Updated National Defense Bill Passes Senate

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed a revised 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 91-3.  The updated bill will authorize funding for programs important to Hawai‘i’s economy and military community.

“The defense authorization bill includes many provisions that strengthen our national defense, reinforce the need to rebalance to the Asia Pacific—through which Hawai‘i is central—and provide our service members with the equipment and training they need to protect America,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i). “Congress worked in a bipartisan manner to find a way to authorize funding for the military’s core operations and ensure that we can continue to provide for our service members and their families.” 

The 2016 NDAA includes a number of provisions that will benefit Hawai‘i’s economy and military community.  In addition to authorizing the $444 million in military construction projects that the Senate approved appropriations for today, the NDAA also:

  • Prohibits DoD from conducting another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Congress does not believe that it would provide the Defense Department the savings it needs to manage its fiscal challenges and would only hurt service members and their families.
  • Authorizes more than $12.8 million for Maui research and development: The bill authorizes funding for the Maui Space Surveillance System, a one-of-a-kind electro-optical facility that supports the Air Force’s efforts to track, identify, and characterize space objects of interest including the Dynamic Optical Telescope System.
  • Authorizes more than $203 million to sustain the military’s environmental restoration activities: The bill authorizes funding to continue efforts to identify and remove unexploded ordnance at former military sites across the neighbor islands, ensuring that military training and activities remain in balance with Hawai‘i’s cultural and environmental needs.
  • Authorizes more than $20 million in energy conservation projects in Hawai‘i: The bill authorizes funding for energy conservation projects in Hawai‘i, including $5.7 million for a carport solar array at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, $1 million for LED lighting and controls in defense health clinics at Schofield Barracks, and $13.8 million for a smartgrid industrial control system at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.