June 17, 2022
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), secured the priorities of West Virginia in the SASC markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2023 (FY23). The NDAA sets funding levels and creates new programs within the Department of Defense (DoD) each year, passage of this bill would mark the 62n/ayear in a row, Congress has moved this essential piece of legislation forward.
On June 16, 2022, the SASC voted 23 to 3 to report the FY23 NDAA to the full Senate for consideration. The FY23 NDAA authorizes $857 billion, including $817 billion for DoD and $29 billion for Department of Energy (DOE) national security programs.
“The U.S. military must be prepared and able to defend our nation against threats from within and without,” said Senator Manchin. “This bipartisan legislation is critical to combating visible and invisible enemies, and includes funding for many priorities for West Virginia, including support for the training center, intelligence gathering at Green Bank, and cybersecurity research. I am pleased with the bipartisan efforts on this legislation and the commitment to due process of my colleagues. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to finalize this essential legislation that includes many provisions for the Mountain State.
West Virginia priorities included in the FY23 NDAA:
- East Coast Joint All Domain Training Center: Supports a feasibility study to determine the need for East Coast-based military units for a modern training center capable of simulating all areas of warfare, and pays particular attention to areas that can transfer land ownership to the DoD and at zero to minimal cost that are located in areas with economies affected by reduced employment in timber and mineral extraction.
- Army Interagency Training and Education Center (AITEC): Recognizes AITEC, part of the West Virginia National Guard, as the National Guard Bureau’s lead for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives and critical infrastructure protection training.
- Ridge Runner Irregular Warfare Training Activity: Recommends the expansion of the Ridge Runner training activity with allies in the State Partnership Program to simulate all domain and full mission profile activities to build interoperability and the capabilities needed to meet the challenges of irregular warfare. This training activity is run by the West Virginia National Guard and is held annually in West Virginia.
- Next Generation Very Large Array (Green Bank): This wording encourages the Department to continue its efforts to use the Green Bank Observatory for space intelligence gathering.
- DoD Operational Energy Future: creates an entity within the joint staff with the aim of identifying the future energy needs of the Ministry of Defense with particular attention to nuclear, hydrogen, CCUS, battery storage, zero-carbon synthetic fuels and renewable technologies. It would also identify critical infrastructure such as pipelines and power transmission that power US military installations.
- Contract Transparency for the DoD: Requires subcontractors to substantiate the cost of items and services sold to DoD and gives DoD contractors authority to request trade prices for similar DoD items.
- Tactical Vehicle Safety Data Collection Pilot Program: directs the Secretaries of the Navy and Army to conduct a pilot program evaluating the use of data loggers to monitor, evaluate, and improve the operation of military tactical vehicles with the goal of reducing accidents and injuries.
- Cybersecurity of weapon systems: Requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct assessments of weapon system vulnerabilities to radio frequency-enabled cyberattacks.
- Prioritization of critical infrastructures: Requires the Department of Defense to provide guidance for the prioritization and coordination of critical infrastructure protection in the United States, including against cyberattacks.
- Application of Blockchain Technology to Cybersecurity: Requires the Secretary of Defense to assess the potential relative usefulness, value, and appropriateness of blockchain technology to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, networks, and systems at all levels of classification.
- Scientific and technological research on cybersecurity: Requires Cyber Command to develop a process to identify, fund, execute, and monitor cyberscience and technology research needs.
- Cyber Labor Pipeline: Tasks the Director, NSA to provide a briefing on the Workforce Pipeline Pilot Program through certificate-based courses in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence that are offered by the universities of the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE). This program has enabled the transformation of the workforce and is showing great promise.
- Navy Converged Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): encourages the Department of Defense to continue its modernization efforts for the development of its ERP enterprise management software which is managed by IBM with an office at Allegany Ballistics Lab.
- Supports Marine Corps Force Design 2030 goals: Requires a minimum of 31 amphibious warfare ships in our fleet; funds unmanned aerial systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and supports the arms of the Marine Corps’ new Marine Littoral Regiment.