Source: Clarksville Online.com | Release | July 30, 2021

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, led her colleagues in passing the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) out of Committee.

“While the brave men and women of our armed services defend our freedom, we must push for the resources they need to fight and win,” said Senator Blackburn. “To get this done, I ensured that the Committee-passed bill text reflected the goals of our service members and their families, as well as the needs of the many Tennessee-based scientists and engineers who support our national security mission at home and abroad.”

“Senator Blackburn showed real leadership and dedication not only to protecting American families but to improving the lives of service members in Tennessee and around the world. Because of her work, we will make real investments in technological innovation that will keep us competitive with China—spurred by research at Tennessee’s universities—and strengthen our nuclear deterrent, which is the cornerstone of our national security, in part due to the critical research being done at Oak Ridge and Y-12,” said Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

Key Points:

Supporting Families

  • Establishes a pilot program for Tennessee’s active-duty military spouses to transfer professional licenses across state lines.
  • Requires the Defense Health Agency to take a hard look at excessive burdens placed on those in the Exceptional Family Member Program.
  • Expands mentorship, counseling, and support for the special operations community, including our Green Berets and Night Stalkers, to improve quality of life and retention.

Promoting Innovative Research

  • Provides additional funding for nuclear research efforts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex.
  • Expands university-based partnership program for technological research with the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University.
  • Increases funding for battlefield awareness emergent technology, with the University of Memphis and its research center leading the way.

Advancing Cybersecurity

  • Addresses recent wave of cyber-attacks by establishing pilot project to allow qualified civilian personnel to assist in identifying cyber vulnerabilities.
  • Strengthens research capabilities on Artificial Intelligence (AI) development through public-private talent exchanges with the Department of Defense and companies leading the way in AI development.
  • Addresses concerns about the Department of Defense joining contracts with companies that have sold surveillance and Facial Recognition Technologies to non-democratic governments to surveil, track, and repress citizens.

Click here for more information on Senator Blackburn’s work in the FY 2022 NDAA to support Tennessee service members and strengthen national defense capabilities.

The executive summary of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 can be found here.