Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2500), which included three amendments authored by Congresswoman Brownley that:
- Direct the Department of Defense (DOD) to update a report on the backlog of necessary military construction of property at Major Range and Test Facility Bases (MRTFB), including at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC);
- Direct DOD to support the continued use of the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), including at the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing; and
- Direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to analyze gender disparities in out-of-pocket uniform costs for men and women servicemembers.
“I am pleased that the NDAA included three of my amendments that support military construction efforts at Major Range and Test Facility Bases like Naval Base Ventura County, recognizes the critical role the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) plays in firefighting response efforts, and addresses gender disparities in of out-of-pocket uniform costs,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “It is an honor to represent Naval Base Ventura County and the more than 19,000 personnel who work there every day to protect our nation, and in Congress I continue to fight to protect and support our base and ensure our Armed Forces have the resources they need.”
Brownley’s first amendment directs DOD to update to a 2016 report on the backlog of necessary maintenance and construction at Major Range and Test Facility Bases (MRTFB), including at Naval Base Ventura County. The amendment also requires DOD to assess MRTFBs’ readiness to support advanced testing for future national defense needs. Ensuring NBVC is maintained in a state-of-good-repair and is fully capable of supporting current and future defense needs is a top priority for Brownley in Congress.
Brownley’s second amendment directs DOD to support the continued use of MAFFS. The amendment also directs DOD to use National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account funding to support continued development of MAFFS capabilities. The MAFFS units stationed at Naval Base Ventura County are critical to state-wide firefighting capabilities. As the threats of climate change continue to make fires worse, Brownley believes these California Air National Guard assets will continue to play a vital role and must be fully supported by DOD.
Brownley’s third amendment directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to analyze gender disparities in out-of-pocket uniform costs for men and women servicemembers. As Chair of the Women Veterans Task Force, Brownley has heard directly from female servicemembers and veterans about the high cost of women’s uniforms and the disparities in out-of-pocket costs for female servicemembers. Brownley’s amendment requires GAO to compare out-of-pocket uniform costs for men and women servicemembers in each of the Services of the Armed Forces, as well as past required uniform changes that have affected one gender more than the other.
All three of Brownley’s amendments were adopted by voice vote. H.R. 2500 subsequently passed the House in a vote of 220 to 197.