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Updates from the Hill
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)
 
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense released its version of the FY18 Defense Appropriation Tuesday, November 21, 2017

On November 21, 2017, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense released its version of the FY18 Defense Appropriations bill. It includes $581.3 billion in base budget funding, $64.9 billion for OCO, and $4.5 billion in additional funds for missile defense. National Guard highlights from the bill include:

  • Funds an end strength of 343,500 for the ARNG and 106,600 for the ANG, both at requested levels
  • Funds a pay raise of 2.4%
  • Provides an additional s $12M for ARNG Cyber Protection Teams
  • Adds $108M for the procurement of 8 additional UH-60 Black Hawk M models for the ARNG
  • Adds $120M for the National Drug Counterdrug Program and $25M Counterdrug Schools
  • Provides an additional $6M for Advanced Trauma Training for the National Guard and Reserve
  • Adds $120M for National Guard and Reserve HMMWV Modernization
  • Adds $15M for C-130H modernization
  • Adds $30M in ARNG O&M for armory lead abatement
  • Adds $13M for National Guard Youth ChalleNGe
  • Provides an additional $124M for Facilities Sustainment Restoration and Maintenance (FSRM) in ANG O&M and $200M in ARNG O&M
  • Adds $79.4M for Battlefield airman combat equipment
  • Adds $7M for Air National Guard wildfire response training
  • Adds $450M each for the ARNG and ANG in the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account
 
House and Senate conferees released a compromise FY2018 National Defense Authorization Bill Thursday, November 09, 2017

On Thursday, 09 November, the House and Senate conferees released a compromise Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Bill. It authorizes $692.1 billion in discretionary spending (including $65.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations) in fiscal 2018, about $26 billion more than the President's Budget Request.

Highlights:

  • Military technician conversion percentage of 12.6%. (Sec. 413)
  • Authorizes ARNG end strength of 343,500 and ANG end strength of 106,600. (Sec. 411)
  • Requires the CNGB, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, to submit an annual report on personnel, training, and equipment needs of the non-federalized National Guard. (Sec. 333)
  • Provides for pre and post-mobilization TRICARE benefits for 12304b. (Sec. 511)
  • Limits the number of members of the ARNG and ANG on full-time support at NGB to 6% of the authorized full-time end strength. (Sec. 416)
  • Authorizes a pilot program on the use of retired senior enlisted members of the ARNG as ARNG recruiters. (Sec. 514)
  • Requires a review and report on authorities for the employment, use, and status of NG and Reserve technicians. (Sec. 574)
  • Requires a review and report on the effects of personnel requirements and limitations on the availability of members of the NG for the performance of funeral honors duty for veterans. (Sec. 573)
  • Requires Comptroller General of the U.S. to assess and report on the Office of Complex Investigations with NGB. (Sec. 577)
  • Directs an evaluation of the National Guard Counterdrug Program to assess its funding and determine how it aligns with DOD counter-narcotics goals, state-level plans, and program objectives. (Senate Directive Report Language)
  • Requires the Army to develop a comprehensive modernization strategy explicitly addressing the Total Army’s vision, end-state, key objectives, and warfighting challenges. (Sec. 1061)
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report describing the manner in which the Secretary will allocate funds to be used by the Air Force and National Guard to mitigate identified sources of PFOS. (Conference Directive Report Language)
  • Increases the threshold for use of operation and maintenance amounts to carry out an unspecified minor military construction project from $1.0 million to $2.0 million. (Sec. 2802)
 
Senate passed its version of the NDAA Monday, September 18, 2017
The Senate passed its version of the NDAA on September 18, 89-8. Over 600 amendments were filed, of which only about 150 were considered and included in manager’s packages. Amendments included pre/post-mobilization TRICARE benefits for 12304(b), prohibiting the availability of funds for retiring E-8/JSTARS aircraft and requiring continuation of its recapitalization, and a number of congressional reports. 
House passes NDAA and “Security Minibus”; Senate Appropriations passes FY18 MILCON/VA bill Friday, August 04, 2017
Now in August recess, the House wrapped up a busy legislative schedule in July. On July 14, after several days of debate, the House passed its version of the NDAA. On July 14, the House passed 4 appropriations bills in a “Security-themed” minibus, including appropriations for defense and MILCON/VA.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the FY18 MILCON/VA bill, its first spending bill to be completed for FY18. Both appropriations and the FY18 SASC NDAA are on hold in the Senate until Congress returns in September. 
House defense committees complete FY18 authorization and appropriations bills Friday, July 07, 2017

On June 15, the House Appropriations Committee passed its version of the FY18 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. In total, the legislation provides $88.8 billion in discretionary funding – $6 billion above the fiscal year 2017 level.

The bill includes $372.1 million for construction or alteration of National Guard facilities in 18 states, a decrease of $4.7 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. Of this, $210.7 million is provided for Army National Guard military construction and $161.5 million for Air National Guard military construction – both at requested levels. However, Section 125 authorizes additional funding for the Army National Guard ($56 million) and Air National Guard ($41.9) million for projects on the Services Unfunded Priority lists.

On June 26, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense passed its version of the FY18 Defense Appropriations. The full House Appropriations Committee passed the bill on June 29th. It includes $584.2 billion in discretionary funding – an increase of $68.1 billion above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $18.4 billion above the President’s Defense budget request. The bill also provides $73.9 billion in OCO funding.

On June 28, the House Armed Services Committee passed its version of the FY18 NDAA, after a marathon markup which lasted until just before midnight. The bill authorizes $631.5 billion for base budget accounts and about $65 billion for in OCO. The committee designated $10 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding, which is not capped by law, for base budget activities. The bill is $28.5 billion more than the President’s Budget Request, which exceeded defense caps by $54 billion.

 
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

 
Defense Bills Pass Congress

Late last week, the Senate approved both H.R. 3979, The National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 (NDAA) and H.R. 83, The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act which funds the Department of Defense for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015. The President signed the appropriations package on Tuesday, December 16th.

This marks the 53rd consecutive year for passage of the NDAA. The bill authorizes $577.1 billion for national defense programs. In a rare Saturday Senate session, the Senate passed the FY15 appropriations bill, funding the Department of Defense at $554.2 billion in FY15.

This marks the end of defense action for the 113th Congress, as the House and Senate adjourned on December 16th. Congress returns January 6th, 2015 to open the 114th Congress.

 

National Defense Authorization Moves in Congress

On Dec. 2, House and Senate Defense authorizers released a compromised FY15 National Defense Authorization Act. The House is expected to vote on the measure tomorrow, Dec. 3rd while the Senate is poised to vote next week.

This marks the second year in a row the Senate was unable to consider or amend its own NDAA. As a result, defense authorizers in both the House and Senate were forced to work behind closed doors on a compromised version to ensure passage before the end of the 113th Congress.

Analysis of the final NDAA will be made available next week.

 

Lame Duck Session Begins

Congress returned this week for its Lame Duck session after a nearly two month recess and intense election cycle. This week, House and Senate lawmakers heard from administration officials on two top issues: a $5.6 billion emergency funding request to assist in continued operations against ISIL as well as a $6.1 billion emergency request to help respond to the global Ebola outbreak.

Biggest agenda item for the Lame Duck will be passing a government funding provision before the current continuing resolution expires on December 11th.

 

President Signed Into Law a Continuing Resolution (H.J. Res. 124)

On September 19, 2014, the President signed into law a continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 124) to keep the federal government running through December 11, 2014, at the current annual cap rate of $1.012 trillion.

The Senate and House have both recessed until after the November 4 midterm elections, when they will consider unfinished legislative business, including the fiscal year 2014 defense appropriation bill, which is likely to be grouped into an omnibus spending package; and the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill.

 

NDAA Approved by HASC

Early in the morning on May 8, the House Armed Services Committee approved their marks to H.R. 4435, the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill includes numerous provisions related to the National Guard. Highlights include:

  • A provision directing the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report regarding the management of personnel records of members of the National Guard.
  • A provision precluding the Air Force from modifying or cancelling C-130 AMP.
  • Report language on the importance of CST information management systems.
  • Report language directing a Comptroller General review of Army and Army National Guard recruiting regulations, policies, and procedures to determine if the Army and Army National Guard have processes in place to ensure that these regulations and policies are being adhered to by recruiters in the States and territories.
  • An amendment to freeze the transfer of Army National Guard AH-64s and end strength levels until a GAO study on the Army's structure plan is completed (Wilson-Enyart)
  • An amendment to codify the MAFFS mission under title 32 and provide equal survivor benefits as those under title 10 (Peters)
  • An amendment that requires the Secretary of the Army to provide a plan for the modernization of National Guard UH-60s (Wilson)
  • An amendment to better define the role of the National Guard counter drug program to include counter drug school (Palazzo)
  • An amendment to prevent the retirement of A-10 aircraft (Barber)
  • An amendment to increase funding to the State Partnership Program by $10M (Bridenstine)
  • An amendment to limit funding to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force until prior year funding for C-130 AMP is obligated and authorized (Bridenstine)
  • An amendment to prevent the Air Force from using appropriated funds to remove C-130 aircraft from a unit tasked with the modular airborne fire fighting system (MAFFS) mission until the Secretary of the Air Force certifies that the moves will not negatively impact the MAFFS mission (Lamborn)
  • An amendment to allow the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to appoint, in consultation with the Secretary of the Army and Secretary of the Air Force, the general officers who will serve as Director, ARNG and Deputy Director ARNG, Director ANG; Deputy Director ANG (Bordallo)

 

House Committee Moves MILCON Funding Bill

On 9 April, the House Appropriations Committee approved a draft Fiscal Year 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill. The bill provides $165 billion in total funding including the Army and Air National Guard requested levels of funding, $126.9 million and $94.6 million respectively. The bill also includes an additional $245M to be used for military construction projects for the Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard.

An analysis of the bill can be found here.

 

Defense Budget Request Released

On 4 March, the President released the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request. The request includes nearly $23.5 billion in funding within National Guard accounts. The request also outlines plans to restructure Army aviation. Also released with the request was the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review. Budget documents can be found here.

Analysis of the President's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request

FY15 MILCON

 

President Signs Funding Bill

On 17 January the President signed a $1.1 trillion funding bill for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill includes all 12 appropriations bill and comes nearly a month after Congress approved a two year budget resolution.

An analysis of the Appropriations bill can be found here.

 

FY14 Funding Bill Advances

On 15 January the House approved a $1.1 trillion funding bill for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill includes all 12 appropriations bill and comes nearly a month after Congress approved a two year budget resolution.

Also on 15 January the Senate approved a three-day extension on the current Continuing Resolution to fund the government through 18 Jan. The Senate is expected to pass the Fiscal Year 2014 funding bill before the Continuing Resolution expires.

An analysis of the Appropriations bill can be found here.

President Signs NDAA

On 26 December, the President signed H.R. 3304, the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.

The bill includes a number of important National Guard provisions. The bill would authorize certain State Partnership Program activities for two years. The bill would also authorize a pilot program that would allow the National Guard to better utilize the Inactive National Guard program. The bill also includes an expansive report on cyber activities including the role of the National Guard in those activities. The bill would also require a 180 day notification before the cancellation of a deployment of a reserve component deployment.

An analysis of the bill can be found here.

NDAA Sent to President

Late in the evening on 19 December, the Senate passed H.R. 3304, the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. The House previously passed the bill on 12 December.

The compromise includes a number of important National Guard provisions. The bill would authorize certain State Partnership Program activities for two years. The bill would also authorize a pilot program that would allow the National Guard to better utilize the Inactive National Guard program. The bill also includes an expansive report on cyber activities including the role of the National Guard in those activities. The bill would also require a 180 day notification before the cancellation of a deployment of a reserve component deployment.

An analysis of the bill can be found here.

NDAA Moves Forward

After spending the Thanksgiving recess working through a number of issues, the House and Senate were able to unveil a compromise bill, H.R. 3304 (link to attached bill). The House quickly passed the bill before leaving for the year. The Senate is expected to pass the bill this week before leaving for the week.

The compromise includes a number of important National Guard provisions. The bill would codify the State Partnership Program and authorize certain activities for two years. The bill would also authorize a pilot program that would allow the National Guard to better utilize the Inactive National Guard program. The bill also includes an expansive report on cyber activities including the role of the National Guard in those activities. The bill would also require a 180 day notification before the cancellation of a deployment of a reserve component deployment.

An analysis of the bill can be found here. The explanatory statement can be found here.

Senate Unable to Pass NDAA

The Senate unsuccessfully attempted to pass its version of the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) before leaving for a two-week Thanksgiving break. The Senate was unable to agree on the number of the nearly 350 amendments to consider during floor debate. As a result the bill was left unfinished and its future unknown. The Senate will return on 9 December; however it is unclear when the Senate will again consider the NDAA. The House passed their version of the NDAA in June.

An analysis of the NDAA as passed by the House and approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee can be found here.

Fiscal Year 2014 Funding Makes Progress

Before the August recess, the House will have passed its version of the Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Appropriations Act and the Senate Appropriations Committee will have approved their version of the bill. The House passed their bill, H.R. 2397 (link to attached bill), on 24 July. The bill includes an additional $130 million for National Guard Counter Drug plans, an additional $15 million for Youth ChalleNGe, additional funding for State Directors of Psychological Health, additional UH-60M procurement for the Army National Guard, and an additional $50 million to assist in equipping Air National Guard units transitioning to MQ-1/9 remote split operations. The bill also includes $1.5 billion in NGREA with $400 million for the Army National Guard and $500 million for the Air National Guard. The bill would also prevent the use of funds to carry out furloughs of dual status technicians.

"The Senate draft version of the bill includes $315 million each for the Army and Air National Guard in NGREA. The bill also includes an additional $130 million for National Guard Counter Drug plan, an additional $10 million for Youth ChalleNGe, and an additional $28 million for STARBASE, and additional funding for State Directors of Psychological Health. The Senate bill also includes additional funding for Air National Guard units transitioning to MQ-1/9 remote split operations."

An analysis of the bill can be found here.

NDAA Moves Forward

During the week of 10 June, both the House and Senate made progress on the Fiscal Year 2014 NDAA. The House passed their version of the bill after three days of debate and amendments. During debate the House did not approve an amendment that would have prevent the expenditure of funds by the Army National Guard on professional sports sponsorship. The bill includes a provision that would codify the State Partnership program as well as a provision requested by the Army National Guard to provide temporary authority for the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force to maintain an active status and an inactive status list of members in the inactive National Guard.

An analysis of the bills as approved by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees can be found here.

Senate Appropriations Work Begins

On 17 June, the Senate Appropriations Military Construction Subcommittee approved their version of the Fiscal Year 2014 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. The bill text is not yet available.

The House passed their version of the bill on 4 June. The bill provides $315,815,000 for the Army National Guard which is $5,000,000 below the request. The bill also provides 107,800,000 for the Air National Guard account which is $12,000,000 below the request.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on the bill on 20 June.

Appropriators Approve Fiscal Year 2014 Spending Bill

On 12 June, the House Appropriations Committee approved the draft Fiscal year 2014 Defense Appropriations bill. The Mark, that had been approved earlier by the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, includes additional funding for Army and Air National Guard Operations and Maintenance accounts, including an additional $5 million for mental health care for the Army National Guard. The bill also provides $400 million for Army National Guard NGREA and $500 million for Air National Guard NGREA. Also included in the bill is an additional $130 million for the National Guard Counter Drug program and an additional $5 million for the Youth ChalleNGe program. The bill also provides $25 million for STARBASE, a program that was not funded in the budget request.

An analysis of the bill as approved by the Defense Subcommittee can be found here.

HASC Approves FY14 NDAA

Early in the morning on 6 June, the House Armed Services Committee approved their mark of the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill includes numerous provisions related to the National Guard, notably a provision that codifies the State Partnership Program. Other highlights of the mark include:

  • A provision that would require the service secretaries to provide Reserve Component members or units notification 120 days in advance of being ordered to deployment or being notified that such deployment has been canceled, postponed, or otherwise altered.
  • A provision that would provide temporary authority for the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force to maintain an active status and an inactive status list of members in the inactive National Guard.
  • A provision that prohibits the Secretary of the Air Force from terminating the C-130H Avionics Modernization Program.

The text of all National Guard related amendments adopted during full-committee mark-up can be found here.

The House will likely take up the bill during the week 10 June. The Senate Armed Services Committee will also begin work on their version of the bill the week of 10 June.

An analysis of the bill as approved by the House Armed Services Committee and introduced by the Senate can be found here.

Defense Appropriations Bill Moves Forward

On 5 June the House Defense Appropriations marked-up their version of a draft Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Appropriations bill. The draft bill released on 4 June included funding for the Army and Air National Guard personnel accounts below the request and the operations and maintenance accounts above the request. An analysis of the bill can be found here the Draft Committee Report can be found here.

House Passes FY14 MILCON Funding Bill

On 4 June, the House passed H.R. 2216 the Fiscal Year 2014 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. The bill provides $315,815,000 for the Army National Guard which is $5,000,000 below the request. The bill also provides 107,800,000 for the Air National Guard account which is $12,000,000 below the request. An analysis of the draft bill can be found here. The bill as passed by the House can be found here.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to begin work on their version of the bill during the week of 17 June.

Defense Appropriations Introduced

The House Defense Appropriations released a draft Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Appropriations bill. The Subcommittee is scheduled to mark-up the draft on 5 June. The draft includes funding for the Army and Air National Guard personnel accounts below the request and the operations and maintenance accounts above the request. The bill also includes a total of $1.5B for NGREA (service breakouts are not available).

The draft bill can be found here and the analysis can be found here here.

Fiscal Year 2014 NDAA Takes Shape

The House Armed Services Committee began work on the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization during the week of 20 May. On 22 May the Strategic Forces, Intelligence, Seapower and Projection Forces, and Personnel Subcommittees approved their sections of the bill without amendment. The Tactical Air and Land Forces and Readiness Subcommittees approved their sections on 23 May.

National Guard related highlights of the Marks include:

  • A provision that would require the service secretaries to provide Reserve Component members or units notification 120 days in advance of being ordered to deployment or being notified that such deployment has been canceled, postponed, or otherwise altered.
  • A provision that would provide temporary authority for the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force to maintain an active status and an inactive status list of members in the inactive National Guard.
  • A provision that prohibits the Secretary of the Air Force from terminating the C-130H Avionics Modernization Program.
  • The Committee report also includes language that requires the Secretary of Defense to provide a report that assesses the full cost of Reserve Component manpower.

The full Armed Services Committee is schedule to work on the bill 5 June. The Senate Armed Services Committee will begin work on their version of the bill the week of 10 June.

House Begins Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations Process

On 15 May, the House Appropriations Committee marked-up the first Fiscal Year 2014 funding bill. The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee took up a draft bill that provides a total of $73.3 billion, which would fund all Active Component accounts and the Army and Air National Guard accounts below the request. The Army National Guard account is $5,000,000 below the request while the Air National Guard account is $12,000,000 below the request. An analysis of the draft bill can be found here and the draft Committee report can be found here.

House Introduces Fiscal Year 2014 NDAA

On 14 May, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA-25), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee introduced H.R. 1960 (link to attached bill). The bill includes provisions submitted by the Department of Defense. The Committee is expected to begin marking-up the bill the week of 20 May and finish in early June. An analysis of the bill as introduced can be found here.

President releases Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request

On 10 April, the President released the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request. Request includes $525.4 billion in discretionary funding for the base Department of Defense budget. This includes nearly $24.8 billion in base funding within National Guard accounts. This reflects a decrease of 2.55 percent or about $64.9 billion below the Fiscal Year 2013 enacted levels. An analysis of the Request can be found here. All National Guard related budget documents can be found here. A guide to the National Guard's Fiscal Year 2014 Military Construction request and Future Years Defense Program can be found here.

President Signs FY13 Funding Bill

On 26 March, the President signed H.R. 933, a Fiscal Year 2013 funding bill. The bill would provide full Fiscal Year 2013 funding for the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Commerce, and Justice, and a number of programs funded under Science appropriations. The bill would continue to fund other departments and government programs under another Continuing Resolution.

The bill includes numerous provisions to support the National Guard as an operational force. The bill funds most National Guard accounts at or above requested levels with the exception of Army National Guard Personnel.

The bill includes additional funding to maintain additional Air National Guard aircraft above those funded in the original Fiscal Year 2013 budget. The bill also provides additional procurement funding for Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS 2) units as well as additional funding for F-15 AESA radars for the Air National Guard.

The bill also increases funding to support the Army National Guard. The bills would provide an additional $100 million in Army Procurement for ARNG HMMWV modernization. The bill would also procure one additional LUH for the Army National Guard to replace a training loss. The bill includes a $199 million program increase for UH-60M Blackhawks for the Army National Guard and an additional $110 million for UH-60 A to L conversions for the Army National Guard. The bill would also prohibit the retirement of C-23 aircraft and provides funding to maintain those aircraft.

For NGREA, the bill provides $460 million for each the Army and Air National Guard.

The bill also includes an additional $130 million for National Guard counter-drug state plans.

A full analysis of the bill can be found here and the Spending Tables can be found here.

Senior Department of Defense leaders continued their efforts to warn Congress about the impacts of sequestration

Earlier this month, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff along with Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Robert Hale provided members of Congress with examples of the impact of sequestration on the Department of Defense. Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees held hearings to highlight the budget issues faced by the Department. During the Senate hearing, General Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau said: "Sequestration will be devastating to the Department of Defense and the National Guard." On 26 February the Service Chiefs and GEN Grass carried a similar message to the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Sequestration in scheduled to take effect beginning 1 March.

The NGB Public Affairs stories can be found here and here.

Defense Department Leaders Discuss Sequestration

Over two days, Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff along with Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Robert Hale provided members of Congress with examples of the impact of sequestration on the Department of Defense. Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees held hearings to highlight the budget issues faced by the Department. During the Senate hearing, General Frank Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau said: "Sequestration will be devastating to the Department of Defense and the National Guard." Sequestration in scheduled to take effect beginning 1 March.

The NGB Public Affairs story can be found here.

President Signs Fiscal Year 2013 NDAA

On 2 January 2013, the President signed the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. The final bill was a compromise of the House bill and Senate bill passed in 2012.

Earlier versions of the bill included a complete freeze on fiscal year 2013 Air Force force strucutre moves. The final law, however, requires the Secretary of the Air Force to retain 32 additional intra-theater airlift aircraft above the force structure proposal dated 2 November 2012. The type and location of the aircraft are left to the discretion of the Air Force. The law also includes an increase in Air National Guard end strength to retain force structure. The law does not include a provision that would prohibit the retirement of C-23 aircraft.

Among other important provisions, the law also: creates a Commission to assess the future force structure of the Air Force; authorizes two additional Civil Support Teams; lowers the strategic airlift aircraft requirement to 275 after completion of a report; provides fixes to PDMRA; and prevents changes in BAH when transition between active duty and full-time National Guard duty.

An analysis of the law can be found here. The Joint Explanatory Statement can be found here.

Defense Appropriators Approve Senate Version of FY13 Appropriations Bill

On 2 Aug, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a draft Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Appropriations Act. The draft bill would provide $800 million to endorce a 'one-year strategic pause' of the Air Force force structure adjustments, with $255 million of that in Air National Guard operations and maintenance. The draft would also provide an additional $260 million for weapons systems sustainment for the Air National Guard and require the Air Force to continue to procure C-27J aircraft with previously appropriated funds. The draft also includes $1 billion for NGREA, with $300 million for the Army National Guar dand $240 million for the Air National Guard. The draft would also provide additional funding for Army National Guard UH-60 A to L upgrades, additional funding for Air National Guard F-15 AESA radar, an additional $20 million for National Guard outreach and reintegration programs, and an additional $113 million for Counter Drug State Plans.

In mid July, the House passed H.R. 5856, their version of the Fiscal Year 2013 funding bill. During general debate of the bill, Rep. Kaptur (D-OH-9), said that the Air Force budget "did not appear to appreciate the Guard and Reserve." She went on to say that the bill addresses the issues and will allow the Air National Guard to, "continue their mission which they do well, at considerably less cost than the Air Force does."

During debate, a number of amendments related to the National Guard were approved. The House approved an amendment from Rep. Gallegly (R-CA-25) that would reactivate the four MAFF-1 firefighting units and procure two additional MAFF units. An amendment, approved by the House, from Rep. Altmire (D-PA-4) would provide an additional $15.5M for the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, with $10M for the Army National Guard. A Rep. Bonamici (D-OR-1) amendment would require the National Guard to complete a capabilities assessment of medical equipment needed for ambulance HMMWVs used for domestic operations, with a focus on cardiac monitoring and resuscitation equipment.

The bill, as approved by the House Appropriations Committee, included a provision that would prohibit expenditures on professional sport sponsorship. During floor debate, Rep. Palazzo (R-MS-4) raised a point of order against this provision, stating the the provision violated the House rule prohibiting legislating on appropriations bills. The point of order was sustained, and the provision was removed from the bill. The issue of funding for NASCAR led to a long colloquy.

The bill, which was previously approved by the Appropriations Committee, includes an increase of $591.7 million in Air National Guard Operations and Maintenance funding to "pause" the retirement of Air National Guard aircraft and reducing Air National Guard units. The bill would also require the Air Force to procure the remaining 17 C-27J aircraft to bring the total to 38 aircraft.

For the Army National Guard, the bill would also provide an additional $100 million for HMMWV upgrades, funding for ten additional UH-60M aircraft , additional funding for UH-60A to UH-60L upgrades, and funding for three additional UH-72 aircraft for the Army National Guard. The bill also prohibits the retirement of C-23 aircraft.

The bill would provides $2 billion for NGREA, with $650 million each for the Army and Air National Guard. The bill would allow up to three percent of that NGREA funding for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation.

The bill also provides an additional $130 million for National Guard Counter Drug programs.

An analysis of the bills can be found here. The House Committee Report can be found here. The Senate Committee Report can be found here.

Senate Confirms National Guard Nominees

On 26 July, the Senate confirmed the nominations of LTG Frank Grass to the grade of General and to be the Chief of the National Guard Bureua and Maj Gen Joseph Lengyel to the grade to Lieutenant General and to be the Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The Committee also approved the nomination of LTG John Kelly to the grade of General and Commander of SOUTHCOM.

Earlier this month the Committee held a hearing to hear testimony for LTG Grass, Gen Welsh, and LTG Kelly.

MILCON Funding Bill Passed in House

On 31 May, the House passed H.R. 5854, the Fiscal Year 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill. The bill funds the Army and Air National Guard at the requested levels.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved their version of the bill, S. 3215, on 22 May. Their bill also funds the Army and Air National Guard at the requested levels.

An anlaysis of the bills can be found here.

House Passes FY13 NDAA

On 18 May, the House passed H.R. 4310, the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

During debate the House considered 142 amendments. The House approved multiple amendments that impact the National Guard including: an amendment that would clarify and expand the authorities of the State Partnership Program; an amendment to authorize two additional Civil Support Teams; an amendment that would allow for a pilot program for public-private partnerships to enhance mental health for National Guardsmen; an amendment to provide the sense of Congress that the Aerospace Control Alert mission is vital to the national security; an amendment allowing for coordination between the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and Small Business Development Centers; and an amendment to provide compensation for individuals that lost PDMRA benefits; an amendment requiring a report on the decision to close Air National Guard Component Numbered Air Force Augmentation Force; and an amendment to retain the core functions at the Air Traffic Control Station at Johnstown Air National Guard Base.

The bill the House took up includes a number of National Guard related provisions. Of note, the bill would prohibit the divestiture, retirement, or transfer of any C-23 aircraft or Air Force aircraft and increase Air National Guard end strength and full time support above the requested levels and hold them at roughly Fiscal Year 2012 levels.

The bill also includes numerous National Guard related provisions. Among other things, the bill would create a State Partnership Program Center of Excellence, require a report on the analysis behind any future C-130 retirements, require a report on the Army's airlift needs, prohibit the retirement of C-27J aircraft, codify the Staff Assistant position on the Joint Staff for National Guard and Reserve matters, authorize automatic Federal recognition of Army Guard Warrant Officers promoted to Chief Warrant Officers, protect BAH funding for transferring full-time National Guardsmen, and extend TRICARE coverage for Guard members involuntarily separated due to force structure changes. Committee report language also touches National Guard issues such as Yellow Ribbon Outreach, increased utilization of the UH-72, disestablishment of two WMD CSTs, and the National Guard's role in cyber security.

The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to begin working on their bill, S. 2467, during the week of 21 May. The Subcommittees will mark on 22-23 May with the full Committee marking 23-25 May.

An analysis of the HASC approved bill and the Senate introduced bill can be found here. The HASC approved bill can be found here.

National Guard Leaders Discuss Budget on Hill

National Guard senior leaders spent the week on the Hill providing testimony about the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request. On 28 March, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General McKinley, along with the Directors of the Army and Air National Guard provided testimony to the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. During the hearing members asked about the quality and quantity of National Guard equipment. In his opening statement, General McKinley stated that, "The National Guard is a more ready, more capable, and more rapidly deployable force than ever in our nation's history." He went on to highlight the National Guard's role as an operational force and recent contributions at home and abroad. Members of the Committee were very complimentary of Guardsmen. Both Representatives Cole (R-OK-9) and Calvert (R-CA-7) said that the National Guard is the best bang for the buck.

Also this week, the Deputy Directors of the Army and Air National Guard provided testimony at separate hearings on the Military Construction Request at the Senate Appropriations Military Construction Subcommittee.

Hearings provide an opportunity for members of the House and Senate to learn about the specifics of the National Guard's budget request.

Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Released

The details of the Fiscal Year 2013 President's Budget were transmitted to the Hill during the second week of February, officially starting the budget process. The budget includes $28 billion for the National Guard. The Army National Guard Personnel and Operations and Maintenance account requests are above the Fiscal Year 2012 funding levels and reflect the increasing role of the National Guard as an operational force. The Air National Guard accounts reflect the Air Force plan to lower personnel and aircraft levels within the total Air Force. The first budget hearing will be held on 14 February with the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs tesifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The will be followed with hearings before the House Armed Services Committee on 15 Feb and the House Defense Appropriations Subcommitte on 16 Feb. A regularly updated list of all hearings can be found here.

An analysis of the budget request can be found here and National Guard budget documents can be found here. All National Guard military construction projects in the Fiscal Year 2013 request and the Future Years Defense Programs can be found here.

DOD Releases New Strategic Guidance and Budget Preview

In coordination with development of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, the Department of Defense has released a new strategy and guidance for the armed forces. To meet the budget cutting requirements of the Budget Control Act of 2011 the Department examined the future roles and missions of the armed forces. During a January press conference, the Department released a document outlining the Priorities for the 21st Century as well as an accompanying fact sheet. The Department also released the Joint Operational Access Concept document that outlines the requirements needed for joint forces to operate in emerging threat scenarios.

The Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request release has been delayed a week from the customary timeline and will reach Congress on 13 Feb. On 26 January, the Department held a press conference and provided a preview of the full budget release. The Deparment also released a document entitled Defense Priorities and Choices that outlines the major areas impacted by the budget.