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Senate Passes NDAA, Including Rounds’ South Dakota Priorities

Radical House Provisions Eliminated from Bill

WASHINGTON– U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and ranking Republican member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, today issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022. It now heads to the president’s desk for signature.

“This year’s NDAA includes many wins for South Dakota – including victories for Ellsworth Air Force Base, Dakota State University and Raven Aerostar,” said Rounds. “Additionally, a lot of work has been done to remove radical pieces of legislation – like red flag laws and selective service requirements for women – that were included in the House version of this bill. Providing our troops with the tools they need to complete their missions fulfills one of our most fundamental duties: to provide for our national defense.”

Earlier today on the Senate floor, Senate Armed Services Ranking Member Jim Inhofe noted Rounds expertise on cybersecurity. “We have…not just experts on the outside,” said Inhofe. “Senator Mike Rounds probably knows more about cybersecurity than any of the advisors that are out there.”

South Dakota Wins Included:

  • Authorizes the following construction at Ellsworth Air Force Base:

-          $41M for B-21 2-Bay Low Observable Restoration Facility.

-          $24M for B-21 Addition/Alteration to the Existing Flight Simulator.

-          $47M for B–21 Field Training Detachment Facility.

-          $70M for B–21 Formal Training Unit/Aircraft Maintenance Unit.

-          $36M for B–21 Mission Operations Planning Facility.

-          $65M for B–21 Wash Rack & Maintenance Hangar.

  • $2.87 billion for continued B-21 development.
  • Strengthened the university cyber consortium of academic institutions which are designated as Cyber Centers of Academic Excellence, including Dakota State University. 
  • Authorized $6.5 million for stratospheric balloon research. Directly impacts a successful manufacturer based in Sioux Falls, SD, Raven Aerostar which develops and deploys stratospheric balloon technology. 
  • Authorizes $9.8 million for Joe Foss Field F-16 Mission Training Center.


Additional Rounds Provisions Included:

  • Secured $300 million for National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence recommendations, including accelerating processes to apply artificial intelligence capabilities to military systems, processes and operations (pending coordination with the Appropriations Committee).
  • Created an emerging technology education requirement for Department of Defense senior leaders.
  • Directed creation of Artificial Intelligence performance objectives and metrics for incorporation of artificial intelligence and digital readiness across all DOD platforms, training and operations.
  • Tightened up the Department of Defense’s Principal Cyber Advisor position to prevent dual-hatting with the Chief Information Officer.
  • Modified a pilot program led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Defense and National Cyber Director to establish voluntary public-private partnerships with internet ecosystem companies
  • Authorized full funding for U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) to include items on their unfunded requirements list.
  • Maintained CYBERCOM’s budgetary controls.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to assess how the department can protect the United States from ransomware.
  • Restored the Close Combat Lethality Task Force as a cross-functional team and direct report to the Secretary of Defense after the Secretary moved it out of the Pentagon (to the Army) and several echelons below the Chief of Staff of the Army.


Bill Highlights:

  • Increases military basic pay for all service members by 2.7%.
  • Bans dishonorable discharges for service members who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Creates a new National Defense Strategy Commission to review the upcoming Biden National Defense Strategy. 
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to report on U.S. counterterrorism efforts and plans to evacuate U.S. citizens and allies from Afghanistan.
  • Authorizes a Guam Integrated Air and Missile Defense System.
  • Extends the prohibition against using funds to transfer or release GTMO prisoners to the United States and extends the prohibition on closing the base.


Radical House Provisions Removed from Bill:

  • Removed a provision that required women to register with the selective service.
  • Successfully stripped red flag law provisions that violated the Second Amendment rights of our nation’s service members by allowing military judges and magistrates to issue military court orders to confiscate privately owned firearms.   


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