Leaders of the Senate and House Armed Service Committees said Monday they've found agreement in a bipartisan defense authorization for fiscal 2014, but prospects for the compromise measure aren't straightforward.
Acquisition personnel at the Defense Department from management on down don't have the knowledge or incentives to do their jobs well, said Dov Zakheim, the department's former comptroller, on Oct. 29.
Top military officials told a House panel Wednesday that continued sequestration would make it impossible to plan for new acquisitions, and that maintenance will have to be differed on the current military fleet. If the mandatory budget cuts continue, the Air Force would have to delay purchasing four to five F-35 joint strike fighters from its requested amount of 19, Principal Deputy Assistant Air Force Secretary William LaPlante told the House Armed Services Committee subcommittee on tactical air and land forces in an Oct. 23 hearing.
A special envoy for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is set to begin work Nov. 1. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that Paul Lewis, currently the minority general counsel for the House Armed Services Committee, was chosen for the role. One hundred sixty-four prisoners remain at Guantanamo Bay, some of whom have been cleared for release since the mid-2000s.
Sequestration has forced the Army to defer refurbishment of 800 vehicles, 2,000 weapons, 32 helicopters and 10,000 pieces of communication gear returned from combat zones in 2013, or $1.7 billion of the planned $4 billion equipment reset, the Army's deputy chief of staff for logistics told Congress last week.
If sequestration continues, cuts will be too quick and deep for the DoD to deal with realistically, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at an Aug. 1 House Armed Services Committee hearing.
A temporary anti-Chinese manufacturer supply chain measure currently in force for a handful of major agencies would stay in effect through fiscal 2014 under a provision included in a subcommittee spending bill.
A recently created military software open source foundation received its first major chunk of code when Lockheed Martin donated in May middleware software used in Distributed Common Ground System, a military data analysis tool the subject of mounting controversy. The middleware is the Distributed Data Framework, a core component of the DCGS Integration Backbone, version 4.
The implications of having one person lead both Cyber Command and the National Security Agency would be explored under the fiscal 2014 national defense authorization act that the House Armed Services Committee approved June 6.
The House Armed Services Committee passed on June 6 their version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which specified $552.1 billion in overall spending for national defense and an additional $85.8 billion in overseas contingency operations. The bill (H.R. 1960), would allocate $526.6 billion for Defense Department discretionary spending and $7.7 billion in mandatory funds.