Chairman Tester Secures Billions for Key Montana, National Security Priorities Including Ukraine in Defense Funding Legislation

Senator fought for critical investments in Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, Grey Wolf helicopters for Malmstrom; Senator secured critical military and humanitarian resources for Ukraine

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense (SAC-D), secured critical funding and priorities in the fiscal year 2022 Department of Defense Appropriations legislation to ensure America’s national security, provide essential resources to our troops, and invest in the readiness and capabilities of critical military installations like Malmstrom Air Force Base. In response to Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, Chairman Tester also secured billions in military and humanitarian resources for American allies in Europe.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester is responsible for writing the legislation that funds the federal government each year.

“As Chairman of the Defense Subcommittee, I worked across the aisle to reach a budget deal that funds our military mission in Montana at Malmstrom Air Force Base and around the world—particularly as we work with our allies to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” said Chairman Tester. “I’m proud to have secured these resources that will invest in the most pressing needs of America’s servicemen and women so we stay ahead of adversaries like China. This bill is about protecting America and our allies, and getting our troops the pay and equipment that they need, and I urge the President to quickly sign this package into law so we can maintain our place as the leader of the free world.”

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2022, provides $728.5 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) and related activities. This amount is $32.5 billion over the fiscal year 2021 enacted level, and $22.5 billion over the amount requested in the President’s fiscal year 2022 budget request. The bill also contains no Senate earmarks, and directs DoD that increases provided by the bill shall be subject to competition, or shall be provided to programs that have received competitive awards in the past.

The omnibus also includes a title making supplemental appropriations for the Department of Defense to address military requirements arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This supplemental appropriations measure provides $6.5 billion for the Department of Defense, of which $3.5 billion is to restore military stocks of equipment that has been transferred to the Government of Ukraine, and $3 billion is to address deployment, operational, and intelligence costs for U.S. forces deployed to Europe to deter further aggression.

In the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, Chairman Tester secured a number of critical Montana priorities, including:

  • $2.55 billion for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, which is the next-generation ICBM that will field to Malmstrom in the 2030s. The amount is increased from what was provided in 2021 ($1.45 billion) as the R&D phase of the program is ramping up.
  • $141 million for the MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopter, which is replacing Vietnam-era UH-1 helicopters that are used to secure the missile fields. Malmstrom Air Force Base is first in line to get these new helicopters when they are constructed.
  • $1.8 billion for 16 new C-130Js for the Air National Guard, enough to upgrade two Air Guard wings. Montana Air National Guard will be able to compete to receive these airplanes.
  • $950 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment account, which can be used by the Guard for equipment like trucks, radios, and more that support guardsmen and women in completing their missions.
  • $97 million to implement the recommendations of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, strengthening the military justice system with both new personnel and better practices to punish unlawful behavior, and increasing support to victims and those who report sexual assault or harassment. This fully funds the amount that can be spend in the remaining months of this fiscal year.
  • $2.6 billion for defense medical research, including $1.5 billion for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. These funding levels constitute five percent real growth over FY 2021 enacted levels;
  • $119.6 million for food assistance for service members and their families struggling to put food on the table exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • $1 billion for urgent requirements for Israel’s Iron Dome system; and
  • $255.3 million for PFAS-related environmental remediation activities, AFFF removal and the CDC Multi-Site Health Study in addition to the $67 million in requested funding.

Additionally, Chairman Tester secured investments in key national security priorities to help the United States counter China, maintain dominance in key areas like cyber and artificial intelligence, and improve infrastructure and research and development.

Countering China and Investing in the Indo-Pacific:
The bill provides nearly $1.4 billion in increases to key capabilities relating to the Indo-Pacific. These increases include:

  • An additional $269 million for Marine Corps unfunded priorities related to Force Design 2030;
  • An additional $550 million to accelerate an missile tracking satellite demonstration for the Asia-Pacific region;
  • An additional $75 million for the Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii and $80 million for the Guam Defense System; and
  • Establishes the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER) to accelerate real-world demonstrations of innovative technologies.

Artificial Intelligence, Cyber, and Microelectronics:
The bill proposes increases in these areas to improve the Armed Forces’ adoption of next-generation technologies. Examples include:

  • Establishment of a $200 million program to increase adoption of artificial intelligence capabilities at combatant commands, and an addition of $50 million to improve DoD recruitment and development of talent for advancing AI;
  • Increases of $62 million to harden DoD networks from cyber threats, $23 million to improve training at U.S. Cyber Command, and $70 million for increasing DARPA efforts on AI, cyber, and data analytics; and
  • An additional $100 million for design acceleration of trusted and assured microelectronics, and $80 million for DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) 2.0.

The bill supports continuing efforts to establish the Space Force, and advance key technologies to maintain U.S. superiority in an increasingly contested domain. Examples include:

  • Provides $18.0 billion for the Space Force operations and acquisitions accounts, excluding military personnel. This is a $2.7 billion, or 17 percent increase, compared to the fiscal year 2021 enacted levels.
  • Added $261 million for Space Force unfunded priorities, including $61 million to accelerate a cislunar flight experiment, $123 million in classified priorities and $44 million for operational shortfalls in the Space Force.

Infrastructure and Public Shipyards:
The bill provides substantial increases to various infrastructure needs for the Department of Defense, which have often been viewed as lower priority programs. Examples include:

  • An increase of $1.3 billion in facilities sustainment, restoration, and modernization across the military services;
  • Increases in excess of $850 million for test and evaluation infrastructure, to improve development and testing of next-generation weapons; and
  • Increases the $280 million requested in the budget for the Navy’s Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan (SIOP) by $564 million, of which $200 million is for additional facility renovations, $64 million is for base operating support costs, and $300 million is for additional industrial equipment.

Chairman Tester took the gavel of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in January. The Subcommitee is responsible for providing nearly $700 billion annually to the Department of Defense and related agencies. This is more than 95 percent of the military’s yearly budget, and includes matters ranging from pay and benefits for millions of service members and civilians to the development of advanced technologies and next-generation weapons. The Subcommittee also oversees funding for nearly all major U.S. intelligence agencies.