Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) last week urged her colleagues to increase funding for the Navy’s Test and Evaluation Support program, which provides institutional maintenance and operations support for research, development, test, and evaluation at the Navy’s major range and test facilities, which includes Naval Base Ventura County.
Brownley wrote a letter to the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, which oversees funding for the Department of Defense, urging them to increase support for the Navy’s Test and Evaluation Support program by $40 million in the FY 2019 funding process.
“I am so proud to represent Naval Base Ventura County and the more than 19,000 personnel that work hard there every day to keep our nation safe and secure,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “Supporting the Navy’s Test and Evaluation Support program is critical for maintaining our military’s technological advantage. I will continue to work to ensure our base and our entire Armed Forces have the resources needed to support their critical missions.”
The full text of the letter is available here and below.
April 9, 2018
The Honorable Kay Granger
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense
H-405, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515-0001
The Honorable Peter Visclosky
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0001
Dear Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member Visclosky:
As you begin work on the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations Act, I write to share my priorities for the bill, including robust support for our existing naval test ranges.
As the proud representative of Naval Base Ventura County, I represent over 19,000 personnel that work hard every day to keep our nation secure. With 90 tenant commands, Naval Base Ventura County is a strategic asset to our national security, and will play an even greater role in our national defense as the Department of Defense continues to re-focus and shift attention towards the Asia-Pacific region.
Naval Base Ventura County is also home to our Pacific Seabees, the United States Navy Construction Battalion (CB). Since World War II, the Seabees have built military bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roads and airstrips, which have been integral to the success of the U.S. armed forces in combat theaters world-wide. Our highly-skilled and specially trained Seabees can rapidly deploy and prepare for various overseas contingencies, including humanitarian assistance missions.
Naval Base Ventura County — comprising a total of over 19,000 land acres, 125,000 square miles of instrumented sea range, 36,000 square miles of controlled overlying airspace, and airfield and test instrumentation at San Nicolas — provides the Navy with a diverse and expansive training area, helping prepare our sailors for a wide-variety of situations that they may encounter across the globe.
As you know, the Navy’s Test and Evaluation Support program provides institutional maintenance and operations support for research, development, test, and evaluation at the Navy’s major range and test facilities, including Naval Base Ventura County. These facilities are critical components for maintaining our military’s technological advantage by fielding safe and effective military capabilities in support of our national defense. The base provides outdoor free space development and operational testing of airborne electronic warfare systems and tactics against shipboard and land based air defense systems.
These ranges perform metric radar, multilateration and optical tracking of test objects; command, control, and destruct for range safety purposes; communications; frequency interference control and analysis; collection processing and display of telemetered data; real-time data processing and display; and the operation of a sub scale aerial target launch capability. Other test capabilities include sled tracks, measurement facility; propulsion, warhead, environmental, rocket motor, and other missile component test facilities; and gun ranges.
I urge the Committee to provide more resources for the Navy’s Test and Evaluation (T&E) Support Program (PE 0605864N). Specifically, I request an the Subcommittee increase the account to $405.5 million, an increase of $40 million over the FY2018 Omnibus.
Finally, I request the following report language be included:
Report on DoD Target and Threat Systems
The Committee recognizes that military capabilities of adversary nations continue to improve over time thus challenging the ability of the United States military to project power and protect its national interests throughout the world. In order to ensure thorough and realistic testing and evaluation of defense weapons systems and effective operational unit training, it is imperative that DoD continues to develop and maintain a sufficient inventory of realistic targets and threat systems. In support of that imperative, the Committee believes that the status and adequacy of target and threat systems programs need to be assessed.
The Secretary of Defense shall conduct a review of the Department’s targets and threat systems in support of test and evaluation and training and shall identify recommended actions to address shortcomings in those systems.
The review and recommendations shall address, but not be limited to, the following:
(A) All airborne, seaborne, ground and undersea targets and target control systems used to support open air test and evaluation and warfighter training exercises.
(B) All real and simulated threat systems used to support open air test and evaluation and warfighter training exercises.
(C) The degree to which all of the above systems replicate both current and future threats.
(D) The adequacy of target and threat systems inventories to meet current and future test and evaluation and training requirements.
(E) The ability of the above systems to support effective testing and evaluation of future U.S. combat and weapon systems.
(F) The ability of the above systems to support effective warfighter training against future threats.
Not later than one year after the date of enactment, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a final report on the review and recommended actions to address all shortcomings in the abilities of DoD targets and threat systems to effectively support open air test and evaluation events and training exercises.
I appreciate the Committee’s continued willingness to listen to the views of Members, including myself, who represent our proud military personnel at bases across the country. I look forward to working with you to ensure the FY2019 Defense Appropriations Act supports the critical missions of our armed forces, and maintains our solemn obligation to our servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
Thank you for your work on these critical issues.
Member of Congress
Issues: 115th Congress, Budget, Defense