National Guard

 
Updates from the Hill
House and Senate Appropriators released an omnibus bill for the final FY17 Appropriations Monday, May 01, 2017

The measure would provide $593 billion in defense spending, including $61.8 billion for overseas operations. The bill could come to the House floor for votes as early as Wednesday, and sources have said the Senate wants it passed by Thursday. The one-week continuing resolution funds the government through Friday, 05 May.

A few highlights of the bill include:
  • Funds 343,000 end strength for ARNG and 105,700 end strength for ANG
  • Appropriates $750 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account in OCO
    • Includes $247.5 million for the Army National Guard and Air National Guard each
  • Appropriates $234 million for the National Guard Counterdrug Program
  • Appropriates $20 million for Counterdrug Schools
  • Adds $19 million for Operation Phalanx
  • Adds $8 million to the State Partnership Program
  • Adds $9.9 million for ARNG Cyber protection teams
  • Adds $100 million for ARNG HMMWV Modernization
  • Adds $60 million for ARNG and Army Reserve HMMWV Ambulances
  • Adds $160 million for two ANG C-130Js
  • Adds $97.5 million for C-130 modernization
  • Adds $10.3 million for Youth Challenge
  • Adds $25 million for Sexual Assault Special Victims Council Program
  • Adds $20 million for Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
 
FY17 Defense Appropriations Conference Bill Released Friday, March 03, 2017

On 2 March 2017, House and Senate appropriators released their conference report for the FY17 Defense Appropriations bill which provides 577.9 billion in defense funds and 61.8 billion for OCO. The bill is expected to pass in the House next week, but unclear when it may be taken up in the Senate. The current continuing resolution funds the government until 28 April. Attached is the NGB-LL summary of the legislation, as well as the bill text and conference report. A few National Guard highlights include the following:

  • $750M for NGREA, of which $247.5M is designated for the ARNG and ANG each
  • $20M for the National Guard Counterdrug Schools
  • $234M for the National Guard Counterdrug Program
  • $15.9M for Operation Phalanx (in ARNG personnel and O&M accounts)
  • Adds $153.5M for increased ARNG end strength
  • Adds $9.9M for ARNG Cyber Protection Teams (in ARNG personnel and O&M accounts)
  • Adds $8M for the State Partnership Program (in ARNG and ANG personnel and O&M accounts)
  • $10.3M for Youth Challenge
  • $100M for ARNG HMMWV procurement
  • $339.9M for procurement of 15 ARNG Blackhawks
  • $160M for procurement of 2 ANG C-130J aircraft
 
FY17 NDAA Conference Report Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On November 30th 2016 House and Senate Armed Services Committee conferees released their conference agreement on the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act. The compromised version of the NDAA includes $618.7 billion in authorized defense spending, of which $523.7 billion is for base defense activities and $67.8 billion for the war-related Overseas Contingency Operations account ($8.3 billion is for base budget programs). The FY17 NDAA authorizes $3.2 billion more than the President’s budget request.

National Guard Highlights:
  • Provides a 2.1 percent pay raise for military personnel [section 601]
  • Increases Army National Guard end strength by 8,000 to 343,000, paid for out of OCO increases [section 411]
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to review and approve the curriculum and program structure of each of the National Guard counterdrug schools [section 1092]
  • The bill delays the conversion of some military technicians to Title 5 civilians until October 1, 2017 [section 1084]
  • The bill directs the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, to submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives by March 1, 2017, a report on the feasibility and advisability of converting remaining military technicians (dual status) to personnel performing active Guard and reserve duty under section 328 of title 32, United States Code, or other applicable provision of law [section 1084]
  • The bill authorizes the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to program for, appoint, employ, administer, detail, and assign federal civilian employees to provide fulltime support to the non-federalized National Guard [section 932]
  • The bill also authorizes the Chief of the National Guard Bureau the authority to delegate to the adjutants general the authority to appoint, employ, and administer federal civilian employees within the 54 states and territories with authority to conduct all personnel actions for employees. [section 932]
  • The bill amends language regarding the NORTHCOM deputy commander to allow any reserve component officer to be considered, not just National Guard officers. The language also applies to PACOM. [section 925]
  • The bill reduces the number of general and flag officers by 110, to include National Guard GOL billets [section 501]
  • Eliminates the statutory requirement of 0-9 rank for the Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau and the Directors of the Army and Air National Guard [section 502]
 
Senate Appropriators move Defense Spending Bill Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Late last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its version of the FY17 Defense Appropriations Act and Committee report. The bill recommends $515.9 billion in base Department of Defense funding and $58.6 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.

National Guard SAC highlights include:

  • Appropriates $900 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account in OCO
    • Includes $250 million for the Army National Guard
    • Includes $192.5 million for the Air National Guard, of which, $160 million is for procurement of 2 C-130J aircraft
  • Appropriates $214 million for the National Guard Counterdrug Program
  • Appropriates $20 million for the National Guard Counterdrug Schools
  • Adds $9.9 million for Army National Guard Cyber Protection Teams
  • Adds $4 million for the Youth Challenge program
  • Adds $20 million for the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program
  • Adds $60 million for Army National Guard HMMVW Ambulance procurement
  • Adds $367.5 million for Army National Guard UH-60 procurement
  • Adds $25 million for C-130H modernization
 
Senate Armed Services Committee FY17 NDAA Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Senate Armed Services Committee marked up its version of the FY17 NDAA (S.2943) earlier this month which authorizes $543 billion in base activities and $59 billion in OCO. The Senate is currently debating the measure on the floor this week, however it is expected that Senate Democrats will hold up the measure.

National Guard Highlights include:

  • The bill authorizes the end strength of all components at the President’s budget requested levels. [sections 411-415]
  • The bill authorizes a 1.6 percent military pay raise. [section 601]
  • The bill delays the conversion of some military technicians to Title 5 civilians until October 1, 2017. [section 1048]
  • The bill directs the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, to submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives by March 1, 2017, a report on the feasibility and advisability of converting remaining military technicians (dual status) to personnel performing active Guard and reserve duty under section 328 of title 32, United States Code, or other applicable provision of law. [section 1048]
  • The bill authorizes the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to program for, appoint, employ, administer, detail, and assign federal civilian employees to provide fulltime support to the non-federalized National Guard. [section 944]
  • The bill also authorizes the Chief of the National Guard Bureau the authority to delegate to the adjutants general the authority to appoint, employ, and administer federal civilian employees within the 54 states and territories with authority to conduct all personnel actions for employees. [section 944]
  • The bill amends language regarding the NORTHCOM deputy commander to allow any reserve component officer to be considered, not just National Guard officers. The language also applies to PACOM. [section 925]
  • The bill reduces the number of general and flag officers by 25 percent, to include National Guard GOL billets and eliminates the statutory requirement of 0-9 rank for the Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau and the Directors of the Army and Air National Guard. [section 502]
  • The bill clarifies the role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the key duties that this officer must perform on behalf of the joint force. [section 921]
 
House Defense Appropriators Release Appropriations Bill Monday, May 16, 2016

On May 11th, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense marked up its version of the FY17 defense appropriations bill. Highlights include:

  • Appropriates $1 billion for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account in OCO, which includes $330 million each for the Army National Guard and Air National Guard
  • Appropriates $159 million for the National Guard Counterdrug Program
  • Appropriates $25 million for STARBASE
  • Adds $19 million for Operation Phalanx
  • Adds $9.87 million for ARNG Cyber protection teams
  • Adds $8 million to the State Partnership Program
  • Adds $62 million to maintain 4 ARNG Apache battalions
  • Adds $100 million for ARNG HMMVW Modernization in Army Procurement
  • Adds $10.3 million for Youth Challenge
  • Adds $25 million for Sexual Assault Special Victims Council Program
 
HASC Draft NDAA Monday, April 25, 2016

The HASC draft FY17 NDAA authorizes $610 billion for defense spending in FY17 - $551 billion for base requirements and $59 billion for overseas contingency operations. Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) released his Chairman’s mark on 25 April, which includes authorization tables for procurement, operations and maintenance, personnel and MILCON accounts as well as a number of reforms to Goldwater-Nichols. Note, all recommended funding authorizations by HASC are not final funding levels, which we be decided by appropriators.

The full committee is scheduled to begin mark up the FY17 HASC NDAA at 10:00am on April 27, 2016. The mark up is expected to go into the early morning hours of Thursday, with the committee considering hundreds of amendments. A final summary will be provided once HASC markup is complete, and the text of amendments is made available.

 
Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY17 MILCON Bill Tuesday, April 19, 2016

On Thursday, April 14, 2016 the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the FY17 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. In total, the legislation provides $83 billion in discretionary funding – $3.1 billion above the fiscal year 2016 level.

The bill includes $673 million for construction or alteration of Guard and Reserve facilities in 21 states, an increase of $122 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. Of this, $232.9 million is provided for Army National Guard military construction and $143.9 million for Air National Guard military construction – both at requested levels.

 
House Appropriations Committee Approves FY17 MILCON Bill Thursday, April 14, 2016

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016 the House Appropriations Committee passed its version of the FY17 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. In total, the legislation provides $81.6 billion in discretionary funding – $1.8 billion above the fiscal year 2016 level.

The bill includes $673 million for construction or alteration of Guard and Reserve facilities in 21 states, an increase of $122 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. Of this, $232.9 million is provided for Army National Guard military construction and $143.9 million for Air National Guard military construction – both at requested levels.

 
The White House Releases FY2017 Budget Request Monday, February 08, 2016

Yesterday the President released the FY17 Budget request which funds base defense activities at $523.9 billion and the Overseas Contingency Operations account at $58.8 billion. Highlights include the following:

  • Sets ARNG end strength at 335,000 and ANG end strength at 105,700
  • Includes a 1.6% basic pay raise for military personnel
  • Includes a 2.9% basic allowance for housing increase
  • Provides $9.8 million for the State Partnership Program
  • Supports 26 ARNG Brigade Combat Teams
  • Supports two ARNG CTC rotations
  • Maintains 8 ARNG CABs in FY17
  • Continues OSD support of the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative by providing $1.1 billion for 52 Apache helicopters, and $1.0 billion for 36 Black Hawk helicopters in FY 2017 (11 ARNG HH-60Ms). Reduces ARNG apache helicopters to 48 aircraft.
  • Keeps A-10s in the Air Force until replaced by F-35s
  • Supports Base Realignment and Closure in 2019
 
Congress Passes FY16 Omnibus Appropriation, Signed into Law Friday, December 18, 2015

Today House passed the FY16 Omnibus Appropriation at a vote of 316-113 and the Senate also passed the measure at a vote of 65-33. The President also signed the measure into law. Both Congress and the President are off for the rest of the year.

 
FY16 Omnibus Details Released Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Yesterday the House filed a $1.15 trillion fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill which funds base discretionary DOD funding at $514.1B and $58.6B in Overseas Contingency Operations funding. Additionally, a third CR was signed into law to fund the government until December 22nd.

The House is expected to take up the Omnibus measure on Friday. On Thursday afternoon, Senate leadership indicated they have struck a deal to expedite consideration of the Omnibus upon passage in the House and take a final vote tomorrow. If all goes as stated, Congress should wrap up all congressional activity for the year sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening.

 
President signs into law the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act Monday, November 30, 2015

On Wednesday November 25th, the President signed into law the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act.

 
House Passes Modified Conference NDAA Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Last week, Congress came together to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act which lifts sequester caps for defense and non-defense discretionary spending for FY16 and FY17. The new cap for base defense activities in FY15 was raised from $523B to $548.1B, and sets OCO for FY16 and FY17 at $58B. However, the deal is still $5B short of what was requested in the FY16 President's Budget request (PB).

This week, members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees came together to find cuts to account for the $5B shortfall, below are a few changes to National Guard accounts under the modified NDAA. All except ANG O&M are still above what was requested in the PB:

  • Authorized end strength levels for the ARNG and ANG at PB levels
  • Authorizes $6.9B for ARNG O&M (+$197.1M above PB)
  • Moves $6.5M of ARNG base O&M to OCO O&M
  • Authorizes $6.7B for ANG O&M (-$246.8M below PB)
  • $250M NGREA in OCO Procurement
  • $2.1M for the State Partnership Program
  • $10M for STARBASE
  • Eliminates NG Heritage Paintings (-$1.4M)

The House overwhelming passed the new measure at a vote of 370-58 today, and the Senate is expected to take up the measure next week.

 
President Vetoes NDAA Friday, October 23, 2015

Yesterday the President vetoed the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) stating, "the bill would, among other things, constrain the ability of the Department of Defense to conduct multi-year defense planning and align military capabilities and force structure with our national defense strategy, impede the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and prevent the implementation of essential defense reforms."

The bill has been returned to the House, as the originator of the bill. The House will take a vote on overriding the NDAA veto on 5 Nov. The Conferenced FY16 NDAA passed the House earlier this month at a vote of 270-156, 20 votes shy of the 2/3rds necessary to override a Presidential veto (290). If the measure fail in the House, it cannot be considered by the Senate.

It is most likely that an FY16 NDAA will not be signed into law without lifting Budget Control Act caps for defense and non-defense discretionary spending through a Congressional budget deal.

In appropriations news, 100 GOP House members sent a letter earlier this week to House leadership stating that they would block any appropriation bill that does not increase defense spending to the level requested by President Barack Obama and the Pentagon and that they would not support a yearlong CR.

Today, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz told reporters President Obama would oppose any continuing resolution that does not keep the federal lights on for the remainder of the fiscal year. "The president was absolutely clear he is not going to sign another short-term CR," Schultz said.

 
Congress moves a Continuing Resolution and Conference NDAA Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Moving to avert a government shutdown, the Senate passed a continuing resolution to fund the federal government until 11 Dec on 30 September. It is expected that the House will pass the CR this evening.

Additionally, the House and Senate Armed Services committee released their Conferenced FY16 NDAA on 29 September, which authorizes $604.2 billion for defense. Highlights of the bill include the following:

  • The bill modifies the FY15 NDAA to extend the limitation of transfers of ARNG apaches, beyond 48, to the Army till June 30th, 2016.
  • The bill extends the State Partnership Program for five years and calls on DoD to study the feasibility of creating a centralized funding account for the program.
  • The bill requires the conversion of not less than 20 percent of the general administration, clerical, financial, and office service occupation positions from military technician (dual status) positions to positions filled by individuals who are employed under section 3103 of title 5, United States Code, by no later than January 1, 2017. The bill also requires the phased-in termination of military technicians (non-dual status) to begin on January 1, 2017.
  • The bill prohibit the Department of Defense from using no more than 75 present authorized may be obligated or expended for sponsorship, advertising, or marketing associated with a sports-related organization or sporting event until a review of current contracts and task orders for such events was completed.
  • The bill requires at least a 25 percent reduction to DoD headquarters activities, with the goal of saving $10 billion over 5 years. It also calls for a comprehensive review of headquarters, administrative and support functions with an eye towards streamlining and consolidating these functions across the Department of Defense.
  • The bill would modernize the current military retirement system by blending the current defined benefit, cliff-vesting retirement plan with a defined contribution plan allowing service members to contribute to a portable Thrift Savings Plan account with a Government contribution matching program.
  • The bill requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on the MCRMC’s recommendation to consolidate reserve component duty states to 6.
  • Adds $420M NGREA Funding in OCO Procurement
  • Adds $5.3 million for the State Partnership Program
 
Defense bills take a Pause Monday, June 22, 2015

Last week the Senate voted for the first time in three years on its own version of the National Defense Authorization Act. With a vote of 71-25 the Senate ensured a veto proof vote majority should the President follow through on his veto threat over the authorization bill.

Now the House and Senate authorizers will move to conference and reconcile differences in their respective NDAA bills.

Unfortunately the Senate failed to move forward on its FY16 Defense appropriations bill last week in a procedural vote. It is unclear when the Senate may move to take the measure up again.

 
House and Senate Appropriations Committee pass FY16 Defense Appropriations Monday, June 15, 2015

Yesterday the House passed the FY16 Defense Appropriations bill at a vote of 278-149. Likewise the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the FY16 Defense Appropriations bill which includes the following highlights:

  • $1 billion in OCO for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, with $330 million going to each the ARNG and ANG.
  • Limits the transfer of AH-64 Apache helicopters from the ARNG to the Army to only 36 through the enactment of the FY16 NDAA.
  • $20 million for the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
  • $192.9 million for NG Counterdrug
  • $20 million for NG Counterdrug Schools
  • The Committee highlighted support of ongoing efforts of the department of Defense, U.S. Cyber Command, and the Active and Reserve Components of the armed services to develop offensive and defense cyber teams, but recognizes a lack of synchronization among Federal and State stakeholders in developing mission and funding requirements, especially for National Guard cyber teams. The committee report requires the Council of Governors to report to the defense committees any recommendations regarding cyber security mission requirements and synchronization.
 
Busy Week in Defense for Congress Tuesday, June 09, 2015

This week Congress takes up a number of Defense related bills. The Senate will work this week on the FY16 National Defense Authorization bill. Members have already filed over 400 amendments to the Defense policy bill.

The House will take up the FY16 Defense Appropriations bill later this week.

 
House Appropriations Committee passed its FY16 Defense Appropriations Bill Wednesday, June 03, 2015

On June 2nd, the House Appropriations Committee passed its FY16 Defense Appropriations Bill. Guard Highlights include:

  • Provides $1.5 billion in OCO for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, with $500 million going to each the ARNG and ANG.
  • Provides the transfer or divestment of ARNG Apaches until the enactment of the FY16 NDAA and requires the Secretary of the Army shall ensure the continuing readiness of the AH– 64 Apache aircraft and ensure the training of the crews of such aircraft during fiscal year 2016, including the allocation of funds for operation and maintenance and personnel connected with such aircraft.
  • Prohibits funding to be used to reduce the authorized positions for military technicians (dual status) of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve for the purpose of applying any administratively imposed civilian personnel ceiling, freeze, or reduction on military technicians (dual status), unless such reductions are a direct result of a reduction in military force structure.
  • Prohibits funds to be used to reduce the end strength levels for the Army National Guard of the United States below the levels specified for the Army National Guard of the United States in subtitle B of title IV of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law 113-3 291): Provided, That this section shall continue in effect through the date of enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016.
  • Includes $7 million for the State Partnership Program spread across ARNG and ANG accounts.
  • Included an additional $147.8 million for National Guard Counterdrug Program.

This week the Senate will take up its version of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act.

 
NDAA Passes House Armed Services Committee Tuesday, May 05, 2015

After a long night of amendment consideration, the House Armed Services Committee passed H.R. 1739, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY16. Guard highlights include:

  • Provides $250 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account
  • Provides $7 million for the State Partnership Program
  • Classifies National Guard dual status technicians as exempted personnel in the event of a government shutdown
  • Direct Employment Pilot Program for the members of the National Guard and Reserves
  • Requires an annual report on Personnel, Training and Equipment Requirements for the Non-Federalized National Guard to support civilian authorities in prevention and response to non-Catastrophic domestic disasters
  • Modernizes the current military retirement system by blending the current defined benefit, cliff-vesting retirement plan with a defined contribution plan allowing service members to contribute to a portable Thrift Savings Plan account with a Government contribution matching program.
  • Codifies the modular Airborne Fire Fighting System mission under Title 32 (as it currently operates) so National Guard retains mission authority
  • Report language supporting an acceleration of the modernization effort both in terms of meeting FAA compliance by the 2020 deadline and acceleration of the increment 2 modernization plan
  • Reporting language directing a Comptroller General Review of Homeland Response Forces

Full NGB-LL Analysis of FY16 HASC NDAA

 
2016 National Guard Posture Statement Released Friday, March 06, 2015

This week, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau released the 2016 Posture statement. In the Chief's executive overview, Gen. Grass states "in this time of uncertainty, where national and global security challenges are intertwined with fiscal constraint, the National Guard stands ready to meet these challenges and open a new chapter in its long and proud history. This new chapter begins with a National Guard that is accessible, responsive and capable."

2016 National Guard Posture Statement

 
President Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request Wednesday, February 04, 2015

On Monday, February 2nd 2015, President Obama sent to Congress the Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Budget request. The request includes a $561 billion request for base national defense programs. The request also includes a $52 billion request for Overseas Contingency Operations.

The $561 billion figure is $38 billion above the $523 billion statutory cap on national defense spending set by the Budget Control Act.

Summary of Guard Related Accounts