Is the USAF attempting to compromise NDAA language?
The House and Senate are now in the final stages to pass a National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 (NDAA).
The Senate has approved their version of the NDAA which included provisions to establish a National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, a Transition Assistance Advisor Program, and space available travel for members of the reserve component and their dependents.In May, the House passed their NDAA which included a limitation on the retirement of C-23 aircraft and automatic federal recognition on promotion of certain National Guard Warrant officers.
Since passage of the Senate NDAA, NGAUS has been actively working with Congress to ensure that these important provisions are included in the final NDAA.
When the House and Senate NDAA are reconciled, the negotiations process is done behind closed doors with a handful of congressional members and the professional staff of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
NGAUS has been actively fighting against any push from the Air Force to impose a “compromise” in the final NDAA to prevent the current freeze on the Air National Guard that has been accepted by both the House and Senate.
Thus far, some 86 members of Congress have signed onto a bipartisan, bicameral letter to reinforce support for the ANG freeze and the National Commission.
It is important to note, that the Air Force in November went to the Hill to “brief” congressional staff on yet another force structure “compromise.” However, there has been no compromise.
The most recent AF proposal has not been endorsed by the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and does not have the support of the governors or the adjutants general.
Because of this, it is even more important to ensure that Commission language is included in the final bill along with the freeze. This misinformation by the AF has led to what appears to be “compromise” language possibly being included in the final NDAA.
If so, this would ultimately pick winners and losers rather than work towards a comprehensive solution not to mention that it would circumvent the legislative process.
NGAUS will continue to fight against any moves to compromise on the cuts to the Air National Guard and work to include a national commission in order to ensure all impacted parties are brought to the table in the future.