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Rounds Secures South Dakota Victories in Fiscal Year 2024 NDAA Passed by Committee

More Than $400 Million in Construction Funding for South Dakota Included in Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, released the following statement on the committee’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24). The FY24 NDAA overwhelmingly passed the committee with a vote of 24-1 and now awaits action from the full Senate.

“The NDAA is a critical piece of legislation that provides for our national security and supports our service members and their families,” said Rounds. “While I am disappointed the top-line numbers do not adequately fund those needs, I am pleased the bill contains measures supporting South Dakotans, including the service members at Ellsworth Air Force Base. As the ranking member of the Cybersecurity Subcommittee, I am proud of our work to strengthen our nation’s cyber capabilities and develop advanced technology to combat threats from the People’s Republic of China and Russia. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this legislation across the finish line.”

This is the ninth NDAA that Rounds has helped craft as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In last year’s bill, Rounds authored more than 45 provisions, which were ultimately adopted and signed into law. Earlier this year, Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia’s Center for Effective Lawmaking named Rounds as the 2nd most effective Republican on Defense issues.

Major South Dakota Victories Supported by Rounds in FY24 NDAA:

  • Authorizes $395 million for construction projects at Ellsworth Air Force Base, including $160 million for B-21 two bay phase maintenance hangar, $160 million for B-21 Weapons generation facility and $75 million for B-21 Fuel System Maintenance Dock.
  • Authorizes $2.325 billion for B-21 procurement.
  • Authorizes $66.8 million for the Long Range Standoff Weapon, which will enable the B-21 to provide even better conventional and nuclear deterrence in a contested environment.
  • Includes $5.25 million in funding for the construction of a National Guard Readiness Center in Sioux Falls.
  • Promotes the use and funding of “cold spray” technology for maintenance, repair and overhaul to increase the service life of aging systems, provided exclusively by a South Dakota company using a technology developed at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to support and work with universities on cyber workforce education, such as Dakota State University, who recently signed an Educational Partnership Agreement with ArmyCyber with the help of Rounds.

Rounds-Supported Cybersecurity Victories:

  • Authorizes the Department of Defense (DOD) to conduct cyber operations against a range of Mexican transnational criminal organizations, drug cartels chief among them, and require a related strategy on how to counter them.
  • Requires the development of a regional cybersecurity strategy to support the operations of each geographic combatant command.
  • Requires the establishment of a dedicated cyber intelligence capability to support the entire joint force for information sharing on cyber threat actors’ technology developments, capabilities, operations and intentions.
  • Directs the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools to better employ narrative intelligence technology in order to monitor and assess information campaigns by delivering comprehensive analysis of narrative themes, language and information patterns and disinformation networks.
  • Requires the tracking of results of sharing cyber capabilities and related information with foreign operational partners.
  • Requires a modernization program for network boundary and cross-domain defense against cyber attacks.
  • Requires a plan to modernize DOD’s cyber red teams, establish joint service standards and expand partnerships to increase the cyber talent workforce.
  • Directs DOD to support institutions of higher education on cyber workforce education and development efforts in the fields of cybersecurity, intelligence, data science, information security management and quantum information science.
    • Further directs the services to partner with universities to increase learning opportunities for DOD personnel awaiting assignment by providing hands-on cyber operations experience, training opportunities and access to courses to assist transition into the DOD cyber field.
  • Directs a briefing on the National Security Agency Cyber Collaboration pilot program, including an analysis of the program’s effectiveness and a plan to expand coverage for up to 10,000 defense industrial base entities.
  • Directs a mission assurance program to acquire and maintain all-domain awareness of threats posed to defense critical infrastructure.
  • Directs an independent assessment of creating a Cyber Force or further evolving the existing force development and management model.
  • Requires a prize competition to evaluate technology, including applications, tools and models, for the detection and watermarking of generative AI.

Rounds-Supported National Security Victories:

  • Provides a 5.2 percent pay raise for both military service members and DOD civilian workforce.
  • Includes provisions, which help preserve the performance-based warfighting ethos of the military and stop the toxic, so-called “equity” agenda at DOD at its source.
  • Mandates a full accounting of the cost and content of previously opaque and unaccountable programming across DOD’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and making certain senior defense officials are not required to take time and effort promoting these toxic policies.
  • Authorizes requested funding for procurement of combat aircraft, armored vehicles, naval vessels, weapon systems and munitions.

Click HERE for an executive summary.


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