June 17, 2022

Manchin Secures West Virginia Priorities in National Defense Authorization Act

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), secured West Virginia priorities in the SASC markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). The NDAA establishes the funding levels and creates new programs within the Department of Defense (DoD) annually, passage of this bill would mark the 62nd year in a row Congress has advanced this critical piece of legislation.

On June 16, 2022, SASC voted 23-3 to report the FY23 NDAA to the full Senate for consideration. The FY23 NDAA authorizes $857 billion, including $817 billion for DoD and $29 billion for Department of Energy (DOE) national security programs.

“The United States military must be prepared and able to defend our nation from threats at home and abroad,” said Senator Manchin. “This bipartisan legislation is critical to combatting enemies seen and unseen, and includes funding for numerous priorities for West Virginia, including training center support, intelligence gathering at Green Bank and cybersecurity research. I am pleased with the bipartisan efforts on this legislation and the commitment to regular order from my colleagues. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to finalize this essential legislation that includes numerous provisions for the Mountain State.”

West Virginia priorities included in FY23 NDAA:
  • East Coast Joint All Domain Training Center: Supports a feasibility study to determine the need of East Coast based military units for a modern training facility that can simulate all domains of warfare, and gives special consideration to areas that can transfer land ownership to DoD and zero to minimal cost that are located in areas with economies impacted by a reduction in timber and mineral extraction jobs.
  • Army Interagency Training & Education Center (AITEC): Recognizes AITEC, which is part of the West Virginia National Guard, as the National Guard Bureau lead for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosives and Critical Infrastructure Protection training.
  • Ridge Runner Irregular Warfare Training Activity: Recommends for the expansion of the Ridge Runner training activity with allies in the State Partnership Program to simulate all domain and full mission profile activities to build interoperability and the capabilities necessary to address irregular warfare challenges. This training activity is ran by the West Virginia National Guard and takes place annually in West Virginia.
  • Next Generation Very Large Array (Green Bank): This language encourages the Department to continue efforts to utilize the Green Bank Observatory for intelligence gathering in space.
  • Future of DoD Operational Energy: Creates an entity within the Joint Staff for the purpose of identifying future energy needs of the Department of Defense with particular attention paid to nuclear, hydrogen, CCUS, battery storage, zero-carbon synthetic fuels, and renewable technologies. It would also identify critical infrastructure such as pipelines and electricity transmission that supply U.S. military facilities.
  • Contracting Transparency for DoD: Requires contractors to justify the cost of items and services sold to the DoD, and gives DoD contractors the authority to request commercial prices for similar DoD items.
  • Pilot program for tactical vehicle safety data collection: directs the Secretaries of the Navy and Army to conduct a pilot program evaluating the use of data recorders to monitor, assess, and improve the operation of military tactical vehicles for the purposes of reducing accidents and injuries.
  • Cybersecurity of Weapons Systems: Requires the Secretary of Defense to carry out assessments of weapons systems vulnerabilities to radio-frequency enabled cyber-attacks.
  • Critical Infrastructure Prioritization: Requires the Department of Defense to provide guidance for the prioritization and coordination of protection for critical infrastructure within the United States, including from cyber-attacks.
  • Applying Blockchain Technology to Cybersecurity: Requires the Secretary of Defense to assess the potential relative utility, value, and relevance of blockchain technology in protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, networks, and systems at all levels of classification.
  • Cybersecurity Science and Technology Research: Requires Cyber Command to develop a process for identifying, funding, executing, and monitoring cyber science and technology research needs.
  • Cyber Workforce Pipeline: Directs the Director, NSA, to provide a briefing on the workforce pipeline pilot program through certificate-based courses on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence that are offered by Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) universities. This program has been enabling workforce transformation and is showing great promise.
  • Navy Converged Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Encourages the Department of Defense to continue modernization efforts for their ERP business management software development which is ran by IBM with an office at Allegany Ballistics Lab.
  • Supports the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 Objectives: Requires a minimum of 31 amphibious warfare ships in our fleet; funds unmanned aerial systems for Intelligence, Surveillance, and reconnaissance; and supports weapons for the Marine Corps’ new Marine Littoral Regiment.