The House Armed Services Committee’s version of the defense authorization bill, which takes $18 billion from the overseas contingency operations fund and uses it for base budget expenses, is “deeply troubling and flawed for several reasons,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on Wednesday. The approach proposed by HASC Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) “is gambling with war fighting money at a time of war,” Carter said, because it does not fund OCO for the entire fiscal year. “It buys force structure without the money to sustain it and keep it ready, effectively creating [a] hollow force structure,” and it doesn’t address the looming threat of sequestration, Carter added. “It is a step in the direction of unraveling the bipartisan budget act … and it is another road to nowhere with uncertain chances of ever becoming law,” he said.
Robins Air Force Base, Ga., has completed two environmental reviews, clearing the way for new construction to support the bases four new missions sets, which will replace the E-8 Joint STARS mission that has defined the base for decades.