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Updates from the Hill
President Trump signs FY19 Defense Appropriations bill into law Friday, September 28, 2018

On September 28th, the president signed into law the FY19 Defense Appropriations bill into law as part of a minibus package. It is the first time in over a decade the DoD has had an on-time appropriation. National Guard-related highlights from the bill include:

  • Funds an end-strength of 343,500 for the ARNG and 107,100 for the ANG
  • Adds $11.7M for State Partnership Program
  • Adds $30.1M for Youth ChalleNGe
  • Adds $7M for wildfire training
  • Adds $100M for NG Counterdrug Program and $25M for schools
  • Adds $74M for C-130 engines, $55M for C-130 propellers, and $30M for C-130 modernization
  • Appropriates $168M for 6 AH-64 Apaches for the ARNG and designates 6 others from the PB request to the ARNG for a total of 12
  • Appropriates $56M for 8 UH-40M Black Hawks for the ARNG for a total of 15
  • Appropriates $640M for 8 C-130Js for the ANG
  • Appropriates $421M each for ARNG and ANG for NGREA
  • Appropriates $120M for ARNG HMMWV Ambulances
  • Adds legislative language making available $20M of Air Force and Air National Guard O&M funds for PFOS/PFOA remediation.
 
Congress sends the FY19 NDAA to the President's Desk Friday, August 03, 2018
On 23 July, the House and Senate conferees released the conference report for the FY19 NDAA. The compromise bill passed the House on 26 July and the Senate on 1 August. Highlights of the bill include:
  • Authorizes an end strength of 343,500 for ARNG and 107,100 for ANG. (sec. 411)
  • Authorizes an end strength for reserves on active duty for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training – ARNG 30,595 and ANG 19,861. (sec. 412)
  • Increases the total number of available control grade positions authorized for the ANG. (sec. 515)
  • Expands personnel subject to authority of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau in the execution of functions and missions of the National Guard Bureau. Conference report language removed the reference to military technicians. (sec. 517)
  • Allows service secretaries to adjust the effective date of promotion for officers in the reserve component if the secretary concerned determines there was an undue delay in the federal recognition process and the delay is not attributable to the action, or inaction, of the officer concerned. (sec. 518)
  • Extension of authority for pilot program on use of retired senior enlisted members of the Army National Guard as Army National Guard recruiters. (sec. 520)
  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Army to establish a pilot program creating a National Guard cyber security training center for the ARNG. (sec. 1651)
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a study on the feasibility and advisability of establishing cyber civil support teams in the reserve component (sec. 1653)
  • Expresses the Sense of Congress that State-owned National Guard installations have always qualified as military installations under section 2684a of title 10 and should continue to qualify as military installations. (sec. 2827)
 
House and Senate go to conference on FY19 NDAA Tuesday, July 10, 2018
On Wednesday, July 11, the conferees for the FY19 NDAA will meet formally for the first time to begin in the conference process. Known as the "pass the gavel" meeting, the conference committee chair alternates between the House and Senate each year. This year, the Senate Armed Services Committee will chair the conference committee. Conference on the FY19 NDAA is expected to be completed by the end of July. 
Senate Appropriations Committee approves FY19 defense appropriations bill Thursday, June 28, 2018
The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced, 30-1, a fiscal 2019 Defense spending bill. The committee’s bill would set aside $607.1 billion for base defense spending and $67.9 billion for overseas contingency or war-related accounts, for a total of $675 billion. Initial highlights from the bill include:
  • Funds an end-strength of 343,500 for the ARNG and 106,600 for the ANG
  • Adds $7M for State Partnership Program
  • Adds $13M for Youth ChalleNGe
  • Adds $7M for wildfire training
  • Adds $100M for NG Counterdrug Program and $25M for schools
  • Adds $3M for Advance Trauma Training Program
  • Appropriates $4M each for the ARNG and ANG for a preventative mental health program
  • Appropriates $320M for 15 UH-60s for ARNG
  • Appropriates $291M each for ARNG and ANG for NGREA
  • Appropriates $120M for ARNG HMMWV Ambulances
  • Continues JSTARS Recapitalization
 
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense passed the FY19 Defense Appropriations Act Thursday, June 07, 2018
On June 7th, 2018, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense passed the FY19 Defense Appropriations Act. The bill provides $674.6B in total Department of Defense funding, which is about $20B above the FY18 enacted level. The bill provides $606.5B in the base budget and $68.1B in OCO. Highlights:
  • Funds a 2.6% military pay raise
  • Funds an end strength of 343,500 for the ARNG and 107,100 for the ANG
  • Provides an additional $24.7M for Youth ChalleNGe
  • Provides an additional $30M for STARBASE
  • Appropriates $197.4M for the National Guard Counterdrug Program and $5.3M for Counterdrug Schools
  • Adds $7.7M for State Partnership Program
  • Adds $168M for 6 AH-64 Apaches for the ARNG and designates 6 others from the PB request to the ARNG for a total of 12
  • Adds $156M for 8 UH-60Ms for the ARNG and designates 7 others from the PB request to the ARNG for a total of 15
  • Adds $100M for ARNG HMMWV Modernization
  • Adds $640M for 8 C-130Js for the ANG
  • Adds $74M C-130 engine enhancement and $55M for propeller upgrades
  • Appropriates $421M each for the ARNG and ANG in NGREA
  • Appropriates $623M for continued JSTARS recapitalization
 
HASC conducted its full-committee markup of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act Wednesday, May 09, 2018

On May 9th, 2018, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) conducted its full-committee markup of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill authorizes $708.1 billion in discretionary spending, including $69 billion for overseas operations. The funding authorization is at the levels set by the 2018 Budget Agreement.

The House is expected to vote on the bill the week of 21 May.

Highlights of the HASC NDAA include:

  • Authorizes an end strength of 343,500 for ARNG and 107,100 for ANG. (Sec. 411)
  • Increases the authorized AGR end strength for the ANG by 3,601. (Sec. 412)
  • Retains military technicians who lose dual status under certain circumstances. (Sec. 506)
  • Designates dual-status technicians converted to Title 5 positions as competitive, not excepted, service. (Sec. 511)
  • Increases the total number of available control grade positions authorized for the ANG. (Sec. 512)
  • Authorizes a National Guard officer’s date of rank to be backdated after federal recognition is granted. (Sec. 513)
  • Establishes a National Commission on Military Aviation Safety. (Sec. 1078)
  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Army to establish a pilot program creating a National Guard cyber security training center for the ARNG. (Sec. 1635)
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a study of the feasibility and advisability of establishing reserve component cyber civil support teams. (Sec. 1638)
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to close or realign a military installation if a Governor recommends the realignment or closure within the Governor’s state or territory. (Sec. 2702)
  • Requires the Secretary of the Army and Secretary of the Air Force review and report on processes for Federal Recognition of promotions of National Guard officers. (Committee Report Language)
  • Requires the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to provide a report on the effectiveness of National Guard Bureau behavioral health programs. (Committee Report Language)
  • Requires the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, in coordination with NORTHCOM and the Directors of the Army and Air National Guard, provide a report that provides an Incident Awareness and Assessment capability and capacity roadmap for the FY19-23 Future Years Defense Program. (Committee Report Language)