Amodei uncertain if 2022 NDAA includes Fallon range modernization

Congressman said committee is addressing cultural and warfighting needs

Congressman Mark Amodei addresses the Fallon Rotary Club last week.

Congressman Mark Amodei addresses the Fallon Rotary Club last week.

Speaking before the Fallon Rotary Club on Nov. 9, Congressman Mark Amodei, R-Congressional Dist. 2, said he doesn’t know if the modernization proposal for the Fallon Range Training Complex will be included in discussion this week as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2022.
It eventually was removed from the 2021 bill.
Since the autumn of 2016, both Naval Air Station Fallon and Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas have called for expansion of their respective ranges — the FRTC in and around Churchill County and the Nevada Test and Training Range in central Nevada. The 2021 NDAA only approved a 25-year status quo extension for both ranges in the waning days of the 116th Congress.
Amodei said the Secretary of Navy Carlos Del Toro and his staff recently visited NAS Fallon and the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) to talk to key officials and to learn more about the range expansion. In order to meet the needs of the stakeholders, an Intergovernmental Executive Committee (IEC) began meeting in April to serve as a congressionally mandated advisory board to facilitate government-to-government and intergovernmental coordination and the exchange of views, information and advice in matters in managing natural and cultural resources.
According to NAS Fallon, the IEC is modeled after a similar committee that addresses issues concerning the Luke Air Force Base training ranges in Arizona. Amodei said the Navy pilots need a large area to train.
Amodei said everyone is agreement except one entity, the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, but he said everyone has a right not to agree.
“Everyone except one did not say no to a single resource request,” the congressman added.
Amodei said a lands bill swap enabled the Washoe Tribe to gain upward to 7,000 acres of burial and ancestral grounds. He has previously said the Walker River Paiute Tribe is working closely within the process. Furthermore, Amodei said cultural resource requests have been transferred to the tribes “that should have control of it.”
Amodei said the FRTC requires a large amount of buffer for safety reasons. During the process, Amodei said California Congressman John Garamendi, D-Calif. (District 3), chairman of the congressional Subcommittee on Readiness, is committed to the process of modernizing the FRTC. Amodei said he will continue to work with the community and people of Churchill County and NAS Fallon.
Amodei reintroduced the Northern Nevada Economic Development, Conservation and Military Modernization Act that would be included in NDAA for possible consideration later this year. He previously introduced the Northern Nevada Economic Development, Conservation, and Military Modernization Act in the 116th Congress as H.R. 6889. The current FRTC consists of more than 234,124 acres of land within the training areas Bravo-16, southwest of Fallon; Bravo-17 east near Fairview Peak; Bravo-19, 30 miles south off U.S. Highway 95; Bravo-20, northeast of Fallon; and the Dixie Valley and Shoal Site training areas.
Amodei also touched on the following topics:
He said several Democrats who passed last week’s infrastructure bill would like a rating score from the Congressional Budget Office. Amodei pointed out several items in the bill that, he said, make no sense. The government, for example, is requesting 300 electric charging stations.
“Can you think of a single gas station built by the federal government?” he asked.
As the market grows, he said more companies will build and sell electric cars, which will also require charging stations.
“That needs to be met by the private sector,” he said.
Amodei said he’s also concerned with interstate rates increasing, and the price of businesses raising their prices due to inflation.
As for the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandates for firms that do business with the federal government, federal agencies and firm with 100 or more employees, he said one policy doesn’t work for everyone.
“Really, not to do business with Union Pacific that goes through Reno and Elko,” he mused. “You can’t shed a huge segment of the workforce and be OK.”
Amodei said NAS Fallon, the city, county and the State of Nevada need to determine what works best for them.
 

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