Lankford Supports Oklahoma Service Members in National Defense Bill after Fighting to Keep Out Progressive Wish-list Items

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today voted to support the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to ensure our Oklahoma service members, civilians support teams, and defense contractors have what they need for their missions.

“Senator Inhofe successfully fought off the progressives’ wish list to pass a solid national defense bill,” said Lankford. “The final bill helps move forward the missions of Oklahoma’s military installations, gives members of the military a raise, protects service members from dishonorable discharge if they choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, rejects forcing women to sign up for the draft, and blocks ‘woke’ training for our services members, and allows them to prioritize the mission. We should always work toward a defense bill that focuses on our military missions and readiness, not a progressive political agenda.”

Prior to the final bill, Lankford worked to stop many of the progressive additions to it. He introduced a resolution expressing that the Senate should not pass legislation mandating the registration of women for the Selective Service System, known as “Don’t Draft Our Daughters.” He requested that the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee prohibit funding for training on critical race theory for US service members. Lankford offered 20 amendments to this year’s NDAA.

Lankford stood firmly with the Oklahoma National Guard and Guard members around the nation and called for a vote on the Senate floor to offer his amendment to the NDAA that would prohibit the Department of Defense from discharging or withholding pay or benefits from members of the National Guard because of their COVID–19 vaccination status.

The final NDAA did include several Oklahoma-specific provisions Lankford supported and helped secure, including:

  • Ensures full funding for the KC-46 and the B-21 missions at Tinker Air Force Base and ensures the Air Force’s Sustainment Center at Tinker remains operational
  • Funds procurement for the KC-46A Pegasus Tanker for Altus Air Force Base and ensures the KC-135 mission continues until the KC-46 is fully operational
  • Supports training at Vance Air Force Base and expands manufacturing to repair training aircraft
  • Supports a program at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant to provide on-site energy production to support infrastructure in an emergency or national security incident
  • Develops new, more precise, and more lethal artillery weapons at Fort Sill and provides important sustainment provision for the Fires Innovation Science & Technology Accelerator (FISTA) in Lawton
  • Supports upgrades to the F-16 defensive system capabilities for the Oklahoman National Guard as well as enhanced training
  • Fully funds B-21, which will be maintained at Tinker Air Force Base
  • Fully funds depot maintenance
  • Ensures that acquisition programs report on the original cost, schedule, and performance goals throughout the program to provide transparency

Lankford fought the bad policies originally in the bill, and the final bill Senator Lankford supported:

  • Prohibits DOD from dishonorably discharging service members and instead requires an honorable or general discharge under honorable conditions, which will retroactively apply to the date of the DOD COVID-19 vaccine order and be in place for at least two years
  • Prohibits Biden from closing the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO), transferring detainees from GTMO to the US, and/or building a facility in the US to house terrorist detainees
  • Establishes an independent commission to review the entirety of the Afghanistan War, including the disastrous withdrawal, and present finding and recommendations to Congress while prohibiting DOD from providing any financial support to the Taliban
  • Continues funding for the deployment of National Guard to the southern border
  • Requires DOD and the Director of National Intelligence to assess the involvement of the Chinese Communist Party in the origins of COVID-19
  • Does not limit the Second Amendment rights of Americans
  • Does not require women to register for the draft
  • Does not establish an Office of Extremism within DOD or make troops take training courses on extremism
  • Does not provide the DC Mayor with the same authorities as a governor of a state regarding authority over the National Guard