Carbajal Helps Advance Defense Policy Bill with Key Support for Central Coast Military Families, Vandenberg SFB, Research Partnerships with Local Universities

The Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act backs 4.6% pay raise for troops, creation of a Space National Guard, Carbajal bills to support military housing and immigrant families of decorated soldiers

Earlier this morning, Rep. Salud Carbajal joined a bipartisan majority of the House Armed Services Committee to send its comprehensive defense policy bill for the upcoming fiscal year to the House Floor.

Included within the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23 NDAA) are multiple provisions championed by Congressman Carbajal that will support operations at Vandenberg Space Force Base, promote the welfare of U.S. servicemembers and military families, invest in research partnerships with Central Coast colleges and universities, and ensure the United States can protect its citizens and strategic interests at home and around the globe.

“Over my past three terms in Congress, I’ve had the privilege to work every year with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to craft bipartisan legislation that invests in keeping Americans safe today and in the future; and that is what we have done again this year,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I’m proud that this bill also reflects the values and priorities of the Central Coast, its communities, and its servicemembers. It supports our cornerstone installation, Vandenberg Space Force Base, and the military families that call our area home–as well as the research institutions that are innovating to keep the United States on the cutting edge and protecting its interests around the globe.”

The measure advanced this morning by a vote of 57 to 1 includes a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Rep. Carbajal which commissions a study to ensure that military airspace routes can interact safely with on and offshore wind installations, including the one slated for lease sale in Morro Bay later this year.

The following priorities were also secured in the 2023 NDAA:

Supporting Vandenberg Space Force Base Operations and Future Capabilities

·         Carbajal secured a $7 million increase to the Spacelift Range System, which would improve the infrastructure at space launch ranges including the ones at Vandenberg Space Force Base.

·         Includes language supporting the ‘Range of the Future’ initiative at Vandenberg, expressing Congress’ support for the need to build on the report secured by Carbajal’s efforts in last year’s NDAA.

·         Rep. Carbajal also co-sponsored an amendment to the measure that would create a Space National Guard.

Promoting the Welfare of Servicemembers and Central Coast Military Families

·         The FY23 NDAA supports a historic $4.6% pay raise for U.S. servicemembers.

·         Includes a bipartisan measure co-led by Reps. Carbajal and Glenn “GT” Thompson that would create a new a centralized Military Housing Feedback Tool for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families to identify, rate, and compare housing.

o   More information on the Military Housing Transparency and Accountability Act can be found here.

·         Requires a report on a more transparent, fair, and flexible way to calculate the basic allowance for housing.

·         Rep. Carbajal co-sponsored an amendment that would waive naturalization fees and certain other immigration-related benefits for the immediate relatives of Purple Heart recipients.

o   The amendment is identical to the bill Carbajal co-led with Rep. Michael Waltz last year, the Sergeant First Class Javier J. Gutierrez Purple Heart Survivor Naturalization Fee Relief Act.

Support for Partnerships with Local Universities

·         UCSB: Rep. Carbajal secured increased funding for research programs that are conducted in partnership with U.C. Santa Barbara and other universities: $10 million for silicon-based laser research, $4 million for biotechnology research, and $9 million for cold and complex environment-sensing research.

·         Cal Poly SLO: Carbajal also supported a $10 million increase for aerospace engineering research, which is done in partnership with Air Force Research Lab and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

The FY23 NDAA also expresses the Sense of Congress that the United States strongly supports membership for Finland and Sweden in NATO, extends the authorization for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) program, and includes $950 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which provides support and assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Today’s measure includes an amendment added by Carbajal, Chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, which allows members of the U.S. Coast Guard to count their service in the reserves towards their retirement.

Additional details and a summary of all the provisions included in the FY23 NDAA can be found here.

Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th congressional district, encompassing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and part of Ventura County. He sits on the House Armed Services Committee, Agriculture Committee, and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he serves as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.


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