Three HASC Panels Approve NDAA Markups

Three House Armed Services Committee panels approved their markups of the Fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill Wednesday. The early drafts of the NDAA show lawmakers intend to meet the Pentagon’s calls for increased capability. The tactical air and land forces subcommittee and military personnel subcommittee approved their marks without amendments. If approved, the military personnel panel’s markup would allow the Air Force to increase its Active Duty ranks to 321,000 airmen—4,000 more than asked for. The Fiscal 2017 budget request called for funding to increase endstrength from the current 311,000 airmen to 317,000, but Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has said that might not be enough. The tactical air and land forces’ draft directs the Air Force Secretary to assess the costs of resuming F-22 production and accelerating the T-X program. The markup also encourages the Secretary to accelerate the next generation JSTARS program. The seapower and projection forces panel approved its markup with two amendments related to Navy and Coast Guard programs. The full committee markup is scheduled for April 27.