Lawmakers Protect Local Missions in Authorization Bill

Amendments attached to the House version of the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill would preserve key missions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and at Hanscom AFB, outside Boston.

An amendment sponsored by Ohio Rep. Michael Turner (R) calls for the core functions of the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Pat as of Nov. 1, 2011, to be retained. The core functions could be modified only through a subsequent law authorizing base closures or through 10 U.S.C. Sec. 2687, a rarely used statute allowing base closures and realignments to be carried out when a BRAC round is not in effect.

Another amendment sponsored by Massachusetts Rep. Niki Tsongas (D) incorporates similar language to retain the core functions of the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom.

The amendments essentially prohibit the Air Force from carrying out a significant realignment at the two facilities without congressional action. The provisions are in response to a planned reorganization of Air Force Materiel Command announced last year.

The House Armed Services Committee passed the authorization bill, H.R. 4310, Thursday morning. The measure could reach the House floor next Wednesday. The Senate Armed Services Committee plans to mark up its version of the legislation the week of May 21. More information about H.R. 4310 is available on the committee website.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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