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Readiness Chairman Garamendi Applauds Passage of the Readiness Subcommittee’s FY 2021 NDAA Markup

June 23, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, applauded the subcommittee’s unanimous passage of its mark for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—the annual authorization for the United States Military. The Readiness mark covers a wide range of issues and includes provisions that help the military prepare for the effects of climate change and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, address contamination and health risks associated with Per- and Polyfluorinated Compounds (PFAS), support Travis and Beale Air Force Bases, and ensure service members and their families have the best on-base housing possible:

“I am pleased that the Readiness Subcommittee has once again come together to address critical issues facing our service members and the more than 1,000 military installations worldwide. As Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, I fought to include provisions to ensure the military aggressively addresses PFAS contamination around military installations that harm our service members and neighboring communities. This issue is close to home for me, as PFAS contaminants were found at Travis Air Force Base in my district. I won’t rest until every military installation resolves this issue for the health of our service members and neighboring communities,” Garamendi said.

“This markup also ensures the Department of Defense conducts robust oversight of the privatized military housing program to address any unsafe living conditions some service members and their families have been subjected to on base. I’ve conducted several hearings with the Readiness Subcommittee after service members and their families raised concern about the substandard living conditions they were experiencing with privatized military housing. This is an issue we addressed in last year’s NDAA, and we continue to build off of last year’s work to make more necessary reforms and ensure service members and their families have good, quality housing they deserve,” Garamendi continued.

“This year’s Readiness Subcommittee mark also builds upon the work we did in the FY20 NDAA to ensure the military is ready to combat the effects of climate change. This year’s Readiness Subcommittee mark ensures actions are being taken throughout the Department of Defense to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 30% in the coming years,” Garamendi continued.

“I’m pleased that this mark continues to support the missions at Beale and Travis Air Force Bases and I will always work to ensure these critical bases in our communities are supported so they can continue to carry out their critical work for our nation,” Garamendi continued.

“I appreciate the work and partnership of Readiness Subcommittee Ranking Member Doug Lamborn (R-CO). Likewise, I greatly appreciate the input and contributions every member of the Readiness Subcommittee brings to their work on this subcommittee. I’m proud to support the Readiness Subcommittee’s mark for the FY21 NDAA, and I will work tirelessly to ensure it becomes law,” Garamendi concluded.

Specifically, this year’s Readiness Subcommittee mark:

Makes Investments in key Readiness Accounts and Military Infrastructure to Support the Training, Sustainment, and Quality of Life for Military Personnel and Their Families:

  • Authorizes funding for military construction and family housing.
  • Authorizes funding for operation & maintenance accounts that support military operations, training, and weapon system sustainment.

Continues Efforts to Address Contamination Associated with Per- and Polyfluorinated Compounds Around Military Installations:

  • Requires the Department of Defense to notify the Congressional defense committees when there has been an uncontrolled release of PFAS-containing firefighting agents.
  • Establishes a prize that can be awarded by the Secretary of Defense for innovative research that results in a viable replacement agent for firefighting foam that does not contain PFAS.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to survey and report on non-firefighting agent technologies, such as hangar flooring and firefighting equipment, that will help facilitate the phase-out of PFAS-containing firefighting agents.
  • Makes technical corrections to the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act to ensure that all National Guard installations are eligible for funding under the Defense Environmental Restoration Account for PFAS remediation.

Continues Efforts to Address Vulnerabilities to Utilities and Fuel That Threaten the Resiliency of Military Facilities and Operations:

  • Requires a report on efforts taken to ensure fuel consumption, distribution, and logistics are being considered across the Department and that steps are being taken to reduce consumption of fossil fuels by 30 percent in 25 years to reduce the number of resupply convoys and oilers required in a contested environment.
  • Strengthens an existing preference for the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles for official business on military installations.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to institute energy metering on critical military facilities to assess the energy requirements and plan to ensure resilient power sources for these facilities.
  • Establishes a pilot program to develop microgrids on military installations that integrate emergency diesel generators to demonstrate how microgrid emergency diesel generator backup power could create efficiencies and resiliency while reducing costs and emissions.
  • Directs the Department to assess water security at its installations and implement plans to implement xeriscaping at arid installations and other appropriate landscaping at other installations.
  • Requires a report on the implementation of provisions from the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act related to installation master planning, updates to the Unified Facilities Criteria (building codes), sea-level rise modeling, and climate assessment tools.

Builds on the Committee’s Previous Legislative and Oversight Activities to Ensure that Military Personnel and Their Families Live in Quality Housing and that the Department and Private Housing Partners are Responsive to Resident Concerns:

  • Requires a report on the oversight of known environmental hazards in government-owned family housing, including overseas housing.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to report on the feasibility of standardizing privatized housing performance metrics to better allow the Department to track trends across the housing enterprise.
  • For future and renegotiated privatized housing agreements, requires that funding for housing maintenance and recapitalization be prioritized ahead of housing management and other fees in the payment structure.

Supports the Department of Defense Civilian Workforce by Strengthening the Pay and Benefits they Receive for Their Service:

  • Authorizes the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security to provide travel allowances and accompaniment services to family members in connection with the transfer of Department of Defense or Coast Guard civilians who die while performing official duties overseas.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to provide competitive pay and benefits, outside of the General Schedule, for civilian faculty at the Defense Security Cooperation University and the Institute for Security Governance, consistent with authorities provided to other Department of Defense academic institutions.
  • Extends authority to provide premium pay and grant allowances, benefits, and gratuities to certain groups of Department of Defense civilians.

Requires the Department of Defense to Place an Emphasis on the Sustainment, Logistics, and the Infrastructure Enterprise to Enable Military Readiness and Operations:

  • Requires the Department to conduct a comprehensive examination and submit a report on the sustainment and logistics requirements, gaps, and mitigations necessary to support the force structure, force modernization, infrastructure, and other elements of the national defense strategy.
  • Expands and codifies an annual report on the infrastructure requirements and investments at enduring and contingency bases maintained overseas. In addition, requires a one-time report on the infrastructure masterplan for all infrastructure requirements, and a breakdown of U.S. and Australia funded projects, needed to support the Marine Rotational Force and others that may operate from Darwin, Australia.
  • Requires the Secretary of the Navy to provide a report on the current and projected bulk fuel management strategies in the Indo-Pacific and prepare a bulk fuel strategy that optimally supports bulk fuel management in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Requires the Secretary of the Navy to provide a briefing every six months on the implementation of the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP) and authorizes a dedicated funding line for SIOP activities to support more transparency and oversight of the program. 
  • Extends the sunset of the minimum business guarantee provision relating to the Civil Reserve Air Fleet to December 31, 2025.

Reports and Other Matters Related to Military Communities, Safety, and Congressional Oversight of Military Readiness:

  • Codifies the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) and clarifies its role in coordinating with and providing support to defense communities. The mark also supports the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) and grants authority to proceed with a public infrastructure project on Guam intended to provide a public health laboratory that can support biosecurity testing and analysis to monitor and detect a range of health threats.
  • Requires a report on the reporting, tracking, accuracy, and sharing of information related to ground vehicle training mishaps.
  • Requires an independent review of critical points of failure in the munitions enterprise, requires a report on mishaps and safety waivers in the munitions enterprise, and clarifies the role and authority of the Chairman of the Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board.
  • Includes a number of reporting requirements for the Government Accountability Office to assist the committee with oversight on topics that include F-35 operations and sustainment, Air Force use of contract air support services, aviation and ship maintenance, Dynamic Force Employment, and Coast Guard Reimbursement for Defense Activities.