President Biden released the FY22 President’s Budget on May 28th, 2021. The request included $776.3 million for 24 UH-60M Black Hawks designated for the ARNG, $981.3 million for modernization of 70 ARNG M1 Abrams, a decrease of one combat coded squadron for the ANG, and no new procurement of ANG aircraft. The request also included $257.1 million for ARNG and $197.7 million for ANG MILCON spending.
The budget request also signals a major change in funding missions abroad as it discontinues the request for Overseas Contingency Operations as a separate funding category. Instead, the request includes two new funding categories into the base budget of the Department of Defense that comprise traditional OCO funding streams. Those new funding categories are Direct War Requirements and Enduring Requirements, with the former comprising of combat/combat support costs that discontinue once combat operations end, and the latter which comprise of in-theater and CONUS costs that remain after combat operations end.
The House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee marked up its FY22 Department of Defense appropriations on June 30. This legislation contains multiple provisions beneficial for the National Guard including: $285.0M NGREA funding for both the ARNG and ANG, $194.2 million for the National Guard Counter-drug program, $5.6 million for National Guard Counter-drug Schools. Provisions affecting the Army National Guard include: $841.7 million for 33 UH-60M helicopters for the ARNG, $960.3 million for the Abrams Upgrade Program to modernize 70 M1 Abrams tanks for the ARNG, and $100.0M for ARNG HMMWV Modernization Program. Provisions affecting the Air National Guard include: $274.0 million for C-130H modifications for the ANG and $95.9 million for F-16 AESA RADAR modifications for the ANG. The full committee completed its mark up on July 13. The next step, the full house considers the legislation.
Representatives Kim (NJ-03) and Kelly (MS-01) released H.R.3512, the Healthcare for our Troops Act. This bill provides zero-cost TRICARE Reserve Select and dental coverage for all members of the Reserve Component and authorizes TRS eligibility for servicemembers who are federal employees in their civilian capacity. NGAUS Legislative Staff has continued to garner support for H.R.3512 in both the House and the Senate. There is still no Senate companion bill.
Senators Peters (D-MI), Lankford (R-OK), Tester (D-MT) and Moran (R-KS) released S.1291 Record of Military Service for Members of the Armed Service Act of 2021 to provide a definitive record of military service (DD-214) for all members of the reserve components. This bill would replace NGB Form 22 and would make it easier for Guardsmen to obtain benefits. NGAUS Legislative Staff remains committed to increasing support of this bill in the Senate and gathering support for a companion bill in the House.
Additional legislation NGAUS remains active in shepherding through Congress include: S.1178/H.R.1854 – RECRUIT Act which authorizes small business an additional tax credit for employing members of the Guard and Reserve and S.1859/H.R.3626 – provides incentive and bonus pay parity for the Guard and Reserve.
NGAUS Legislative Staff continues to engage Congress to ensure that the National Guard remains concurrently and proportionally equipped and modernized equal to the Active Component, as well as socializing Space National Guard as the reserve component of Space Force.