Friday, July 21, 2006

National Guard NGAUS Legislative Update - July 21, 2006

Senate Appropriations Action

This week the Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) marked its version of the FY07 Defense Appropriations Act. The $414.5 billion dollar measure would provide funding for the Department of Defense, the military services and military personnel with benefits and equipment to support worldwide operations. Highlights of the bill include:

-Funding for a 2.2 percent across-the-board pay raise for military personnel (met the President's budget request);

-Pay and allowances for mobilized Reserve and Guard Soldiers to provide military operations support to GWOT;

-Additional Combat Benefits for death and traumatic injury;

-Required Pre- and Post-Mobilization Training for Reserve and Guard units and personnel;

-Funding to support an Army National Guard end strength of 350,000 Soldiers;

-$50 billion in “bridge” funding to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;

-Deferring funding for the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA), citing that it was “…premature to procure these aircraft until a further analysis of the joint intra-theater mission requirement is completed…..;”

-$10.M for targeting pods for Air Guard;

-$4.0 for Army Guard Lightweight Tactical Utility Vehicles;

-Continued funding for the procurement of C-17 aircraft; and

-$10.0M for Army Guard Improved Chemical Agent Monitor.

NGAUS will continue to update as more information becomes available.

Omnibus Reprogramming

The Department of Defense has requested that Congress approve three reprogramming notifications that would transfer $276.5 million from the Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) program. These reductions, combined with an earlier reduction of $180 million from the FY06 Emergency Supplemental, would total a $456.5 million cut in the procurement of FMTVs for the active Army, National Guard and Army Reserve. Approval of all requests would result in the loss of over 3,000 vehicles. NGAUS is working to update members of Congress and their staffs to the immediate detrimental impact that this DoD reprogramming would have on the Army National Guard.

Defense Authorization

The House and Senate began conference on the FY07 Authorization Act (H.R. 5122 and S. 2507). While House conferees have yet to be named, the staffs have already begun discussions on reconciling the differences between the two bills. Differences of interest include:

-Reconciling differences between House and Senate language on TRICARE. NGAUS supports the more enhanced House version of TRICARE;

-Addressing Guard Early Access to retirement—the Senate provision would reduce age in which Guard and Reserve members can access their retirement by 3 months for every 90 day served on active duty since 2001. NGAUS supports the Senate version as the House does not contain such a provision;

-Guard Empowerment—the Senate included language introduced by Senators Bond and Leahy (provisions of the Guard Empowerment Act) that would promote the Chief of the Guard Bureau to a four-star position, and designate that the deputy commander at NORTHCOM be a Guard member. NGAUS supports the Senate language.

Alert on Alerts

NGAUS currently has three alerts on it’s website relating to: TRICARE, Guard Empowerment and the Joint Cargo Aircraft. Please visit out website so that you can write your member of Congress and voice your opinion on these critical topics. Congress needs to hear from you!

Road Trip: Guard Commission

The Commission on the Role of the National Guard and Reserves held its first field hearing. The Commission heard testimony from the Reserve Chiefs and enlisted members of the services.

For a list of witness and their statements, check out the Commission’s website at www.cngr.gov .

Fire Support Task Force

Members of the NGAUS’ Army Guard Fire Support Task Force held a task force meeting in Washington, DC on Wednesday at the NGAUS building. Member of the task force discussed top issues relating to the Fire Support community. Several industry representatives provided presentations to the members of the task force. MG Harry Sykora, USA (ret) is the Chair of the Task Force.

Maryland Visits Delegation

Maj Gen Bruce F. Tuxill, Adjutant General of Maryland, and members of his staff were on Capitol Hill last week. They met with members of their Congressional delegation to discuss support for the Guard Empowerment Act, Joint Cargo Aircraft and state issues important to Maryland.

NGAUS Task Forces

NGAUS has established Task Forces as a mechanism to provide advice and expertise to the NGAUS legislative staff in development of legislative priorities based on the resolutions that are passed each year at the annual conference. NGAUS has eleven Task Forces and are listed below:
Joint Task Forces

Personnel/Benefits
Medical Task Force

Army Task Forces

Fire Support Task Force
Combat Vehicle Task Force
Combat Support/Combat Service Support Task Force
Army Aviation Task Force
C4I Task Force
Engineer Task Force

Air Task Forces

Airlift/Tanker/Rescue
Fighter Task Force
C4I Task Force

The Task Forces are comprised of Chairs and Vice Chairs and are expected to meet two times a year. NGAUS is seeking interested volunteers to serve on the Task Forces. If you are interested, contact the NGAUS legislative staff or contact the Task Force Chairs listed on our website. The Task Forces will be meeting at the NGAUS Conference on Sunday, September 17.

“We Serve”

Providing NGAUS members with effective and knowledgeable representation on Capitol Hill.

Published by the NGAUS Legislative Staff:

Brig Gen (ret) Richard M. Green, Legislative Director
Scott Hommel, Deputy Director
Michele Traficante, Joint Programs
Chris DeBatt, Army Programs
Andy Vanlandingham, Air Programs
Bernie Phelps, Senior Legislative Analyst
Emily Breitbach, Legislative Analyst

For more information on NGAUS, check out our website: www.NGAUS.org.

Category: NGAUS.
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