House Appropriators are Good to the Guard
The House Appropriations Committee on Defense released the report to accompany their draft FY13 funding bill today.
The bill is very positive for the National Guard.
For the Air National Guard, the bill would prohibit the retirement or transfer of all aircraft including C-27J aircraft. The bill would fully fund the Air National Guard Personnel and Operations and Maintenance accounts to maintain these aircraft and an end strength of 106,700. The report language expresses the Committee's opinion that the Air Force refrain from retiring any aircraft in 2012 or 2013.
The Report expresses the Committee's opinion that the Air Force procure the additional 17 C-27J aircraft to bring the total number of aircraft to 38.
For the Army National Guard, the bill would provide an additional $100M for HMMWV upgrades, as well as funding for an additional ten UH-60M aircraft for the Army National Guard and additional funding for UH-60A to UH-60L upgrades of Army National Guard. The bill would also provide funding for three additional UH-72 aircraft for the Army National Guard.
Further the bill would prohibit the retirement of C-23 aircraft and provides funding to support those aircraft.
The bill would also provide an additional $130M for the National Guard Counter Drug Program.
The Report expresses the Committee's support and full funding for the State Partnership Program. The report also expresses the Committee's concern regarding the plan to disestablish two WMD CSTs. The report encourages the Department to continue to fund 57 WMD CSTs.
Finally, the bill would provide $650M each in NGREA funding for the Army and Air National Guard.
The full Appropriations panel will mark-up the bill tomorrow and is expected to approve it. The bill will then move to the House floor in the next couple of weeks.