Our District 2 Rep. Rick Larsen is a workhorse for our community. He serves selflessly and tirelessly to secure funds and services for the North Sound. Naval Station Everett is a huge, and welcome part of our community. Not only is it home to thousands of Navy Personnel, but it also employs and provides jobs for local civilians. If not on active ship duty, most Navy Personnel live off-base with a positive impact on the local economy via housing, and restaurant traffic, grocery shopping, entertainment and much more.

Yesterday, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, helped shape the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Larsen successfully secured provisions to strengthen national security, support women and men in the military and the Department of Defense (DoD) civilian workforce, and ensure the United States remains a global security leader. The NDAA, which the Committee approved with bipartisan support, now heads to the House floor for consideration.

“This year’s NDAA makes critical investments to support Washington servicemembers and their families, strengthen national security and stand with NATO allies and international partners to help Ukraine defend itself,” said Larsen. “I am thankful to my colleagues for including my bipartisan priorities in this year’s NDAA, and I look forward to working with the Committee to bring this important bill across the finish line.”

The NDAA includes several key provisions that benefit Northwest Washington’s military families, installations, and the surrounding communities.

Supporting Military Families and Communities:

  • Larsen supported a 4.6 percent raise for all servicemembers.
  • Larsen secured a total of $75 million for Impact Aid payments to school districts that serve military-connected students, like the Oak Harbor School District.
  • Larsen supported an amendment to examine whether the process for calculating the Basic Allowance for Housing makes sense in rural communities like Oak Harbor – an issue Larsen heard about from constituents.
  • The bill includes Larsen’s amendment to direct the DoD to report on the negative impacts of travel charge card reimbursement delays on servicemembers’ credit – an issue Larsen heard about from constituents.

Improving Care for Wounded Warriors and Their Families:

  • The NDAA includes Larsen’s provision to create a pilot initiative to give servicemembers and veterans the option of starting a family by cryopreserving eggs or sperm before a deployment.
  • Larsen also supported Rep. Waltz’s bipartisan amendment to ensure veterans can effectively appeal decisions made regarding medical separation from service and disability benefits.

Protecting Servicemembers from Online Sexual Harassment:

  • Servicemembers should be free to operate in an environment free of discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other behaviors that distract from successful mission accomplishment. Larsen secured an amendment to take meaningful steps toward protecting servicemembers from online sexual harassment.

Standing with NATO Allies and International Partners:

  • The United States continues to stand with NATO allies and international partners to support an independent and sovereign Ukraine and hold Putin and his cronies accountable for Russia’s unprovoked war.
  • The NDAA includes a provision Larsen supported to authorize an additional $450 million in security assistance for Ukraine.
  • The NDAA also includes a provision Larsen backed that affirms the United States supports NATO membership for Finland and Sweden.

Mitigating Jet Noise and Supporting Electronic Warfare Capabilities:

  • Larsen supported a review of how the DoD can better support noise insulation and noise mitigation investments for communities affected by jet noise.
  • Larsen secured a provision to direct the Secretary of Defense to report on the DoD’s plans for the airborne electronic attack force structure. The Navy has proposed divesting five non-carrier-based EA-18G Growler electronic attack squadrons at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, creating a gap in the DoD’s ability to execute the electronic warfare mission under the National Defense Strategy.

Ensuring Military Readiness:

  • Larsen secured a provision to direct the Secretary of the Navy to identify whether any defense contracts for the Navy’s F/A-XX sixth-generation fighter jet rely on carbon fiber from companies outside the United States.
  • Larsen also secured a provision to ensure Air National Guard and Reserve units like the Washington Air National Guard have the proper equipment and aircraft necessary, such as the KC-135, to maintain readiness.
  • Larsen supported Rep. Panetta’s amendment to expand professional military education for enlisted servicemembers.

For more specific information about the NDAA from the House Armed Services Committee, click here, Armed Services NDAA.

Marcee Maylin has a degree in Editorial Journalism from the University of Washington and 30+ years media experience. She is currently the Editor of the Everett Post dedicated to providing current, relevant, and entertaining content for the local community.