Release: Rounds Secures National Defense Victories in Fiscal Year 2025 NDAA Passed by Committee

Rounds Secures National Defense Victories in Fiscal Year 2025 NDAA Passed by Committee
Bill Includes $282 million in military construction projects at Ellsworth AFB; $2.6 billion for B-21 Raider Program 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and top Republican of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, released the following statement on the committee’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25). This is the tenth NDAA that Rounds has helped craft as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. At the start of the 118th Congress, Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia’s Center for Effective Lawmaking named Rounds as the second most effective Republican on Defense issues. The FY25 NDAA now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

“The NDAA is crafted each year to authorize critical funding for our national security, as well as our service members and their families,” said Rounds. “We were successful in securing many wins for South Dakota in this bill, including $282 million in funding necessary to prepare Ellsworth Air Force Base for the bed down of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber. I am particularly pleased that this year’s NDAA includes a 4.5 percent pay raise for our men and women in uniform, as well as back pay for our military members whose promotions were impacted by holds in the Senate. We never want our men and women in uniform entering a fair fight, we always want them to have the advantage. The FY25 NDAA keeps the United States ahead of the curve, especially in regard to near-peer adversaries such as China and Russia. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this legislation through the Senate and House and signed into law.”

Rounds’ Major National Defense Victories:

  • Fully funds the B-21 Raider program, including over $2.6 billion for procurement.
  • Secures $282 million in military construction projects to support the B-21 Raider housed at Ellsworth.
    • $44M for B21 Flight Simulator Facility Squadron Operations
    • $79M for the B-21 Alert Apron Environmental Protection Shelters
    • $54M for the other B-21 Environmental Protection Shelters
    • $105M for the B-21 Weapons Generation Facility
  • Establishes an Air Show Recruitment Pilot Program for the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide military aircraft support up to $100,000 to air shows operating in rural areas and then study their impact on recruitment.
  • Directs a report on ways to enhance B-21 environmental shelters.
  • Allows minor military construction funds to “rollover” into the next fiscal year, making it easier for installations like Ellsworth Air Force Base to complete renovation projects.
  • Includes Rounds’ bill S.3553, the Military Personnel Confirmation Restoration Act, which would provide backpay and update dates of rank and service records of officers whose promotions were delayed because of Senate holds.
  • Requires the DoD to review their war plans in light of growing cooperation between Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
  • Requires the DoD to evaluate cybersecurity products and services that protect employee’s mobile devices and evaluate networks for threats and proactively block or neutralize them.
  • Introduces language to protect artificial intelligence (AI) innovation within DoD.
  • Updates DoD’s cyber curriculum so that cyber operators are being taught and trained to respond to the latest threats using the most recent technologies and systems.
  • Strengthens oversight of the Defense Community Infrastructure Program, including ways which could help schools in military communities like the Douglas School District.
  • Requires a plan from the Army to fix the supply chain issues for smokeless gunpowder, which impacts both the military and civilian ammunition supply.
  • Includes $14.5 million for high altitude balloons and several reporting and briefing requirements to enhance their use, including the creation of a program executive officer for high altitude balloons.
  • Provides $6 million for cold spray repair and additive manufacturing technology.
  • Provides $20 million for the University Consortium for Cybersecurity.
  • Simplifies the process for vetted non-citizens with critical technical skills to join the U.S. military if they wish to serve America.
  • Creates a program to use AI to help the Defense Contract Management Agency process small business contracts to make doing business with the DoD easier.
  • Creates a program to use AI to improve workflows and operations at shipyards, depots and DoD manufacturing facilities.
  • Creates a Small Business Bill of Rights at DoD to improve the experience and quality of life of smaller companies doing business with the Department.
  • Establishes a National Security Capital Forum to allow DoD to engage with domestic and international investors so we can leverage capital markets against the Chinese Communist Party.

Rounds-Supported Cybersecurity Victories:

  • Requires a briefing on the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification 2.0 implementation and launches a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to help strengthen cybersecurity in the defense industrial base.
  • Limits the use of funds for the Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture until a detailed plan for the Next Generation Architecture is provided by the Commander of U.S. Cyber Command.
  • Improves cybersecurity of the DoD’s networks with a Cyber Operational Readiness Assessment.
  • Improves data capability for AI tools and requires the DoD to improve the interoperability of the data used by command and control systems.
  • Requires DoD to begin working on ways to modernize software acquisition.
  • Requires the DoD to develop a roadmap for addressing cyber warfare in space.
  • Updates the education and pilot program on authentication of digital content provenance for certain DoD media content.
  • Provides employment transparency regarding individuals who perform work in the People’s Republic of China.
  • Modifies prohibition on the purchase of cyber data products or services other than through the Program Management Office for DoD-wide procurement of cyber data products and services.
  • Directs DoD to brief its development and implementation of a private AI architectural framework, including current and future use cases.
  • Reports on Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability Contracts.

Other Rounds’ Defense Victories

  • Authorizes a national defense topline increase of $25 billion, including increased procurement of combat vessels, aircraft and vehicles.
  • Authorizes funding to support a 4.5 percent pay raise for military members and a 2 percent pay raise for DoD civilian employees.
  • Requires a multi-year plan for DoD activities to support our ally Taiwan.
  • Requires a report on the military cooperation between China and Russia and the implications of this relationship on U.S. national security.
  • Promotes information sharing among DoD personnel and other federal, state and local authorities deployed at the southwest border.
  • Requires a strategy for countering drone technologies.
  • Directs a briefing on current and future capabilities to test directed energy systems.
  • Requires a report assessing the feasibility of establishing an active-duty sustainment brigade in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Requires the development of a national integrated air and missile defense architecture.
  • Requires a demonstration and assessment of the viability of using wideband adaptive signal processing technology to support simultaneous transmission and reception signals on the same electromagnetic spectrum frequency band.
  • Prohibits TRICARE from covering gender-affirming hormone therapy, puberty blockers and other medical interventions for gender dysphoria that could result in the sterilization for children under the age of 18.
  • Co-sponsored language that will enable the DoD to ramp up production and use of micronuclear reactors.
  • Co-led a provision to slow the transfer of space missions from the Air National Guard to the Space Force and will continue working to protect governors’ authorities.

Click HERE for an executive summary.

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7 thoughts on “Release: Rounds Secures National Defense Victories in Fiscal Year 2025 NDAA Passed by Committee”

  1. TLDR; Mike Rounds supports our military in Rapid City and Ellsworth AFB. Mike Rounds supports countering Russian and Chinese military growth. Mike Rounds supports next generation cyber security (which he has been instrumental in getting DSU in Madison on the cutting edge of).

  2. Rounds often publishes his agenda for the preceding week. He is always booked solid in meetings with constituents; influencing national defense; looking out for South Dakota in every way. He has a solid record of accomplishments in the US Senate and the Governor’s office.

    We are fortunate to have him in public service.

  3. Yes! Senator Rounds has taken a leadership position in the Senate in support of the Senator’s and our Parties two most important, Constitutional priorities: National Defense and Foreign Policy. In doing so, he is diametrically opposed to Ex-President Trump’s positions of gutting our Military of the manpower and tools which insure our protection and Trump’s arcane and dangerous policy of “Isolationism” and our withdrawal from Alliances which have united the Free World against Communist, totalitarian expansion. Our entire country, Republican and Democrat, owes him a debt of gratitude for his fortitude, fidelity, and wisdom.

    1. To Trumps credit (begrudgingly), the talk of pulling out of military alliances was just banter but got our allies to step up more. However Rounds was laser focused on our troops. My favorite quote from Rounds on military spending, “It is my job to make sure our men in uniform aren’t fighting a fair fight” he was right, we need to have the advantage in the fight. Thank you Mike Rounds!

  4. Trump doesn’t banter. He floats trial balloons. If the crowd claps, hoots and hollers, suddenly the trial balloon becomes policy.

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