Congressman Jim Bridenstine CD01

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Nominated to Lead NASA

Congressman Jim Bridenstine:  “It is an honor to be nominated to serve our nation as NASA Administrator. I am humbled by this opportunity, and I thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence. Should I be confirmed by the United States Senate, I will work with all diligence to achieve the President’s vision for America’s leadership in space.” 

Jim Bridenstine served as a U.S. Navy pilot on active duty for nine years, followed by four years in the Navy Reserve where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  In 2015 he transitioned to the Oklahoma Air National Guard.  He was elected to Congress in 2012 and serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  In 2016 he introduced the American Space Renaissance Act.  Bridenstine lives in Tulsa, OK with his wife Michelle and their three children. For a full bio, please click here.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Votes to Fund National Defense

Today, Congressman Jim Bridenstine voted for the H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, which funds national defense, important US Army Corps of Engineers projects, and physical border security provisions, while cutting wasteful programs that ballooned during the previous administration. The legislation passed 235 to 192.

“The first responsibility of the Federal Government is national security. Today, the House of Representatives fulfilled that duty,” said Congressman Bridenstine.

The Make America Secure Appropriations Act provides $659 billion for the Department of Defense, nearly $60 billion above the current year. This increase is necessary to restore our Armed Forces after the harm caused by the defense sequester. In addition, H.R. 3219 provides $14 billion for the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons security programs, an increase in funding that will modernize the United States’ ability to deter and respond to any nuclear threat.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Contributes to NDAA

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) completed markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018.  As a member of the Committee, Congressman Jim Bridenstine contributed several provisions that were included in the bill.  The next step is consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives the second week in July.

Congressman Bridenstine highlighted three important provisions:

1)       Equal Treatment of Orders to Serve on Active Duty under Section 12304a and 12304b of Title 10, USC

The Congressman is a cosponsor of the Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act, which eliminates disparities in health care, retirement, deployment allowance, and education benefits for mobilized Reserve Component personnel.  The bill was partially incorporated in the NDAA, authorizing such personnel to receive pre-mobilization and transitional health care. 

2)      Establishment of Space Flag Training Event

The Secretary of Defense is directed to encourage department-wide participation in the Air Force’s advanced space training exercise, Space Flag.  Additionally, the Secretary is to provide training range infrastructure that facilitates growth in advanced training requirements and the development and testing of doctrine, concepts of operation, and tactics.  Such exercises will enhance our ability to successfully engage in a future conflict that extends to space.

3)      Responsive Launch

US STRATCOM has repeatedly identified the need to rapidly reconstitute and replenish critical space capabilities in the event of attack.  This provision encourages the Secretary of Defense to increase the priority and resources for this mission area in order to field responsive and resilient launch capabilities.

[Editor’s note: Sure would like to see the cost projection on all this staging for war in space program. Boggles the mind and no end in sight…/sc]

House bill seeks to streamline oversight of commercial space activities

WASHINGTON — The House Science Committee is expected to approve a bill that seeks to improve regulation of commercial space activities, but not without criticism from some within the industry.

The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, H.R. 2809, was formally introduced June 7 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science Committee. The bill has eight other co-sponsors, including space subcommittee chairman Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), a member active on space issues who remains a leading candidate to be named NASA administrator. The bill has bipartisan support and is expected to clear the committee during a June 8 markup and go to the full House.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Announces Radar Upgrade for Tulsa-Based F-16s

The Air Force plans to award a contract today to upgrade the radar on select F-16 aircraft, including eight planes at the Air National Guard Wing in Tulsa, OK.  The new AESA (Active Electronically Steered Array) Radar will enable smaller target detection and tracking, greater targeting range, faster search capabilities, and an ability to engage multiple targets.

Congressman Bridenstine said, “This considerably enhances the capability of Tulsa’s F-16s, allowing for targeting at extended ranges to improve lethality against our enemies and survivability for ourselves.  I have proposed increased spending for these systems in the current National Defense Authorization Act.”

The Air Force contract is with Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation for 72 AESA radars, spares and support services.  Squadrons based in nine locations, including Tulsa, will each receive eight new units.  Delivery of the first radar is expected to be in December 2018, with all 72 systems at full operational capacity by the fourth quarter of 2020.