Senate Armed Services Committee Completes Markup of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced details of the committee’s markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The committee on Thursday voted, 22-4, to report the bill, which authorizes $612 billion funding for the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.

“This is a reform bill,” McCain said. “It tackles acquisition reform, military retirement reform, personnel reform, headquarters and management reform. This legislation delivers sweeping defense reforms that rise to the challenges of a more dangerous world. We identified $10 billion of excess and unnecessary spending from the defense budget, and we are reinvesting it in military capabilities for our warfighters and reforms that can yield long-term savings for the Department of Defense. And we did all of this while upholding our commitments to servicemembers, retirees, and their families.

“I want to thank the Committee’s outstanding ranking member, Senator Jack Reed,” said McCain. “It was a pleasure to work with Jack on a bipartisan basis throughout the markup process. We worked through hundreds of amendments and some of the toughest issues confronting our military today. This is a better bill because of my friend, Jack Reed. I look forward to working together with my colleagues in the Senate, Chairman Thornberry, and Ranking Member Smith in the House to produce a defense authorization worthy of their service and sacrifice.”

“I commend Chairman McCain for his leadership on this bill,” Senator Reed said. “Thanks to Chairman McCain, there are many good provisions and needed reforms in the bill and we made significant headway in several areas.  While we were unable to agree on the critical budget piece, the bill is a step toward providing resources for our men and women in uniform.  I look forward to working with Chairman McCain and our counterparts in the House to find a responsible way forward,” said Senator Reed.

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MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS

Providing for the Common Defense

As the United States confronts a diverse and complex array of crises around the world, the limitations of the Budget Control Act (BCA) and sequestration—which require $1 trillion of defense spending cuts over ten years—have become a national security crisis of the first order. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee this year, all four of the military service chiefs testified that American lives are being put at risk by the caps on defense spending mandated in the BCA. The bill fully supports the President’s budget request level of $612 billion consistent with the Senate-passed budget resolution.  The bill also contains a provision that would enable the Department of Defense to transfer $38.0 billion from Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds to the base budget in the event of enactment of legislation that revises the defense and non-defense discretionary spending limits for fiscal year 2016 in proportionately equal amounts.

Cutting Excessive and Unnecessary Spending

  • $200 million—Army WIN-T Program
  • $32 million—Marine Corps G/ATOR Program
  • $200 million—Air Force GPS III Satellite
  • $460 million—Air Force Long Range Strike Bomber
  • $200 million—Air Force KC-46
  • $55.8 million—LCS Mine Countermeasures (MCM) mission module
  • $65.6 million—Remote Minehunting System (RMS)
  • $95 million—Troubled IT programs
  • $1.7 billion—7.5 Percent reduction in headquarters and administrative overhead
  • $1.1 billion—Counterterrorism Partnership Fund

Strengthening Military Capability, Capacity, and Readiness

The bill reinvests the majority of the $10.0 billion of savings identified by the Committee in the budget request in military capability for our warfighters—unfunded priorities of the services and out-year funding on programs that have been accelerated into fiscal year 2016. All of the following programs represent funding increases above the President’s budget request.

Building Strike Fighter, Electronic Warfare, Munitions Capacity and Upgrading Capability

  • $355.0 million—Fully restores the A-10 Thunderbolt II
  • $75.0 million—Fully restores the EC-130 Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft
  • $1.2 billion—Procures 12 additional F/A-18E/F Super Hornets
  • $1.0 billion—Procures 6 additional F-35B Joint Strike Fighters
  • $480.0 million—Procures 24 additional MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft
  • $300.0 million—Upgrades F-15 capabilities for high-end conflicts
  • $200.0 million—Procures additional PAC-3 missiles for ballistic missile defense
  • $15.0 million—Procures additional AMRAAM missiles
  • $30.0 million—Increases Tomahawk missile production to minimum sustaining rate
  • $25.0 million—Upgrades Marine Corps aircraft survivability
  • $170.0 million—Upgrades jamming protection for F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G
  • $140.0 million—Procures TOW tube-launched, anti-tank missiles

Accelerating Navy Modernization and Shipbuilding

  • $800.0 million—Additional advance procurement for Virginia-class submarines
  • $400.0 million—Provides incremental funding authority for one Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • $199.0 million—Additional advance procurement for LHA-8
  • $80.0 million—Accelerates the next amphibious ship (LX(R))
  • $97.0 million—Accelerates shipbuilding for Afloat Forward Staging Base
  • $28.0 million— Upgrades two additional ships with the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program Block II system
  • $20.0 million—Accelerates procurement of advanced submarine towed sonar arrays
  • $75.0 million— Accelerates procurement of the first fleet ocean tug, salvage and rescue ship replacement (T-ATS(X))
  • $34.0 million— Accelerates procurement of the first Landing Craft Utility replacement
  • $48.0 million—Funds Advanced Undersea Payloads for submarines
  • $60.0 million—Upgrades an additional DDG-51 with ballistic missile defense capability

Investing in Defense Innovation

  • $725.0 million— Funds the remaining research and development work to be completed on the Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstration (UCAS-D), while also directing the Secretary of Defense to develop competitive prototypes that move the Department toward a carrier-based, unmanned, long-range, low-observable, penetrating strike aircraft.
  • $400.0 million—Provides additional funding for the Defense Innovation Initiative to advance the “Third Offset Strategy” to outpace our emerging adversaries. The bill increases investment in six breakthrough technologies: cyber capabilities; low-cost, high-speed munitions; autonomous vehicles; undersea warfare; intelligence data analytics; and directed energy.
  • $200.0 million—Funds a cyber vulnerability assessment, a new initiative to enable the services to begin evaluating all major weapons systems for cyber vulnerabilities.

Meeting Urgent National Security Priorities

  • $300.0 million— Funds the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, providing funding for military assistance to Ukraine to assist Ukrainian security forces in defending against further aggression, including authorizing counter-battery radars and lethal assistance such as anti-tank weapons. The bill authorizes the President to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine.
  • $75.0 million—Authorizes additional support for the U.S. Southern Border Security Initiative, which would increase the Department’s assistance to Customs and Border Protection efforts to secure the southern border.
  • $50.0 million—Addresses SOUTHCOM’s unfunded priorities to combat transnational criminal organizations, build partner capacity in Central and South America, and interdict illicit drugs to the United States. 

Reforming Defense Acquisition

With this bill, the Committee is embarking on a multi-year effort to improve the underlying structure and process that delivers warfighting capability to the nation. On one level, the Committee’s reform efforts are driven by economic efficiency. Current budget constraints argue for significant changes to a woefully inefficient system. Overarching business reform and overhead reductions as outlined in this bill are a necessary first step to free up resources to modernize military capability. And the acquisition process needs to be more efficient to get the best return on limited defense resources.

But the Committee’s primary concern is that acquisition reform is needed immediately to preserve U.S. technological and military dominance, and is therefore a national security imperative. An acquisition system that takes too long and costs too much is leading to the erosion of America’s defense technological advantage, which the United States will lose altogether if the Department continues with business as usual. In short, our broken defense acquisition system is a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.

This bill creates alternative acquisition pathways to enable more efficient and effective results and expand the industrial base that supports the nation’s national security needs. It is based on the Committee’s review of acquisition reform, including the implementation of the Weapon System Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (WSARA) and using inputs from the Administration, industry, the Government Accountability Office, and others. The bill’s acquisition reforms centered on five principle objectives to support the establishment and use of these alternative pathways.

Establishing Effective Accountability for Results

The bill clarifies the roles of senior officials in the acquisition process to streamline decision making and promote accountability. It enhances the role of the service chiefs in acquisition, decentralizing to the maximum extent practicable decision-making authority to the services. While giving greater authority to the services, the bill demands accountability by establishing performance agreements with service chiefs, service secretaries, service acquisition executives, and program managers signing up to binding management, requirement, and resource commitments. The bill also creates new incentives for the services to deliver programs on time and on budget.

Developing Alternative Acquisition Pathways

The bill supports the use of flexible acquisition authorities and the development of alternative acquisition paths to acquire critical national security capabilities. The bill establishes a new streamlined acquisition and requirements approach for a “Middle Tier of Acquisition” to conduct rapid prototyping and rapid fielding that can be deployed within five years. It expands rapid acquisition authorities for contingency operations and cybersecurity missions. The bill provides the Commander of United States Cyber Command limited acquisition authorities similar to those provided to Special Operations Command.

Improving Access to Non-Traditional and Commercial Contractors

The bill contains several provisions that reflect the need for the Department of Defense to access commercial and global innovation through more streamlined and commercial-like processes. The bill reforms commercial item and other transactions authorities to make it easier for non-traditional firms to do business with the Department. It extends experimental acquisition programs that could lead to expanded competition and more innovative solutions. And the bill protects the technical data and intellectual property rights of commercial contractors. 

Deregulating and Streamlining to Reduce Costs and Gain Efficiencies

The bill includes a number of provisions designed to streamline the process for buying weapon systems, services, and information technology by reducing unnecessary requirements, reports, and certifications. The bill retains positive aspects of WSARA reforms made in 2009, but streamlines processes to support more rapid and efficient development and delivery of new capabilities. It would also establish an expert review panel to identify unneeded acquisition regulations.

Reinvigorating the Acquisition Workforce

The bill includes provisions to improve the quality of the defense acquisition workforce. The bill reauthorizes the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund and continues the civilian acquisition workforce personnel demonstration project. The bill establishes several direct hire authorities for STEM professionals and STEM-qualified veterans to join the acquisition workforce. The bill seeks to improve the attractiveness of acquisition functions to skilled military personnel through credits for acquisition-related assignments, creation of an enhanced dual-track career path to include acquisition, and increased business and commercial training opportunities.

The acquisition reforms adopted by the Committee are sweeping. But there is much more work to be done to transition what is, in essence, a Cold War management system into one that is more agile and nimble to meet the challenges of a globalized information age. This process will be maintained in future legislation as the Committee continues to explore how to change the acquisition system to be more open to next-generation technologies that can enable the United States to outpace its adversaries.

For a more details on the bill’s authorization provisions, please see the summary below of the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support.

Department of Defense Reorganization

Section 904 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 required the Secretary of Defense to develop and submit to Congress a plan for downsizing and streamlining DOD management headquarters. That plan has still not been submitted. While staff at Army headquarters increased 60 percent over the past decade, the Army is now cutting brigade combat teams. The Air Force avoided mandated cuts to headquarters personnel by creating two new headquarters entities even as it complained it had insufficient personnel to maintain combat aircraft. From 2001 to 2012, the defense civilian workforce grew at five times the rate of the active duty military. This bill initiates a reorganization of the Department of Defense in order to focus limited resources on operations rather than administration, ensure military personnel can develop critical military skills, and stabilize organizations and programs. The legislation:

  • Reduces funding for headquarters and administrative functions for military services, defense agencies, combatant commands, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff by 7.5 percent for four years, totaling 30 percent by the fourth year. These reductions would generate $1.7 billion in savings for fiscal year 2016 and recurring savings of $6.8 billion per year by the fourth year.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan by January 31, 2016 on how the reductions are being, and will continue to be, implemented.
  • Restricts funding for personal service contracts for the Office of the Secretary of Defense unless the Secretary can certify that reductions are being met.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to perform a comprehensive review of the management and operation headquarters of the Department in order to facilitate streamlining.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to determine that performance will be the primary basis for separating employees during any reductions in force for civilian positions in the Department of Defense, in the competitive service, or the excepted service.

Supporting the All-Volunteer Force

In a world of multiplying threats and increasing danger, we count on young Americans to enlist or commit to serve in the All-Volunteer force that protects us and our families. The bill sustains the quality of life for the men and women of the total force and their families and addresses the needs of our wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers.

  • Authorizes a 1.3 percent across-the-board pay raise for members of the uniformed services in the grades of 0-6 and below.
  • Authorizes $135.4 billion for military personnel, including costs of pay, allowances, bonuses, death benefits, and permanent change of station moves.
  • Authorizes $32.2 billion for the Defense Health Program.
  • Authorizes $15.0 million in increased funding to improve access to care, quality of care, health outcomes, and the experience of care for military beneficiaries under the TRICARE program.
  • Authorizes $85.0 million for the enhanced financial literacy training recommended by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.
  • Reauthorizes over 30 types of bonuses and special pays aimed at encouraging enlistment, reenlistment, and continued service by active-duty and reserve component military personnel.
  • Increases the maximum annual amount of nuclear officer bonus pay to $50,000.
  • Enhances confidential reporting options for victims of sexual assault by exempting sexual assault response personnel from mandatory reporting requirements under state law.
  • Expands authority of Special Victims’ Counsel to provide services to victims of sexual assault.
  • Requires the Department to ensure that primary care and mental health care providers receive evidence-based training on recognition, assessment, and management of individuals at risk for suicide.

Modernizing and Improving Military Retirement

Under the current 70-year old military retirement system, 83 percent of servicemembers leave the service without any retirement assets. This system excludes the vast majority of current servicemembers who will not complete 20 years of uniformed service, including many veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The bill creates a modernized retirement system and extends retirement benefits to the vast majority of servicemembers through a new plan offering more value and choice. Under the new plan, 75 percent of servicemembers would get benefits. In many cases, the overall benefit for those serving at least 20 years will be greater than the current system.   This new modernized retirement system will apply to members first joining a uniformed service on or after January 1, 2018; current members are grandfathered but may choose to be covered by the new plan.

  • Continues the defined benefit for those who complete at least 20 years of service at a multiplier rate of 2.0 times years of service.
  • Authorizes government-matching Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions for members of the uniformed services that will vest at the beginning of 3 years of service (2 years, 1 day) at a government matching rate of up to 5 percent.
  • Authorizes the Secretary concerned to allow the voluntary election of lump sum payments of retired pay for those serving 20 or more years of service. Members who elect to take the lump sum may choose to take 100 percent or 50 percent of the discounted present value of their defined retirement benefit that would be due to them prior to becoming eligible for Social Security.
  • Directs the Secretary concerned to provide continuation pay to servicemembers, serving under the new military retirement system, who reach 12 years of service contingent upon such members agreeing to serve another 4 years of service. A member receiving continuation pay may elect to take the continuation pay in a lump sum or in installments of not more than four payments. A member who receives continuation pay and fails to complete the obligated service requirement shall be subject to repayment.
  • Authorizes the flexibility for the Secretary of Defense to modify the years of service required for non-disability retirement under the new military retirement system for particular occupational specialties or other groupings in order to facilitate force shaping or to correct manpower shortages within an occupational specialty.
  • Modifies the Department of Defense Military Retirement Fund to be treated as a qualified trust under title 26 United States Code, Section 401(a).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION BY SUBCOMMITTEE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON AIRLAND

Under the leadership of Chairman Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Ranking Member Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the subcommittee confronted the downward spiral of Army and Air Force capacity and readiness at a time of accumulating danger to America’s national security.  The subcommittee invested in lethality by enhancing the firepower of Stryker combat vehicles, increasing the survivability of the Apache attack helicopter against new threats, upgrading F-15 fighter aircraft, and nearly doubling the buy of MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft to support increase combatant commander intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements.  Concerned by dwindling Air Force fighter aircraft capacity, the subcommittee prohibited the retirement of the A-10 and established a fighter force structure inventory floor.  While fully supportive of the F-35 program, the subcommittee sought to mitigate the risk of further cost growth and scheduling delays by tying full funding for the Air Force’s 57 percent increase in F-35A procurement to a Secretary of Defense certification that F-35s procured this fiscal year will be delivered with full combat capability.  In view of changing strategic circumstances, the subcommittee required the Secretary to revalidate the total F-35 program buy or propose an alternative plan.  Additionally, the subcommittee fully funded what the Air Force is able to execute this fiscal year on its other two top acquisition program priorities: the KC-46A tanker and the Long Range Strike Bomber.

Army

  • Authorizes $1.5 billion for the upgrade and modification of armored tracked and wheels vehicles
  • Authorizes $145.8 million in RDT&E for combat vehicle improvement programs, including $40.0 million in funding above the budget request for rapid development and testing of Stryker lethality upgrades.
  • Authorizes $195.6 million in procurement for M88A2 Hercules armored recovery vehicles. The bill includes $72.0 million in funding above the budget request to support the procurement of 16 additional vehicles and improved support to armored brigade combat teams.
  • Authorizes over $4.5 billion for the procurement, remanufacture and modification of the family of rotary winged aircraft
  • Increases the survivability of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter against new threats by authorizing $104.3 million in procurement for the Common Missile Warning System, $101.6 million in procurement for common infrared countermeasures, and $78.1 million in procurement for aircraft survivability development.
  • Authorizes $614.9 million in procurement for PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles for use in Patriot missile defense systems. The bill increases funding for PAC-3 missiles by $200.0 million over the budget request.
  • Authorizes $142.4 million in procurement for TPQ-53 counterfire radars.
  • Authorizes $146.7 million in procurement for the Global Combat Support System-Army.
  • Authorizes $583.1 million, a reduction of $200.0 million from the budget request, in procurement for the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T). Subject to the submission of an independent assessment of WIN-T, which suffers serious technical challenges, the bill prohibits the Secretary of the Army from obligating more than 50 percent of the authorized funds. 

Air Force

  • Authorizes $5.2 billion in procurement for 44 F-35A aircraft. The bill limits funds for F-35A procurement to $4.3 billion until the Secretary of Defense certifies that F-35A aircraft delivered in fiscal year 2018 will have full combat capability with currently planned Block 3F hardware, software, and weapons carriage.
  • Requires a report from the Secretary of Defense to either revalidate the current requirement for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program of record quantity, or identify a new requirement for the total number of F-35 aircraft the Department of Defense would ultimately procure.
  • Requires the Secretary of the Air Force to maintain a minimum total active inventory of 1,950 fighter aircraft, within which the Secretary must also maintain a minimum of 1,116 fighter aircraft as primary mission aircraft inventory (combat-coded).  The bill further limits fighter retirements unless the Secretary provides a specified certification.
  • Prohibits the use of any funds during fiscal year 2016 to retire, prepare to retire, or place in storage any A-10 aircraft. As a result, the bill restores a total of $355 million in funding. The bill further requires the Secretary of the Air Force to maintain a minimum of 171 A-10 aircraft in primary mission aircraft inventory (combat-coded) status.
  • Directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct a review of the close air support mission, including the feasibility of transferring the A-10 fleet to the Army and/or Marine Corps.
  • Prohibits the use of any funds during fiscal year 2016 to retire, prepare to retire, or place in storage any EC-130H Compass Call aircraft. As a result, the bill restores a total of $75.0 million in funding.
  • Authorizes $2.3 billion in procurement for the KC-46A tanker.
  • Authorizes $402.4 million in RDT&E for the KC-46A tanker. The bill fully funds what the Air Force can execute.
  • Authorizes $786.2 million in RDT&E for the Long Range Strike Bomber. The bill fully funds what the Air Force can execute.
  • Authorizes $1.0 billion in procurement for 53 MQ-9 aircraft. The bill includes an additional $480.0 million above the budget request to accelerate procurement to meet increased combatant commander requirements for medium altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
  • Authorizes $726.5 million in procurement for F-15 fighter aircraft capability upgrades.
  • Authorizes $216.0 million in RDT&E for F-15 fighter capability upgrades.
  • Authorizes $123.0 million in procurement for the C-130H Avionics Modernization Program Increments 1 & 2, and C-130H propulsion system enhancements.
  • Prohibits the retirement of B-1, B-2, and B-52 bomber aircraft during a fiscal year prior to initial operational capability of the Long Range Strike Bomber, unless the Secretary of Defense provides a specified certification.
  • Limits the retirement of Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), EC-130H Compass Call, and Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft until the follow-on replacement aircraft program has entered low rate initial production.

SUBCOMMITTEE ON SEAPOWER

Under the leadership of Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Ranking Member Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, the subcommittee directed billions in savings and efficiencies found throughout the budget request to bolster the Navy and Marine Corps’ ability to deter adversaries, assure allies, and defend our national interests. In recognition of the looming Ohio-class Replacement Program and the need to increase the size of the Navy, the subcommittee added $1.7 billion to accelerate shipbuilding funding for several programs. The subcommittee addressed the strike fighter shortfall by adding $1.2 billion for 12 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets for the Navy and $1.0 billion for an additional six F-35Bs for the Marine Corps. Amid budget constraints, the subcommittee emphasized rigorous oversight to prevent further cost growth in major acquisition programs, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Ford-class aircraft carrier, and Littoral Combat Ship. The subcommittee also laid the groundwork for the Navy of the future by providing robust support for unmanned combat aircraft and unmanned underwater vehicles, directing a report on future aircraft carrier alternatives, and directing independent studies of the Navy’s future fleet architecture. 

Aircraft Carriers

  • Authorizes $127.2 million in RDT&E for the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier (CVN-78). The bill includes $79.1 million in funding above the budget request to fund full ship shock trials on CVN-78.
  • Authorizes $678.3 million for the Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) of the USS George Washington (CVN-73).
  • Limits $100.0 million in procurement funds for the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier (CVN-79) until the Secretary of the Navy certifies that the Navy will conduct full ship shock trials on CVN-78 no later than September 30, 2017 and submits two reports: one on cost control options for CVN-79 and USS Enterprise (CVN-80), and another on potential requirements, capabilities, and alternatives for future development of aircraft carriers that would replace or supplement the Ford-class carrier.
  • Limits $191.4 million in advance procurement funds for CVN-80 until the Secretary of the Navy certifies the CVN-80 design will repeat the CVN-79 design and provides a detailed justification of the CVN-80 plans costs. 
  • Directs the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations to personally sign off on new design and engineering changes to Ford-class aircraft carriers that exceed $5.0 million.
  • Reduces the Congressionally-mandated procurement cost cap for CVN-79 and subsequent aircraft carriers by $100.0 million to $11.398 billion, plus adjustments for inflation and other factors. 
  • Directs a Comptroller General review of Ford-class cost estimates and cost estimating practices, effectiveness of current cost accounting and cost surveillance, and cost reporting.

Navy and Marine Corps Tactical Aviation

  • Authorizes $1.2 billion in procurement for 12 F/A-18E/F aircraft and initial spares included in the Chief of Naval Operations’ unfunded priorities list to reduce the near-term strike fighter shortfall.
  • Authorizes $1.1 billion in procurement for upgrades to F/A-18 and E/A-18G aircraft, including a $170.0 million increase included on the Chief of Naval Operations’ unfunded priority list.
  • Authorizes $873.0 million in procurement for four F-35C aircraft. 
  • Authorizes $2.5 billion in procurement for 15 F-35B aircraft, including six aircraft included on the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ unfunded priority list.

Unmanned Systems

  • Reduces $134.7 million in RDT&E for the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) system due to the Department of Defense’s pause to conduct an enterprise-wide review of the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance strategic portfolio. Unobligated funds available from fiscal year 2015 may be used to wholly offset fiscal year 2016 budget requirements.
  • Expresses concern that the Navy’s current requirements for the UCLASS program place disproportionate emphasis on unrefueled endurance to provide organic ISR support to the carrier strike group. The bill recognizes the potential of integrating unmanned combat aircraft in the carrier air wing.
  • Authorizes $725.0 million in RDT&E for the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D). The bill includes $350.0 million to continue technology maturation and risk reduction with the existing UCAS-D vehicles that will benefit UCLASS and other unmanned aerial systems programs. The bill includes $375.0 million for competitive prototyping of at least two follow-on air systems that move toward a UCLASS program capable of long-range strike in a contested environment.
  • Authorizes $98.2 million in RDT&E for Advanced Submarine System Development. The bill includes $11.0 million in funding above the budget request to accelerate the development of the Fleet Modular Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle (FMAUV) and submarine-launched Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).
  • Directs the Secretary of the Navy to provide a report on the Navy’s projected autonomous underwater vehicle force structure requirements for 2025, including missions, vehicle classes, and host platforms.

Submarines

  • Authorizes $6.1 billion in advance procurement and procurement for Virginia-class submarines. The bill includes $800.0 million in funding above the budget request, emphasizing the importance of procuring two Virginia-class submarines per year in fiscal years 2016 to 2020 and the inclusion of the Virginia Payload Module on Virginia-class submarines as soon as practicable.
  • Clarifies language on transfer authority for the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund to include all Department of Defense appropriations.
  • Funds the requested $1.39 billion in Ohio-class Replacement Program RDT&E.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to submit detailed Ohio-class Replacement Program cost estimates with the annual budget submission.
  • Authorizes $60.2 million in submarine tactical warfare systems, including an increase of $12.0 million to accelerate submarine combat and weapons control modernization.
  • Authorizes $4.7 million in submarine acoustic warfare development, including an increase of $800,000 to accelerate the compact rapid attack weapon.

Littoral Combat Ship

  • Limits funds for Littoral Combat Ships designated LCS-25 and LCS-26 until pre-existing requirements are met and the Navy provides an acquisition strategy for LCS-25 through LCS-32, a LCS mission module acquisition strategy, a plan to outfit Flight 0 and Flight 0+ Littoral Combat Ships with capabilities identified for the upgraded Littoral Combat Ship, and a current test and evaluation master plan for the Littoral Combat Ship mission modules.
  • Limits 75 percent of fiscal year 2016 funds for research and development, design, construction, procurement, or advanced procurement of materials for the upgraded Littoral Combat Ships designated LCS-33 and subsequent until the Secretary of the Navy submits specified information on the upgraded LCS modernization.
  • Authorizes $29.4 million in procurement for LCS Mine Countermeasures (MCM) mission modules. The bill cuts $55.8 million from the budget request due to unsatisfactory operational testing.
  • Authorizes $22.0 million in procurement for the Remote Minehunting System (RMS). The bill cuts $65.6 million from the budget request due to unsatisfactory testing. 

Other Shipbuilding

  • Authorizes $3.5 billion in procurement for Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG-51), including the first Flight III DDG-51. The bill includes $400.0 million in incremental funding authority for an additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in addition to the 10 DDG-51s in the fiscal year 2013-2017 multiyear procurement contract, or for a DDG-51 in fiscal year 2018.
  • Authorizes $424.2 million in procurement for destroyer modernization, including an additional ballistic missile defense upgrade that was requested in the Chief of Naval Operations’ unfunded priority list.
  • Authorizes $476.5 million in procurement for amphibious assault ship (LHA) replacement. The bill includes $199.0 million in funding above the budget request to expedite reaching the requirement for 11 large deck amphibious ships. 
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to commission three studies on potential future fleet architectures to be submitted no later than May 1, 2016.
  • Directs the Secretary of the Navy, in coordination with U.S. Pacific Command, to provide a report on the Combat Logistics Force, including the role of the fleet oiler replacement (T-AO(X)).
  • Authorizes contract authority for up to six fleet oiler replacements (T-AO(X)).

Missiles

  • Authorizes $214.8 million in procurement for Tomahawk missiles. The authorized funding keeps Tomahawk production at the minimum sustaining rate of 196 missiles per year.
  • Authorizes $207.9 million in procurement for Navy Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs).
  • Authorizes $152.5 million in procurement for U.S. Marine Corps Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles. The bill includes $140.0 million in funding above the budget request to replenish a depleted inventory, which was requested in the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ unfunded priority list.
  • Directs the Secretary of the Navy to submit a report on the Navy’s plan for standoff precision guided munitions in the 2025-2030 timeframe.

SUBCOMMITTEE ON STRATEGIC FORCES

As nuclear capable threats to U.S. interests multiply and worsen, Chairman Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Ranking Member Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., emphasized modernizing our nuclear deterrent, and ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of our nuclear stockpile, delivery systems, and infrastructure, and strengthening nonproliferation programs. The subcommittee remained committed to the nuclear triad, and increased funding for missile defense programs to protect the U.S. homeland and allies. And as our adversaries increasingly weaponize space, the subcommittee pushed the Administration to develop a comprehensive strategy for space control and deterrence. 

Missile Defense

  • Authorizes $165.0 million for co-production with the Government of Israel of the David’s Sling Weapon System and the Arrow 3 Upper Tier Interceptor program, and requires bilateral coproduction agreements for these programs.
  • Authorizes not more than $41.4 million for the Government of Israel to procure the Iron Dome short range rocket defense system, subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement between the U.S. and Israel on Iron Dome system procurement signed on March 5, 2014.
  • Authorizes $268.8 million in RDT&E for U.S.-Israeli cooperative missile defense programs, including an increase of $166.0 million for continued development of the Arrow-3 upper tier interceptor missile and the David’s Sling short range ballistic missile defense system.
  • Authorizes $50.3 million in RDT&E for directed energy research, including a $20.0 million increase to develop a prototype fiber combining laser suitable for flight testing on an unmanned aerial vehicle as soon as possible. 
  • Authorizes $23.0 million in RDT&E for interceptor technology, including an increase of $10.0 million for development of the Divert Attitude Control Technology in support of the Multiple-Object Kill Vehicle program.
  • Authorizes $286.7 million in RDT&E for improved homeland defense interceptors, including a $20.0 million increase for development of the Redesigned Kill Vehicle.
  • Authorizes $66.8 million in RDT&E for Common Kill Vehicle technology, including an increase of $20.0 million for development of the Multiple-Object Kill Vehicle program. 
  • Requires the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to deploy by the end of 2020 a long-range discrimination radar or other appropriate tracking and discrimination sensor capabilities in a location optimized to support the defense of the homeland against emerging long-range ballistic missile threats from Iran.
  • Requires the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to ensure to the maximum extent practicable that all ground-based interceptors are armed with the Redesigned Kill Vehicle before September 30, 2022.
  • Requires the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to develop and flight test by 2020, and deploy when technically practicable, a multiple-object kill vehicle for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System. The bill requires that management of the program report directly to the Deputy Director of the Missile Defense Agency.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to prioritize technology investments to support efforts by the Missile Defense Agency to develop and field an airborne boost phase defense system by fiscal year 2025.
  • Requires the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to develop a plan for expediting the deployment time for the continental United States interceptor site by at least two years, in the event that the President decides to proceed with such deployment.
  • Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Secretary of Defense should ensure that arrangements are in place, including support from other members of NATO, to provide anti-air defense for NATO missile defense sites.
  • Extends the existing prohibition on sharing certain missile defense information with Russia through fiscal year 2017.

Strategic Forces

  • Authorizes $88.8 million in RDT&E for development of prompt global strike capability, including an increase of $10.0 million for conventional prompt global strike development and flight testing.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to make a Milestone A decision for the conventional prompt global strike weapon system no later than September 30, 2020 or eight months after the successful completion of Intermediate Range Flight 2 of that system, whichever is earlier.
  • Authorizes $13.7 million to be available for the procurement of certain off-the-shelf parts for intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  • Expresses the sense of the Congress that the nuclear triad plays a critical role in ensuring national security, and that it is the policy of the U.S. to operate, sustain, and modernize or replace the triad and to operate and modernize or replace a capability to forward-deploy nuclear weapons and dual-cable fighter-bomber aircraft.
  • Directs the Department of Defense Office of Net Assessment to conduct a net assessment of the global environment with respect to nuclear weapons and the role of U.S. nuclear forces, policy, and strategy in that environment, and provide a report to Congress no later than November 15, 2016.
  • Requires a GAO review of the process the Department of Defense is employing to address recommendations of the Nuclear Enterprise Review.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to make a Milestone A decision on the long-range standoff weapon no later than May 31, 2016.
  • Requires the Secretary of the Air Force to designate a single acquisition official of the Air Force to be responsible for ensuring the procurement and integration of the nuclear command, control, and communication systems of the Air Force.

Strategic Matters Related to Russia

  • Requires a plan from the Secretary of Defense concerning possible responses to the Russian violation of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, including counterforce capabilities, countervailing strike capabilities, and active defenses. 
  • Requires an assessment by combatant commanders potentially affected by a proposal of the Russian Federation to modify or introduce a new aircraft or sensor for flight under the Open Skies Treaty.

Space Programs

  • Limits the use of Russian rocket engines, allowing for as few as zero but as many as nine, depending on the outcome of Phase 1A competitions. The bill revalidates “Section 1608” restrictions from last year’s defense authorization and restates the Committee’s direction to end the use of Russian engines for national security space launches by 2019.
  • Requires a plan for the development and fielding of a full-up rocket engine by 2019.
  • Prohibits the Secretary of Defense from awarding a contract, renewing a contract, or maintaining a separate contract line item for the procurement of property or services for space launch capabilities under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program that is separate from a contract for the procurement of property or services for space launch services.
  • Realigns the existing cost share of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Launch Capabilities (ELC) between the Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
  • Authorizes $20.0 million in RDT&E for the Operationally Responsive Space program, including an increase of $13.5 million to match the previous year funding level.
  • Requires the President to establish an interagency process to develop a policy to deter adversaries in space.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to designate an individual to serve as the Principal Space Control Advisor, who shall act as the principal advisor to the Secretary on space control activities.
  • Prohibits the use of funds for the Defense Meteorological Satellite program or the launch of Defense Meteorological Satellite program satellite #20 (DMSP-20) until the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff provide a certification that non-material or lower cost solutions are insufficient.
  • Establishes a council to review and be responsible for the Department of Defense positioning, navigation, and timing enterprise, including positioning, navigation, and timing services provided to civil, commercial, scientific, and international users. 
  • Requires the Department of Defense Executive Agent for Space to submit a plan for consolidating the acquisition of commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM) services from across the Department of Defense into a program office in the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.
  • Requires an analysis of alternatives for the replacement of the Wideband Global Satellite System.

Department of Energy

  • Authorizes $19.0 billion for Department of Energy national security programs.
  • Funds the budget request of $8.8 billion for NNSA/Weapons Activities; $1.9 billion for Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation; $1.4 billion for Naval Reactors; $400.0 million for NNSA Administration; $5.5 billion for Defense Environmental Management; and $800.0 million for other defense activities. 
  • Provides increases over the budget request, including $20.0 million for responsive capabilities; $10.0 million for enhanced stockpile surveillance; $20.0 million to accelerate waste clean-up; $120.0 million for deferred maintenance; $30.0 million for infrastructure improvements, and $5.0 million to study alternatives in the plutonium disposition program.
  • Requires the Secretary of Energy, as part of the award fee for the operation of its defense nuclear facilities, to perform an assessment of the adequacy of its emergency preparedness, including the seniority level of Department of Energy Officials that participate in emergency preparedness exercises of the facilities.
  • Authorizes a “responsive capabilities program” to permit activities that will reduce the time and costs for future weapons designs if required. Includes a budget item to fund such activities in fiscal year 2016 at $20.0 million.
  • Requires a five-year plan for the defense nuclear nonproliferation activities of the National Nuclear Security Administration every other year.
  • Requires a plan for deactivation of excess facilities at the National Nuclear Security Administration.
  • Requires a 50 year plan on the Department of Energy’s stockpile of unencumbered uranium as well as its requirements for using it, and any additional plan for producing additional amounts and policies that could lower the cost of producing or obtaining additional amounts.

SUBCOMMITTEE ON EMERGING THREATS AND CAPABILITIES

Chair Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Ranking Member Bill Nelson, D-Fla., focused the subcommittee’s attention on countering the accumulating threats to U.S. military technological superiority, especially in cyberspace. The subcommittee pressed for an integrated policy to deter adversaries in cyberspace and options for military cyber operations in response to cyberattacks. The subcommittee directed comprehensive assessments of the cyber vulnerabilities of all major DOD weapons systems, and authorized $75.0 million for speedy procurement of critical cyber capabilities. The subcommittee fully supported our special operations forces, authorizing $10.6 billion for U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The subcommittee responded to growing crises in the Middle East and Europe with robust assistance for U.S. allies and partners, including $3.8 billion for Afghan security forces and $300.0 million for Ukraine to build combat capability to defend its sovereign territory. The subcommittee also provided support to Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon as they confront the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Additionally, the subcommittee emphasized border security and authorized up to $75.0 million for the Secretary of Defense to increase support to Customs and Border Protection along the southern border as well as authorized an additional $50.0 million to address Southern Command’s unfunded priorities.

Cyber Warfare, Cyber Security, and Related Matters

  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to develop, prepare, coordinate and, when authorized by the President, conduct a military cyber operation in response to malicious cyber activity carried out against the United States or a United States person by a foreign power.  
  • Includes a provision requiring the Secretary of Defense to conduct biennial exercises on responding to cyberattacks against critical infrastructure.
  • Limits $10.0 million in funds available to the Department of Defense to provide support services to the Executive Office of the President until the President submits the integrated policy to deter adversaries in cyberspace required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.
  • Authorizes $200.0 million for a directed evaluation by the Secretary of Defense of the cyber vulnerabilities of every major Department of Defense weapons system by not later than December 31, 2019.
  • Requires an independent panel and DOD war games to assess the ability of the National Mission Forces of the United States Cyber Command to reliably prevent or block large-scale attacks on the United States by foreign powers with capabilities comparable to those expected of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia in years 2020 and 2025.  
  • Establishes a $75.0 million cyber operations procurement fund for the Commander of United States Cyber Command to exercise limited acquisition authorities.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to designate Department of Defense entities to be responsible for the acquisition of critical cyber capabilities.

Research, Development, Test & Evaluation

  • Authorizes $400.0 million for a technology offsets initiative to build and maintain the military technological superiority of the United States by spurring research and innovation in six high-profile technology areas to counter advantages being gained by adversaries. This includes $200.0 million for directed energy.
  • Authorizes science and technology programs of the Department of Defense at $12.4 billion.
  • Increases funding by $140.0 million for basic research across all the services.
  • Cuts funding for various research and development programs by $120.0 million to eliminate inefficiencies, reduce redundancies, and terminate outdated efforts.
  • Authorizes a program to enhance the defense laboratories with innovative academic and industry partners in research and development activities to enable more effective transfers of lab-generated innovations to small business and other industry partners to promote their transition into military systems or commercial technologies.
  • Mandates the establishment of activities for major information technology acquisition programs to increase oversight and reduce technical risk and overall costs.
  • Reauthorizes the Rapid Innovation Program to accelerate the fielding and transitioning of innovative technologies.

Special Operations

  • Authorizes $10.6 billion in funding for U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
  • Increases funding by $15.0 million to help address technology gaps identified by SOCOM on its fleet of MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
  • Increases funding by $2.0 million to help addresses ISR sensor technology gaps identified by SOCOM on its fleet of tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
  • Extends for three years the authority of the Secretary of Defense to provide support to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Special Operations Headquarters.

Counternarcotics

  • Authorizes $946.0 million for Department of Defense counternarcotics programs
  • Authorizes up to $75.0 million for the Secretary of Defense to bolster security of the southern land border of the United States.  
  • Authorizes an increase of $50.0 million to address unfunded priorities identified by U.S. Southern Command, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance as well as maritime interdiction support operations in Central America.
  • Extends the Department of Defense’s (DOD) authority to provide support for counter-drug activities of certain foreign governments through fiscal year 2017, as well as added Kenya, Tanzania, and Somalia to the list of countries eligible to receive assistance under the authority.
  • Extends for two years the authority to provide assistance to support the unified counterdrug and counterterrorism campaign of the Government of Colombia.

Counterterroism, Assistance, and Training Programs and Related Matters

  • Authorizes $3.8 billion for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund to preserve the gains of the past decade and continue to degrade and defeat terrorist organizations with operational reach and intent to harm U.S. national security interests.
  • Authorizes $1.0 billion for the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund.
  • Authorizes $300.0 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to provide security assistance and intelligence support, including lethal military assistance, to military and other security forces of the Government of Ukraine.
  • Authorizes $600.0 million for the Syria Train & Equip Fund.
  • Prohibits Iraq Train and Equip Fund assistance from the fiscal year 2015 NDAA to the Government of Iraq until the Secretary of Defense certifies that appropriate steps have been taken by the Government of Iraq to safeguard against transferring to or acquisition by violent extremist organizations of such equipment or supplies.  The bill requires a report if the Secretary determines such a transfer or acquisition has occurred, which would describe the policies and procedures in place to preclude further transfers and improve accountability.   
  • Extends for one year the Global Train and Equip (“section 2282”) funding and limitations for the Department of Defense to build the capacity of foreign security forces.
  • Authorizes an Eastern European Training Initiative, to provide greater flexibility in the use of funds for multilateral and regional training to build the interoperability and capabilities of new NATO Members and appropriate Partnership for Peace countries to defend against external and hybrid warfare threats. 
  • Authorizes the provision of training and support to personnel of security-focused ministries of foreign partners.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of State, to provide military intelligence training to foreign military intelligence units to improve partner capacity.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense for three years to provide logistic support, supplies, and services to the national military forces of an allied country conducting counterterrorism operations in Africa.
  • Authorizes $445.0 million for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization. The bill authorizes the Secretary of Defense use up to $30.0 million of those funds to provide assistance to the security forces to decrease their vulnerability to improvised explosive devices.

Countering Russian Aggression

  • Adds an assessment of Russian force structure and capabilities in the Arctic, Kaliningrad, and Crimea to the annual report on Russian military and security developments, and requires an evaluation of Russia’s military strategy in the Arctic region.
  • Recommends the Secretary of Defense consult with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to counter Russian propaganda being used in Europe as a part of Russia’s “hybrid warfare” concept.

SUBCOMMITTEE ON READINESS AND MANAGEMENT SUPPORT

Under the leadership of Chair Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Ranking Member Tim Kaine, D-Va., the subcommittee enacted sweeping reforms to our broken defense acquisition system establishing alternative acquisition pathways while streamlining the existing acquisition system. The subcommittee’s acquisition provisions centered on establishing accountability, accessing new sources of innovation, removing unnecessary processes and requirements, and improving the acquisition workforce. The subcommittee stripped $1.7 billion in funding to shrink headquarters, management, and overhead for all services and most defense agencies. The subcommittee did not authorize a BRAC round.

Acquisition Reform

Establishing Effective Accountability for Results

  • Clarifies the statutory role of the Service chiefs as customers of the acquisition system, including considerations of trade-offs in budgets, requirements, and performance of weapon systems.
  • Decentralizes milestone decision authority to the military services and clarifies Office of the Secretary of Defense roles and responsibilities in managing acquisition programs that are joint, interagency, coalition, or have cost or schedule overruns.
  • Penalizes military services whose post-Weapons System Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (WSARA) programs are experiencing cost and schedule overruns and transfers funds to support prototyping projects.
  • Requires the service chief concerned to sign off on requirements changes for major defense acquisition programs.
  • Requires policy to limit conflicts of interest in the work of contractors, federal labs, federally-funded R&D Centers and other technical advisors to DOD.

Alternative Acquisition Pathways

  • Requires a review of alternative acquisition paths to acquire critical national security capabilities and development of a plan to use them.
  • Establishes a streamlined management process for rapid prototyping and fielding within 2-5 years.
  • Requires a review of requirements process and budgeting and acquisition systems with a focus on the needed timescales for the delivery of systems.
  • Expands rapid acquisition authority for contingency operations and for cybersecurity missions.
  • Expands the acquisition authority of the Commander of United States Cyber Command.
  • Allows the Secretary of Defense to waive acquisition laws to acquire vital national security capabilities in exceptional circumstances.

Improving Access to Non-Traditional and Commercial Contractors

  • Codifies a pilot streamlined process to enter into commercial-style contracts for research and prototypes.
  • Separates the process by which items are determined to be commercial from the process to determine the fair price of the items, in order to enable greater use of commercial items.
  • Allows all items produced by non-traditional defense contractors to be considered commercial for acquisition purposes.
  • Directs the Department of Defense to conduct more market research on commercially-available items. The bill recommends this research focus accelerating efforts to better inform decision makers and rapidly identify and capitalize on commercial technology innovations and practices relevant to military applications.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to create a list of laws and regulations that won’t apply to the procurement of commercial items.
  • Requires that items determined to be commercial once are continually considered commercial items by the Department of Defense, unless it is found that a mistaken determination was made.
  • Limits the Department of Defense’s ability to convert commercial style contracts to traditional federal contracts unless cost savings are achieved.
  • Directs a GAO study on barriers to innovation from non-traditional and commercial contractors.
  • Protects technical data of commercial contractors for intellectual property developed at their own expense.
  • Expands the applicability of the pilot program on the acquisition of military purpose non-developmental items to additional classes of contractors.
  • Limits the use of reverse auctions and “lowest priced/technically acceptable” contracting methods ­for systems that protect soldiers in combat.
  • Extends the Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé pilot program.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to report on the failure of contractors to meet goals under negotiated comprehensive small business subcontracting plans.
  • Expands competition for religious services contracts to include non-profits.

Deregulating and Streamlining to Reduce Costs and Gain Efficiencies

  • Establishes a preference for fixed-price contracts and incentive fee contracts in determining contract type for development programs.
  • Establishes a single comprehensive document to manage major defense acquisition programs.
  • Establishes a preference for competitive prototyping and policies to reduce technical risk in major defense acquisition programs.
  • Revises Milestone A decision authority responsibilities for major defense acquisition programs by streamlining the process for a program to go from program start to the technology maturation and risk reduction phase, while preserving WSARA-imposed acquisition disciplines.
  • Revises of Milestone B decision authority responsibilities for major defense acquisition programs by streamlining the process for a program to go into engineering and manufacturing design phase, while preserving WSARA-imposed acquisition disciplines.
  • Repeals the requirement for stand-alone manpower estimates for major defense acquisition programs.
  • Streamlines reporting of technical risks in acquisition programs.
  • Streamlines requirements related to the acquisition of defense business systems. The bill clarifies the lines of responsibility and oversight roles for these types of programs. It also mandates that the Department of Defense establish guidance for these types of programs, in order to improve their cost and schedule outcomes through the emphasis of robust business process re-engineering and requirements refinement prior to expensive customization of commercial software.
  • Establishes an Advisory Panel of acquisition experts to review make recommendations for streamlining acquisition regulations.
  • Establishes a pilot program to reduce the number of contractor audits for small contracts.
  • Directs a review of industry compliance costs with acquisition regulations.
  • Directs a GAO report examining costs and schedule delays resulting from bid protests by industry.
  • Limits the Department of Defense’s role in negotiating offset agreements between industry and foreign partners.
  • Requires that any major automated information system program failure to achieve a full deployment decision within five years would trigger a written determination from the Department of Defense that a longer period of time is needed for the effort.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to prioritize internal audit requirements before supporting other agency audit requirements.
  • Extends acquisition authority along the major route of supply to Afghanistan to allow the Department of Defense to use locally produced goods and services more flexibly.

Reinvigorating the Acquisition Workforce

  • Extends the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund for five additional years, and modifies the requirements of the biennial strategic workforce plan to assess any new or expanded critical skills or competencies needed by the acquisition workforce.
  • Clarifies the authority of program managers over programs during engineering and manufacturing development phase, and requires program managers to stay with programs through the delivery of production units.
  • Clarifies the authority of program managers over programs during technology maturation and risk reduction phase, and requires their tenure last through the end of the phase.
  • Authorizes a limited pilot program to provide higher compensation levels to hire individuals with unique technical skills to support acquisition program management.
  • Authorizes limited accelerated hiring for STEM professionals to work on acquisition programs.
  • Authorizes limited accelerated hiring for STEM-qualified veterans to work on acquisition programs.
  • Establishes an Acquisition and Financial Management Exchange Program for acquisition and financial management personnel in the Department of Defense and industry.
  • Increases the attractiveness of acquisition functions to skilled military personnel through credits for acquisition related assignments, creation of an enhanced dual track career path to include acquisition, and increased business and commercial training opportunities.

Military Construction

  • Makes clear nothing in the bill shall be construed to authorize a future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.
  • Authorizes $8.4 billion for military construction, housing programs, and energy conservation.
  • Adds $400.3 million to address the top unfunded military construction requirements of the active, guard, and reserve components.
  • Saves $222.0 million due to prior year unobligated funds.
  • Cuts $179.2 million by eliminating and/or deferring lower priority projects and cutting waste.

Operation and Maintenance

  • Cuts $1.7 billion for excess projections in fuel costs based on GAO analysis.
  • Cuts $550.9 million in Operation and Maintenance across all services for excess projections in foreign currency fluctuations based on GAO analysis.
  • Cuts $1.7 billion in Operation and Maintenance funding for reductions in headquarters, management, and overhead for all services and most defense agencies.
  • Cuts $78.0 million in O&M, Air Force for the training funds to transition from A-10 to F-15E.
  • Cuts $95.4 million from Army and Air Force Integrated Pay and Personnel Systems.
  • Cuts $11.5 million in Army National Guard advertising.
  • Cuts $10.5 million to defense-wide Operation and Maintenance for the planning of a future BRAC round.
  • Cuts $250K from the Army National Guard Operation and Maintenance for the commissioning of additional portraits. 
  • Adds $280.0 million increase in Air Force (O&M) for A-10 buyback.
  • Adds $38.5 million increase in Air Force ammunition procurements for A-10 munitions.
  • Adds $243.2 million in Army O&M (Active, National Guard, and Reserve) for depot maintenance, specialized skills training, operations support, and aviation assets.
  • Adds $54.0 million in Navy O&M for depot maintenance, flight operations, and aviation logistics.
  • Adds $37.7 million in Air Force O&M for air operations training.
  • Adds $27.3 million in Air Force O&M for EC-130H buyback.
  • Adds $20.7 million in Army and Air National Guard O&M for Operation Phalanx to increase support for securing the southwest border.
  • Gives preference in the adoption of retired military working dogs to their former handlers.
  • Fences funding for sponsorships, advertising, or marketing associated with sports-related organizations or sporting events until the Department of Defense ensures that such activities contribute to recruiting goals.
  • Provides an exception to the Endangered Species Act for sea otters that live on or around San Clemente and San Nicholas Islands in southern California where the Navy does training and testing.

SUBCOMMITTEE ON PERSONNEL

Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Ranking Member Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., focused the subcommittee’s attention on sustaining the quality of life of servicemembers and their families while creating greater value and choice in their compensation and benefits. The subcommittee made fundamental reforms to the military retirement system, making retirement benefits available to the vast majority of servicemembers rather than a select few, while grandfathering the current force under the current system. The subcommittee emphasized improving access to care, delivering better health outcomes, enhancing the experience of care for beneficiaries, and controlling health care costs while it continues consideration of proposals to modernize and reform TRICARE. As civilian personnel reductions are conducted amid budget constraints, the subcommittee sought to retain the best talent by authorizing the Secretary of Defense to implement reductions based primarily on performance. The subcommittee also continued to enhance military sexual assault prevention and response measures.

Funding

  • Authorizes $135.4 billion for military personnel, including costs of pay, allowances, bonuses, death benefits, and permanent change of station moves.
  • Authorizes $32.2 billion for the Defense Health Program.
  • Authorizes $64.3 million for operation of the Armed Forces Retirement Home.
  • Authorizes transfer of $120.4 million from the Defense Health Program to the Joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Demonstration Fund for the operations of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center.
  • Authorizes $21.7 million in increased personnel support for the National Guard’s Operation Phalanx mission in support of securing the southwestern border.
  • Authorizes $15.0 million in increased funding to improve access to care, quality of care, health outcomes, and the experience of care for military beneficiaries under the TRICARE program.
  • Authorizes $85.0 million for the enhanced financial literacy training recommended by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.

End Strength

  • Authorizes fiscal year 2016 active-duty end strengths for the Army of 475,000; the Navy, 329,200; the Marine Corps, 184,000; and the Air Force, 317,000. 
  • Authorizes reserve component end strengths consistent with the budget request.
  • Provides the Secretary of Defense authority to vary military personnel end strengths below those authorized by the NDAA.
  • Requires the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to take into account the actual number of members of the Army National Guard of the United States serving in each State as of September 30 each year when allocating full-time operational support duty personnel in the Army National Guard of the United States.
  • Authorizes the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to increase the fiscal year 2016 end strength of the Army National Guard by up to 3,000; Active Guard and Reserves of the Army National Guard by 615; and military technicians (dual status) of the Army National Guard by 1,111 if such increase is paid for entirely out of funds appropriated for fiscal year 2016 for Operation and Maintenance, Army National Guard.

Modernizing and Improving Military Retirement

  • Continues the defined benefit for those who complete at least 20 years of service at a multiplier rate of 2.0 times years of service.
  • Authorizes government-matching Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions for members of the uniformed services that will vest at the beginning of 3 years of service (2 years, 1 day) at a government matching rate of up to 5 percent.
  • Authorizes the Secretary concerned to allow the voluntary election of lump sum payments of retired pay for those serving 20 or more years of service. Members who elect to take the lump sum may choose to take 100 percent or 50 percent of the discounted present value of their defined retirement benefit that would be due to them prior to becoming eligible for Social Security.
  • Directs the Secretary concerned to provide continuation pay to servicemembers, serving under the new military retirement system, who reach 12 years of service contingent upon such members agreeing to serve another 4 years of service. A member receiving continuation pay may elect to take the continuation pay in a lump sum or in installments of not more than four payments. A member who receives continuation pay and fails to complete the obligated service requirement shall be subject to repayment.
  • Authorizes the flexibility for the Secretary of Defense to modify the years of service required for non-disability retirement under the new military retirement system for particular occupational specialties or other groupings in order to facilitate force shaping or to correct manpower shortages within an occupational specialty.
  • Modifies the Department of Defense Military Retirement Fund to be treated as a qualified trust under title 26 United States Code, Section 401(a).

Military Pay and Benefits

  • Authorizes a 1.3 percent across-the-board pay raise for members of the uniformed services in the grade of O-6 and below.
  • Reauthorizes over 30 types of bonuses and special pays aimed at encouraging enlistment, reenlistment, and continued service by active-duty and reserve component military personnel.
  • Increases the maximum annual amount of nuclear officer bonus pay to $50,000.
  • Revises the method by which the monthly amount of the basic allowance for housing is determined by authorizing the Secretary of Defense to reduce the monthly amount by up to 5 percent of the national average for housing for a given pay grade and dependency status.
  • Extends for 1 year authority to temporarily increase the rate of basic allowance for housing in areas impacted by natural disasters or experiencing a sudden influx of personnel.
  • Repeals the inapplicability of the modification of basic allowance for housing to benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
  • Sunsets the Department’s Supplemental Subsistence Allowance for servicemembers within the United States as recommended by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. This program is duplicative with the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides a more effective benefit for servicemembers.
  • Enhances the ability of the Department of Defense to receive information from the Secretary of Agriculture for the purposes of determining the number of SNAP applicant households that contain one or more members of the Armed Forces.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report, by not later than March 31, 2016, listing all DOD child development centers experiencing wait-times greater than 3 months.
  • Modifies the Survivor Benefit Plan to allow for the election of a new spouse beneficiary after the death of a former spouse beneficiary.
  • Require Secretary of Defense to issue an identification card that identifies individuals as veterans,
  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Army to enter into cooperative agreements to support the United States Military Academy athletic programs.

Military Personnel Policy

  • Authorizes $25.0 million in supplemental impact aid to local educational agencies with military dependent children and $5.0 million in impact aid for schools with military dependent children with severe disabilities.
  • Increases from 90 to 180 the number of days of active duty required to be performed by reserve component members for duty to be considered Federal Service for purposes of unemployment compensation for ex-servicemembers.
  • Terminates the program of educational assistance for reserve component members supporting contingency operations and other operations as recommended by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. This program is duplicative with the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides a more robust benefit for servicemembers.
  • Terminates the entitlement to unemployment insurance for those receiving Post-9/11 educational assistance as recommended by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.
  • Requires pre-separation counseling for all active-duty servicemembers and reserve component servicemembers called or ordered to active duty or full-time operational support after completion of 180 continuous days of service.
  • Eliminates the age barrier to allow military chaplains selected to serve as the service Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs of Chaplains to serve until age 68.
  • Standardizes the grades of certain senior officers serving in key staff positions within the Armed Forces.
  • Eliminates contradictory provisions related to citizenship qualifications for the Reserve Components to make them the same as the citizenship qualifications in the Active Component.
  • Includes a Sense of the Senate on the development of gender-neutral occupational standards for occupational assignments in the Armed Forces.
  • Requires an assessment by the Comptroller General of the United States on the Department of Defense’s personnel strategies for unmanned aerial systems.
  • Requires the Secretary of the Air Force to submit a report on remotely piloted aircraft career field planning policies and actions to address personnel shortfalls in order to receive full O&M funding.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to report on the feasibility of conducting a pilot program to evaluate whether persons with certain disabilities could be appointed, enlisted or inducted in the military. 
  • Authorizes officer promotion boards to recommend officers of particular merit to be placed at the top of the promotion list.
  • Directs the Comptroller General of the United States to review Department of Defense credentialing and licensing programs.
  • Affords priority in the processing of applications for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) submitted by servicemembers who are undergoing separation, discharge or release from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions.
  • Restates the Committee’s support for religious freedom in the Armed Forces and the vital role of military chaplains.
  • Requires a report on the progress of the Military Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records to implement Secretary of Defense guidelines for improved processing and review of discharge upgrade requests by veterans claiming Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response

  • Enhances confidential reporting options for victims of sexual assault by exempting sexual assault response personnel from mandatory reporting requirements under state law.
  • Expands authority of Special Victims’ Counsel to provide services to victims of sexual assault.
  • Directs the modification of Rules for Courts-Martial to protect Special Victims’ Counsel from adverse evaluations or fitness reports based solely on their zealous advocacy for sexual assault victims.
  • Recommends commanders should not prosecute for certain acts of collateral misconduct that are only discovered as the result of a victim making a report of sexual misconduct.
  • Authorizes a pilot program on treatment of members of the Armed Forces for post-traumatic stress disorder related to military sexual trauma.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to assess the feasibility of providing Special Victims' Counsel to civilian survivors of sexual assaults by a servicemember who are not otherwise eligible for legal assistance services from the military.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to examine the various reporting methods being used by the military services to make public the results of general and special courts-martial and to prescribe a consistent and regular method by all the services.
  • Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to evaluate the extent to which the Army National Guard and Army Reserve have in place policies and programs to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual assault involving members of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve.
  • Enhances the rights of victims of offenses to obtain timely disclosure of certain materials and information in connection with the prosecution of offenses.
  • Modifies the Military Rules of Evidence to conform military rules for corroboration of a confession or admission of an accused with federal civilian criminal practice.
  • Accelerates the date for the Secretary of Defense to establish the Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces.
  • Requires the services to report on the use of Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview techniques.

Health Policy

  • Does not include the Department of Defense’s proposals to establish enrollment fees for TRICARE for Life beneficiaries or consolidate the TRICARE program. The bill includes provisions that would ensure the Department of Defense improves access to care, delivers better health outcomes, enhances the experience of care for beneficiaries, and controls health care costs.  These provisions help lay the foundation for comprehensive TRICARE modernization and reform legislation in the near future. 
  • Requires establishment of access standards and wait-time goals for primary and specialty care in military medical treatment facilities, and requires the Department to publish access standards on a Department web site and appointment wait-times on web sites of each military medical treatment facility.
  • Requires the Department to publish data on patient safety, quality of care, satisfaction, and health outcome measures under the TRICARE program on its primary Internet web site and on the primary Internet web site of each military medical treatment facility.
  • Authorizes a covered TRICARE beneficiary up to four urgent care visits per year without the need to obtain pre-authorization for those visits.
  • Modifies cost-shares for the TRICARE pharmacy benefits program.
  • Expands continued health benefits coverage to include discharged and released Selected Reserve members.
  • Requires the Department to submit an annual report on patient safety, quality of care, and access to care at military medical treatment facilities.
  • Requires publication of certain health care information provided by the Department of Defense through the Hospital Compare web site of the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Extends authorities for the joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Demonstration Fund and the DOD-VA Health Care Sharing Incentive Fund.
  • Requires the Department to ensure that primary care and mental health care providers receive evidence-based training on recognition, assessment, and management of individuals at risk for suicide.
  • Requires the Department to develop a system whereby community-based mental health care providers could receive a special mental health readiness provider designation if they meet eligibility criteria relating to understanding of military culture and knowledge of evidence-based mental health treatments.
  • Encourages the Department of Defense to study how emerging molecular diagnostic technologies may improve the health and quality of life of military beneficiaries and lower health care costs for the Department.
  • Encourages the Department of Defense to make the TRICARE Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration a permanent program.
  • Encourages the Department of Defense to modernize its prosthetic socket manufacturing framework to improve the quality of care for military amputees.
  • Directs the Department of Defense to review its newborn infant screening program to ensure military families have access to specialized follow-up treatment and management of newborn infants with rare genetic conditions.
  • Waives recoupment of erroneous payments due to administrative error under the TRICARE program.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to ensure that beneficiaries who are covered under a TRICARE health plan can seamlessly access health care under that health plan in each TRICARE program region.
  • Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report on the Department of Defense's use of quality of care metrics in military treatment facilities.
  • Encourages the Department of Defense to incorporate intensive behavioral counseling in treatment protocols for overweight or obese adults with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Recommends that the Department of Defense establish a policy to require face-to-face counseling prior to discharge for all servicemembers with prescribed opioids.
  • Expresses a commitment to continue support and funding for diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury to include potential alternative, evidence-based methods of treatments.
  • Encourages the Department of Defense to maintain its engagement in large-scale studies of mild traumatic brain injury to build a deeper understanding of concussion injuries; how they impact the brain; how and to what extent the brain recovers; and how treatment and prevention can be improved.
  • Encourages the Department of Defense to consider cost-effective methods of training physician assistants to specialize in psychiatric care.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to provide, through clinical practice guidelines, current and evidence-based standards of care regarding contraception methods and counseling to all health care providers employed by the Department; requires the Secretary of Defense to establish a uniform, standard curriculum to be used in family planning education programs for all members of the Armed Forces. 
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives on mental health screenings of individuals before enlistment or accession into the Armed Forces.
  • Expands reimbursement for smoking cessation services for certain TRICARE beneficiaries.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report providing the Department’s plan to improve pediatric care and related services for children of members of the Armed Forces.

Civilian Personnel Policy

  • Provides the Secretary of Defense with the authority to establish procedures to provide that, in implementing any reduction in force for civilian positions in the Department of Defense in the competitive service or the excepted service, the determination of which employees shall be separated from employment shall be made primarily on the basis of performance.
  • Requires a report on the comparison of cost of performance of functions by Department of Defense civilian personnel with cost of performance of functions by Department contractors.
  • Extends the probationary period for new Department of Defense employees to two years.
  • Provides the Secretary of Defense with the authority to encourage employee performance by requiring satisfactory performance for purposes of completion of service required for periodic step increases.
  • Extends for five years the authority for expedited hiring for designated defense acquisition workforce positions.
  • Expands the temporary authority to make direct appointments of candidates possessing bachelor’s degrees to scientific and engineering positions at science and technology reinvention laboratories.
  • Authorizes a pilot program to hire veteran technical experts into the defense acquisition workforce.
  • Authorizes direct hire authority for technical experts into the defense acquisition workforce.
  • Creates the authority for the Secretary of Defense to establish and enhance positions for civilian personnel to carry out the responsibilities of the United States Cyber Command. 
  • Expands the temporary authority to make direct appointments of candidates possessing bachelor’s degrees to scientific and engineering positions at DOD laboratories.
  • Authorizes a pilot program to hire veteran technical experts into the defense acquisition workforce.
  • Authorizes a pilot program to allow the DOD labs to dynamically reshape their workforces to meet changing technical missions, including through the use of flexible length, renewable term appointments.
  • Authorizes direct hire authority for technical experts into the defense acquisition workforce.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

  • Repeals requirements for all recurring reports due to Congress two years after enactment.
  • Repeals requirements for 24 specified reports.

Defense Management

  • Cuts 7.5 percent of funding and personnel (military, civilian, and contractor) in administration each year for four years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the secretariats and military staffs of the military departments, the staffs of the Defense Agencies, the staffs of the Joint Staff, the staffs of the combatant commands (excluding SOCOM), and the staffs of their subordinate service component commands.
  • Requires a comprehensive review of the management, headquarters, and organization of the Department of Defense for purposes of consolidating and streamlining headquarters functions.
  • Requires the Department of Defense Inspector General to perform financial statement audits by contracting with independent external auditors.

Personnel

  • Treats domestic and overseas transportation costs of commissary goods and supplies the same by spreading the costs evenly across the commissary system worldwide. The bill also authorizes use of commissary surcharge funds to purchase operating supplies.
  • Requires a report on a plan to privatize the Defense Commissary System, in whole or in part, and directs a GAO assessment of potential costs and benefits from privatization. The bill also requires a pilot program on privatization of commissaries.
  • Converts 20 percent of general administration, clerical, and office service occupation positions from military technician (dual status) positions to positions filled by title 5 employees by 2017. The bill authorizes a phased-in attrition of non-dual status technicians to be replaced by title 5 employees beginning in 2017. It also requires a report by the Secretary of Defense on how to execute this plan.

Asia-Pacific

  • Requires a comprehensive operational assessment of a potential future role for U.S. ground forces in the island chains of the western Pacific in creating anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities in cooperation with host nations to deter and defeat aggression in the region.
  • Authorizes up to $50.0 million to provide equipment, supplies, and training to South East Asian nations to build maritime domain awareness capabilities to address growing maritime sovereignty challenges in the South China Sea.
  • Urges the Department of Defense to consider all available opportunities to continue to expand the depth and breadth of the U.S.-Indonesia defense relationship.

Europe

  • Authorizes the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to provide security assistance and intelligence support, including lethal military assistance, to military and other security forces of the Government of Ukraine.
  • Requires an assessment of options for expanding the presence of U.S. ground forces of the size of a brigade combat team in Eastern Europe to respond to the security challenges posed by Russia.
  • Directs a report on recommendations for improving NATO’s response options, decision-making processes, and implementation timelines for addressing the use of unconventional or hybrid warfare tactics such as those used by Russia.
  • Requires an independent assessment on the feasibility and advisability of using alternative industrial base capabilities to procure and sustain nonstandard rotary wing aircraft historically acquired through the Russian state corporation Rosoboronexport.

Afghanistan

  • Expresses the sense of the Senate that the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan should be based on security conditions in Afghanistan and U.S. security interests in the region, and that an appropriate U.S. and international presence should continue to provide adequate capability and capacity to continue counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan against terrorist organizations that threaten U.S. interests or the homeland.
  • Increases the total number of visas for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program by 3,000. 

Middle East

  • Expresses the sense of the Senate that the United States should promptly consider the sale of fighter aircraft to the Government of Qatar.
  • Authorizes $1.2 billion for Coalition Support Funds (CSF). The bill limits the amount of CSF funds that could be provided to Pakistan to $900.0 million, and authorizes the use of up to $100.0 million of those funds for regional stability activities between Pakistan and Afghanistan. 
  • Authorizes $80.0 million for the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq (OSC-I).
  • Authorizes $125.0 million per year to reimburse Lebanon and Jordan for operations that help secure their borders against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Guantanamo Bay

  • Extends prohibitions on the modification or construction of any facility in the United States, its territories, or possessions to house any detainee transferred from Guantanamo Bay for the purposes of detention or imprisonment in the custody or under the effective control of the DOD, until the Secretary of Defense submits a plan for the disposition of all detainees, and such plan is approved by Congress.
  • Extends prohibitions on the transfer or release of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to or within the United States, its territories, or possessions, with the limited exception of medical transfers, until the Secretary of Defense submits a plan for the disposition of all detainees, and such plan is approved by Congress.
  • Allows the temporary transfer of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to a Department of Defense medical facility in the United States for the sole purpose of providing the individual medical treatment under strictly limited circumstances.
  • Prohibits the transfer or release any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay to the individual’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity unless the Secretary of Defense provides a written certification to Congress addressing several requirements at least 30 days prior to the transfer of any such individual. 
  • Prohibits the transfer of any individual detained at Guantanamo Bay to the custody or effective control of the individual’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity if there is a confirmed case of any individual transferred from Guantanamo Bay to the same country or entity who engaged in terrorist activity subsequent to their transfer.  The bill grants the Secretary of Defense a waiver if the Secretary determines that alternative actions will be taken that actions taken will substantially mitigate risks posed by the individual to be transferred, and that the transfer is in the national security interests of the United States.
  • Requires a plan from the Secretary of Defense that details a case-by-case determination on the disposition of each detainee at Guantanamo Bay, which would include a discussion of the legal challenges of bringing detainees to the United States and any additional authorities that might be needed. The bill also includes language limiting the rights and claims that could be asserted by detainees if transferred to the United States under such a plan. The plan would have to address how the Department will ensure continued detention and intelligence collection from future combatants captured under the laws of war. Once submitted, Congress would have to vote to approve the plan before it could be implemented. If approved, the prohibitions on domestic transfers would be lifted, and the heightened certification standard for foreign transfers would return to the notification standard in current law. If Congress does not approve the plan, nothing would change: the ban on domestic transfers would remain and the certification standards for foreign transfers included in the bill would remain.

Press Contact

Dustin Walker (McCain) - (202) 224-2575

Chip Unruh (Reed) - (202 224-3326