September 18, 2017

Cortez Masto Touts Support for Nevada’s Service Members, Applauds Passage of National Defense Authorization Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement touting provisions she sponsored and cosponsored that were included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These provisions strengthen our support for Nevada’s service members, support diversity in our military, and ensure ongoing investment in our military's combat readiness, as well as critical military capabilities.

“Our service members make great sacrifices to keep us safe and protect our way of life. We owe it to them to do all we can to make sure they are successful on the battlefield and well cared for when they return home. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are fighting for our country in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other far flung places in the world. I am proud to recognize and honor the service of our soldiers in the State of Nevada for all they do to keep us safe. In the Silver State, we have a frontline role in that effort, from hosting one of our nation's largest centers for remotely piloted aircraft fighting ISIS, to training the best Naval fighter pilots in the world. I am proud to support our troops today with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.”

Provisions Sponsored by Senator Cortez Masto:

  • Require the Air Force to Develop a Plan to Improve Services Available to Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Pilots at their Duty Stations
    • This substitute bill language requires the Air Force to implement a combat-to-dwell policy for members of the remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) community to reduce stress on the RPA community and ensure that service members receive adequate noncombat time between tours of duty in combat zones. The policy is intended to mitigate the mental and physical fatigue associated with combat duty.
  • Army Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Scholarship
    • This amendment urges the Department of Defense to take action to increase enrollment in ROTC scholarships at minority serving institutions.

Provisions Cosponsored by Senator Cortez Masto:

  • Members of the Armed Forces Who Enlist Under Authority for Enlistment Vital to the National Interest

This amendment protects undocumented members serving in the military under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program who were facing deportation, due to a backlog in their background checks. The amendment extends the deadline for completing the background checks by 365 days, until the Department of Defense can complete its reform of the program.