From the office of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski:
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA), legislation which authorizes funding for the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. The legislation includes a pay raise for troops as well as more than 30 historic reforms to help combat sexual assault in our military. The Senate’s passage of NDAA is an important step in setting our nation’s defense priorities, authorizing funding levels for fiscal year 2014. It authorizes critical federal funding investments in Maryland’s defense assets and recognizes the state’s strategic importance in our national and cyber defense.
“A stronger America begins at home. That’s why I fight every year to make sure our military has the tools it needs to keep us safe,” Senator Mikulski said. “These federal investments in our national security and economic security will create jobs today in construction that support jobs tomorrow of those fighting to keep us safe.”
The legislation authorizes $84 million to establish a 148,000 square foot Marine Corps Forces Cyber Headquarters. The project will build space for cyber operations and command headquarters for the integration with our cyber defense efforts. The Cyber Headquarters will be home base for 450 marines working to protect our nation from cyber terrorists, thieves and thugs.
“Maryland is the global epicenter of cyber security, leading the way in finding cyber tech solutions that make our country safer and developing the cyber workforce to make our economy stronger,” Senator Mikulski said. “Because of Maryland’s incredible federal assets, dynamic private sector and iconic academic institutions, America’s cyber defense starts in Maryland. We are Fort Cyber. The battlefield is real but the battleships are being built right here in Maryland. As the Senator from Maryland and the Senator for Maryland, I will continue to be laser focused on protecting our country from cyber terrorists, spies, thieves and thugs.”
NDAA includes more than 30 reforms that address the ongoing problems of sexual assault in the military. Among these are thirteen prosecutorial reforms, ten reforms improving victims’ services, two to improve training of first responder and five dealing with reporting sexual assaults.
“Victims of sexual assault have long been redlined and sidelined at the hands of a justice system that fails to be objective or effective. It’s time to put a stop to this now,” Senator Mikulski said. “Despite lasting trauma, prejudice and overwhelming obstacles, these men and women have endured. Their courage in the face of suffering is admirable. But it should not be necessary. This bill includes over 30 provisions to address sexual assault. It strengthens the justice system. It provides counsel and support for victims. Most importantly, it provides a serious deterrent for those who dare take advantage of our most patriotic Americans.”
Senator Mikulski remains committed to protecting the American soldier both on and off the battlefield which is why she specifically requested and ensured that this bill authorize $13 million in funding to continue upgrading the Infectious Disease Research Institute at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Maryland remains the preeminent infectious disease research location in the world protecting millions of soldiers deployed overseas.
The legislation authorizes the following funding to support several key projects at Maryland’s military bases:
Aberdeen Proving Ground:
$21 million to build operations and maintenance landing pads and facilities for advanced radar systems.
$25 million for the Bowie Army Reserve Center to build a 15-acre site with facilities to support 600 personnel facilitating administration, medical operations and vehicle maintenance.
Bethesda Naval Hospital
$47 million for installation-wide infrastructure upgrades to improve the capacity of the power distribution infrastructure. This project is necessary to support sufficient power to Bethesda Naval Support Activity.
$13 million for the next phase of new the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease. This facility is the cornerstone of our military’s effort to stay one step ahead of potential threats to our troops from biological agents. The more modern facility will ensure the engineers and scientists at Fort Detrick have the tools to complete their mission. They will also ensure that they carry out their work in facilities that have the most modern safety and security features.
$396 million for a National Security Agency (NSA) High Performance Computer Center. This project is the third increment of the High Performance Computing Center building project that will provide state-of-the-art computing capability at NSA.
$84 million for the Marine Corps Forces Cyber Headquarters. This project will build space for cyber operations, command headquarters and administrative support. Here cyber warriors will work to protect our nation from cyber terrorists, thieves and thugs.