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Rounds Secures Victories for South Dakota in Annual Defense Bill

Authors 45 Provisions for National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the Senate voted to advance the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023:

“This year’s NDAA secures major wins for South Dakota. It authorizes construction funding for Ellsworth Air Force Base and supports economic and research opportunities for multiple organizations across South Dakota.

“Our members on the Armed Services committee have worked hard all year to craft this piece of legislation. This crucial bill is a prime example of Congress putting politics aside to provide for our strategic national security interests and to achieve results for our service members and their families. I am pleased this bipartisan legislation is heading to the president’s desk to be signed into law.”

Rounds authored 47 unique pieces of legislation that were included in the NDAA. As the ranking member of the Cybersecurity Subcommittee, Rounds championed many provisions to enhance our offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. Additionally, Rounds supported an authorization for over $335 million in military construction funding for projects at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Supporting Quotes:

“Senator Rounds understands the importance of being proactive in regard to cybersecurity,” said José-Marie Griffiths, President of Dakota State University. “Because of Senator Rounds’ ardent support of our programs, students, and forward-thinking endeavors, our distinctive graduates are poised to help protect the nation through a strong cyber presence. I commend and thank Senator Rounds for his ongoing commitment to getting priorities in the NDAA that will benefit DSU, South Dakota, and our country for years to come.”

“Just as when he was Governor and he led the efforts to create the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, Senator Rounds continues to support Ellsworth Air Force Base with his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee,” said Scott Landguth, Executive Director of the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority. “Senator Rounds’ continued support of the B-21 expansion at Ellsworth Air Force Base is a crucial piece to the success of the B-21 arriving in South Dakota. The Senator’s role on the Armed Service Committee is extremely valuable to these efforts. The South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority looks forward to continue to partner and work with the Senator to guarantee that the B-21 program and bed down at Ellsworth remains on schedule.”

“Senator Rounds’ support of NDAA, which includes monies for DOD impact aid, is critical for the Douglas School District,” said Kevin Case, Superintendent of the Douglas School District. “DOD Impact Aid is the only federal education funding that comes with no strings attached and can be used for a wide array of educational needs. This is a win for our students. We are fortunate to have the backing of Senator Rounds on this issue, and we are thankful for his support for the future education of our children.”  

Major South Dakota Victories Supported by Rounds in NDAA:

  • Authorizes $335.9 million in funding for military construction projects at Ellsworth Air Force Base, including a Low-Observable Restoration Hangar, Radio Frequency Hangar and Weapons Generation Facility to prepare for the B-21 Raider stealth bomber.
  • Extends $12 million in funds for the Aircraft Maintenance Shops project at Joe Foss Field for the South Dakota Air National Guard.
  • Requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide details about how it will identify the school to serve as the University Cybersecurity Consortium Support Center, potentially benefiting Dakota State University.
  • Authorizes $15 million to assist school systems that are projected to have a substantial increase in students because of DOD basing decisions, which will benefit Ellsworth Air Force Base and school systems in the Black Hills.
  • Extends prohibition on reducing B-1 maintenance personnel or further reduction in aircraft unless replaced with B-21s.
  • Authorizes $23 million for B-1 bomber squadrons, including $10 million for hypersonic integration validation testing.
  • Includes a multi-year procurement authority for Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles and Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles used by the B-1.
  • Authorizes $3.14 billion for B-21 bomber development and $1.78 billion for low-rate initial production of the aircraft.

Rounds-Supported National Security Wins:

  • Increases authorized defense funding by $45 billion above President Biden’s inadequate budget request.
  • Rescinds DOD’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate amid the massive recruiting crisis.
  • Authorizes funding to support a 4.6 percent pay raise for both military service members and the DOD civilian workforce.
  • Requires a public version of the National Defense Strategy after the Biden administration failed to release one.
  • Excludes a provision that would have forced America’s daughters and granddaughters to register for the Selective Service.
  • Increases maximum special and incentive payments and bonuses by 30 percent.
  • Authorizes a Survivor Benefit Plan open season for the first time since 2005.
  • Makes certain improvements relating to behavioral health care in the military health system.

Rounds’ Cybersecurity Wins in NDAA:

  • Establishment of the DOD Cyber and Digital Service Academy scholarship-for-service program.
  • Requires efforts to align the DOD’s international cybersecurity enterprise with the National Defense Strategy, the DOD Cyber Strategy and the DOD International Cyberspace Security Cooperation Guidance.
  • Requires the DOD to engage Jordan’s Ministry of Defense for the purpose of expanded military cybersecurity cooperation.
  • Authorizes sharing of cyber tools with allies and partners.
  • Establishment of the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cybersecurity who will advise the Secretary of Defense on all cybersecurity matters.
  • Creates the new position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy.


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