Lawmakers Want Report on Guard’s Aviation Role

House defense appropriators want a report from the Defense Department on its future plans for National Guard aviation. They’re concerned that DOD “has failed to adequately consider” the Guard’s role in its long-term fixed- and rotary-wing aviation plans, reads the report accompanying the House Appropriations Committee’s version of the Fiscal 2012 defense spending bill. Issues such as F-35 delays, the truncated C–27J buy, and BRAC actions render uncertain the future of various Guard aviation units, they asserted. As a result, they want the report to discuss: the present laydown of Guard aviation assets and units; projected retirement or divestiture dates for Guard-assigned aircraft; projected delivery and initial operational capability dates for new Guard aircraft; and unique or preponderant aviation skill sets and mission capabilities within the Guard. The report is due within 180 days of the Fiscal 2012 defense spending bill becoming law. (HAC report; caution, large file.)