Rep. Hanabusa’s Statement on Congress passing the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
On November 14, 2017, the United States (U.S.) House of Representatives passed the 2018 NDAA compromise defense policy bill, followed by the U.S. Senate passage on November 16, 2017. In all, the comprehensive bill authorizes nearly $700 billion in national defense spending, including strategic defense authorizations for Hawai‘i and key provisions prioritized by Representative Hanabusa to fund military construction in Hawai‘i, protect Oahu’s water supply with the proper federal/state oversight of the military’s Red Hill facility, protect Hawai‘i from a North Korean Ballistic Missile Attack and clarify Congressional intent regarding the service’s Military Security Program (MSP).
“The 2018 NDAA reflects our nation’s commitment to a strengthening military and honors Hawai‘i’s critical military role in the increasingly important pivot to Asia Pacific,” said Rep. Hanabusa. “While taking care of Hawai‘i’s regional security and military construction needs, it also balances community concerns and supports Hawai’i’s local economy.”
Provisions in the 2018 NDAA benefiting Hawaii:
Red Hill - Rep. Hanabusa supported language in the conference committee report acknowledging the strategic importance of the Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility to the effectiveness and mission readiness of our Armed Services while ensuring the safety of Oahu’s drinking water supply. Rep. Hanabusa was able to include language in the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) report implementing best available and practicable technologies (BAPT) to prevent future spills and protect Oahu’s environment.
Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) – The final conference report contained the House provision, “Defense of Hawai‘i from North Korean Ballistic Missile Attack.” Rep. Hanabusa was instrumental in securing the language of this provision that establishes a sequenced approach to Hawai’i's defense while preserving PMRF’s world-class test and training mission and operations.
Hawaiʻi Military Construction – The conference report authorizes numerous Military Construction (MILCON) projects for Hawaiʻi in FY18. These include, but are not limited to:
- $90 million to construct 15 megawatts of redundant power generation at the Army’s Fort Shafter Command and Control Facility
- $73.2 million to construct a sewer line at the Navy’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
- $5.5 million to build a consolidated training facility at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for the U.S. Air Force Reserve
Maritime Security Program (MSP) – The current MSP runs from FY 2016 through FY 2025. Under the MSP program, the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, establishes a U.S.-flag fleet of active, commercially viable, militarily useful, privately-owned vessels to meet national defense and other security requirements and maintain a global, intermodal transportation network. MSP operating agreements are currently filled by 60 ships.
In the 2018 NDAA, Rep. Hanabusa was lead in negotiating a key provision clarifying Congressional intent regarding the operation of the MSP program as it relates to the transportation of cargo between points in the U.S. and its territories either directly or via a foreign port.
While a provision that would repeal the existing DoD long-term temporary duty (TDY) policy for military and service workers was not included in the final conference report, Rep. Hanabusa looks forward to continuing the dialogue with necessary stakeholders and members to craft a TDY per diem policy that fairly compensates military and service workers for travel scheduled in excess of 30 days and 180 days.
Finally, although the final conference report did not include Rep. Hanabusa’s “Sense of Congress regarding Pacific War Memorial” provision, the conferees did agree that a Pacific War memorial should be established at a suitable location at or near Pearl Harbor. To that end, on November 8, 2017, Rep. Hanabusa introduced the bipartisan H.R. 4300 with Congressman Rob Bishop (R) to authorize Pacific Historic Parks to establish a commemorative display to honor members of the United States Armed Forces who served in the Pacific Theater of World War II, and for other purposes. H.R. 4300 is entitled the “Admiral Lloyd R. “Joe” Vasey Pacific War Commemorative Display Establishment Act”.