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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

Senate Coalition Moves to Block Army National Guard Changes

  • May 7, 2014
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A bipartisan group of 19 senators introduced legislation to preserve much of the Army National Guard’s combat aviation mission until an independent commission reviews a proposal from the Army to transfer the Guard’s 192 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. The measure — introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus — also would bar the Army’s plans to trim the size of the Guard from 350,000 to 335,000 soldiers by fiscal 2017 …

House Committee Rebuffs BRAC Request

  • May 7, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee approved language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill rejecting the Pentagon’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017 during its day-long markup Wednesday of the annual policy measure. The vote was set in motion last week when the Readiness Subcommittee included a prohibition on conducting additional base closure rounds in its portion of the bill, and reinforced when Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) endorsed the ban on new BRACs earlier this week. At the same time the bill, which still was being debated Wednesday night, includes language calling for DOD to prepare a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures — a possible first step toward a new BRAC …

Lawmakers to Offer New Plan for Reviewing Army’s Restructuring Proposal

  • May 6, 2014
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The sponsors of a House bill that would suspend the Army’s plan to shift the National Guard’s 192 Apache attack helicopters to active-duty units plan to offer an alternative plan today when the House Armed Services Committee marks up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The amendment, sponsored by Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), still would freeze the Army’s plan to move the Apaches, reports CQ Roll Call. In addition, it would limit the Army’s plan to reduce the end strength of its active forces and the National Guard until the Pentagon completes an analysis of the changes …

Smith Proposal Would Reform BRAC Process

  • May 6, 2014
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An amendment that Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, plans to offer to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approving a new BRAC round will call for a variety of reforms intended to address lawmakers’ most common criticisms of the base closure process. “Given that the last BRAC round transformed more than it closed and has cost more and saved less than original estimates, members of Congress have justifiable reservations about giving the Department of Defense authority to conduct another round …

Subcommittee Requests Report on Benefits of Recommendations Promoting Joint Activities

  • May 5, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee remains concerned that BRAC 2005 recommendations requiring the services to merge or consolidate functions to operate more jointly were not effectively carried out, obviating cost-saving opportunities, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. To evaluate the benefits of DOD actions to implement recommendations intended to reduce infrastructure and promote “jointness,” the panel directs the Government Accountability Office to prepare a report …

Smith Criticizes Policy Bill for Postponing ‘Difficult Choices’

  • May 5, 2014
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Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) on Monday attacked the chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill for failing “to make the difficult choices necessary to address crushing financial constraints placed on this budget by Congress.” Unless sequestration is repealed, said Smith, the House Armed Services Committee’s ranking member, lawmakers will need to evaluate cost-cutting proposals based on their national security merit rather than parochial interests …

Chairman’s Mark Derides Administration’s Repeated BRAC Requests

  • May 5, 2014
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In endorsing last week’s decision by the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee to reject DOD’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017, Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) made clear the reasons he opposes additional realignments and closures. “The committee maintains its long held concern that BRAC rounds do not yield true savings but rather impose large upfront costs only then to shift property between federal agencies,” according to the committee’s summary of its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill …

Committee Chair Rejects DOD’s Compensation Reforms; Adjusts A-10 Fleet Retirement

  • May 5, 2014
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The full committee portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill rejects most of the Obama administration’s proposed reforms to military benefits, including plans to slash subsidies for commissaries and slow increases in the basic allowance for housing. The chairman’s mark rejects other cost-saving reforms in the Pentagon’s FY 2015 budget as well, including plans to retire the Navy’s 11th aircraft carrier and to hold a new BRAC round in 2017. The legislation, however, embraces in part the Air Force’s proposal to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft …

Panel Questions Potential for BRAC to Generate Savings

  • May 4, 2014
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Due to concerns that potential savings produced by base closures and realignments may never be fully realized, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is requesting a report on the “overall effectiveness” of the property disposal process, including an assessment of sales revenue and cleanup costs associated with BRAC actions, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The committee is concerned that efficiencies associated with the BRAC process are offset with the inability to quickly dispose of excess property and the potential lack of overall savings to the federal government …

Wittman Highlights Readiness Shortfall at Markup

  • May 1, 2014
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Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, underscored the military’s gap in readiness stemming from the strict spending caps enacted in 2011 along with the prospect of deeper cuts in training starting in fiscal 2016, at the outset of the panel’s markup of its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. Wittman cited a number of facts to illustrate the military’s shortfall: the Air Force has restored only 50 percent of its pilots back to appropriate training levels after slashing flying hours last year …

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