and closure (BRAC) round. The House approved the bill 356 to 70, sending it to the U.S. Senate for final approval.