Romney Applauds Passage of Defense Bill with Critical Provisions for National Security, Utah’s Hill Air Force Base

Hill Air Force Base priorities include F-35 maintenance, modernization of our nuclear deterrent, and land transfer

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today applauded Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes funding for our national defense, promotes the advancement of technological research, and provides for a pay raise for our troops. The NDAA also includes critical provisions Romney fought for to support Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, and to protect the U.S. from the threat that China’s Huawei poses to national security. The full text of the NDAA can be found here, and a summary of the bill can be found here.

“At a time when we face complex threats around the globe, this legislation reaffirms our commitment to strengthening our alliances and partnerships, modernizing our equipment and missile defense, and advancing research in technology,” Senator Romney said. “Importantly, the legislation authorizes funding for F-35 maintenance and military construction projects at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, and includes a measure I authored to protect our national security from the growing threat that China poses.”

Romney-backed provisions in the NDAA:
Countering the Threat China Poses

  • Provision to prohibit the removal of Huawei from the Commerce Department’s Entity List.
  • Provision to restrict the purchase of rail cars and buses from Chinese state-owned enterprises.

Support for the Acquisition and Maintenance F-35s at Hill Air Force Base

  • Includes $574 million for at least 90 F-35s, including 60 Air Force variants;
  • Requires numerous reports to Congress on costs and processes around operating, maintaining, and sustaining F-35s, including a process to hold contractors involved in maintaining F-35s accountable;
  • Allows DOD to negotiate multi-year contracts for supplying F-35 parts and to seek financial compensation for failure of suppliers to deliver parts on schedule.

Support for Construction at Hill Air Force Base

  • Authorizes $114.5 million for construction on and acquisition of additional land around Hill Air Force Base, including $56.5 million for various missile storage facilities;
  • Allows the transfer of 35 acres to the state of Utah to construct a new freeway interchange for I-15.

Support for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) Program at Hill Air Force Base

  • Requires a report to Congress if the Air Force receives only one bid for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the GBSD program.