Bipartisan Defense Policy Bill Signed into Law, Includes Carbajal Amendment to Enhance Wildfire Safety

Santa Barbara, CA, December 28, 2021

Yesterday, President Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 Fiscal Year into law. The bill was negotiated with the Senate and passed the House on a bipartisan basis on December 7, 2021. The sweeping measure includes several of Rep. Carbajal’s proposals to address Central Coast priorities and meet our national security needs, including an amendment spearheaded by Rep. Carbajal to extend the lifesaving FireGuard program for another five-years.

"Each year, Congress comes together to pass a bipartisan bill that enhances our national security and keeps Americans safe. The bill, which was negotiated across party lines and both chambers of Congress, reflects our nation’s shared values and I am proud to have secured several measures that will directly benefit Central Coast families,” said Rep. Carbajal. “The bill includes my amendment to extend the FireGuard program for five years, which will give long-term certainty to the emergency responders in our state who rely on the program to detect and monitor wildfires. It also gives our service members a well-deserved pay raise and institutes reforms to prevent and prosecute sexual assault in the military. This bill is a major win for our troops, our communities, and our country.” 

The FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act:

  • Enhances Wildfire Safety: The bill includes an amendment Carbajal introduced which authorizes the FireGuard program for five years in California. The FireGuard program utilizes Department of Defense resources to help local jurisdictions detect and monitor wildfires. Previously, the program had to be reauthorized on a yearly basis so this provision would provide long term certainty for emergency responders who rely on this program. 
  • Fights Food Insecurity: Carbajal helped pass a measure that allows the Defense Secretary to provide a basic needs allowance to qualified service members, based on the Military Hunger Prevention Act (HR 2339) which Rep. Carbajal co-led.   
  • Gives Troops a Pay Raise: Includes a well-deserved 2.7% pay raise for U.S. service members.
  • Addresses Sexual Assault in the Military: The bill includes historic reforms to the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prevent and prosecute sexual assault and sexual harassment.
  • Creates a Global War on Terror Memorial: Includes H.R. 1115, the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act. This bipartisan bill authorizes the construction of a memorial honoring the U.S. servicemembers who have served in the Global War on Terrorism.
  • Supports Local Military-University Partnerships: Carbajal secured $4 million for Biotechnology Advancements at Army University Affiliated Research Centers, including the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies at UC Santa Barbara.
  • Advances Vandenberg’s Space Capabilities: Carbajal supported a $5 million increase to Spacelift Range System, which would improve the infrastructure at ranges including the ones at Vandenberg Space Force Base. The bill also includes a measure Carbajal led to require the Chief of Space Operations to report to Congress on the Range of the Future initiate and how physical infrastructure needs at Vandenberg will be addressed.

A summary of the provisions in the FY22 NDAA is available here

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