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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

Lawmakers Vote to Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • May 8, 2014
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In a major victory for advocates of the A-10 Warthog, the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday night added language to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill prohibiting the Air Force from retiring its fleet of close air support aircraft. Supporters of the amendment, sponsored by Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), defied both Committee Chair Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) in passing it 41 to 20. The committee later passed the underlying defense policy bill early Thursday morning …

In Resisting DOD Austerity Measures, House Bill Puts off Budget Reckoning

  • May 8, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill passed unanimously early Thursday morning by the House Armed Services Committee brushed off a slew of cost-saving proposals by the Pentagon in an attempt to avert reductions in force structure needed to accommodate strict spending caps. The policy bill identifies savings to offset the cuts it rejects, but those represent only short-term solutions as part of an effort to postpone significant structural changes required by the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps, reports CQ Roll Call …

Panel Rejects Navy Plans to Retire Carrier, Deactivate Cruisers

  • May 7, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday authorized funding to refuel and overhaul the U.S.S. George Washington, upending the Navy’s plans to retire one of its 11 aircraft carriers. The committee’s vote during its day-long markup of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill largely reflected language passed last week by the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. The bill authorizes $796 million to refuel the carrier; DOD officials have said they would budget necessary funds to refuel the carrier only if lawmakers relax the spending caps imposed starting in FY 2016 …

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 …

Army Begins Analysis to Decide Where Additional Units Will Be Eliminated

  • May 6, 2014
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Army officials are gathering data at 30 installations that could lose more than 10,000 soldiers when the service’s end strength falls to 450,000 soldiers or fewer. The data will be used to assess the socioeconomic impact of possible cuts to installations and their surrounding communities, Brig. Gen. Roger Cloutier, director of force management, told Army Times. A reduction to a total force of 980,000 soldiers — including 450,000 in the active Army, 335,000 in the Army National Guard, and 195,000 in the Army Reserve — is slated to be carried out by fiscal year 2017 …

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 …

Massachusetts Reserve Base Losing Aircraft, Personnel

  • May 6, 2014
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Westover Air Reserve Base in western Massachusetts will lose half its C-5 cargo planes starting in March 2015 and about 335 personnel beginning in October 2015, officials announced last week. Eight of the 439th Airlift Wing’s 16 transport aircraft will relocate to Joint Base San Antonio as part of an upgrade of the C-5 fleet, reported Air Force Times. The wing is expected to lose 59 full-time enlisted personnel and 275 reservists. The move, a consequence of budget cuts, will not mean the end of the air wing or the base. “We’ll remain strong. It’s a wonderful base, we have great support from the community and we plan on being here for the long haul,” said Brig. Gen. Steven Vautrain, commander of the 439th Airlift Wing.

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 …

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 …

House Tacks on Provision Prohibiting BRAC Round to Milcon Spending Bill

  • April 30, 2014
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The House approved an amendment to the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill Wednesday blocking DOD from proposing, planning for or carrying out a new round of base closures. The chamber passed the underlying legislation by a 416-1 vote, getting Congress off to the earliest start to the appropriations process since 1974. The milcon spending bill would provide $6.6 billion for military construction and family housing programs next year, a figure which matches the administration’s request but represents a $3.3 billion decline from the FY 2014 allocation. The measure would provide $270.1 million for the cleanup of BRAC sites, matching the Obama administration’s budget request, but representing a $181.3 million drop from current year funding. The bill would allocate $45 billion for medical services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, including mental health care, job training and suicide prevention efforts, reported the Hill.

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