Amending the Mark

The House Armed Services Committee considered a host of amendments during its mark-up of the Fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill Wednesday, including some addressing Air Force capabilities and the need to balance readiness. Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) offered an amendment that requires USAF to submit a report to Congress detailing the “aggregate requirement” across the Defense Department for ground moving target indicator radar capabilities. The report would outline sorties and sensor effectiveness, including the E-8 JSTARS and eventually the Block 40 Global Hawk with special radar. Scott notes USAF is planning to modernize the E-8 JSTARS fleet, but will first reduce it by nearly a third and use more Global Hawks to meet DOD demands. USAF must report to the Hill by February 2015, and detail how its current GMTI modernization plans compare to DOD requirements. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) inserted an amendment asking the Government Accountability Office to conduct a review of DOD’s Arctic defense capabilities, and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) offered an amendment requiring DOD to report to Congress on “immediate and long-term” readiness and cost impacts for the reduction in readiness funds in the House NDAA, to include training, deferrals of repairs, facility sustainment, and other operations and maintenance costs.