House Armed Services Committee

SMITH CONSIDERING NEW DATE FOR PROPOSED BRAC ROUND

March 09, 2017

 

Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, is planning to push back the date of a proposed BRAC round until 2021 or later in legislation he introduced last month. That measure — which would reform the existing BRAC process to increase congressional oversight, emphasize savings, control cost growth, strengthen the independent commission and expedite the implementation of the recommendations — called for the next round of base closures to be held in 2019. The change is intended to give the Pentagon more time to assess its infrastructure needs in light of President Trump’s plan to boost military force structure as well as provide lawmakers cover by scheduling the round to take place after the next presidential election, reported Politico.

A BRAC would fit into the Trump administration’s intention to eliminate wasteful spending and trim the size of the federal workforce, but a DOD spokesman declined to comment on the possibility of holding a new round. It’s possible the administration could request approval for BRAC in its fiscal 2018 budget request.

 

LtGen Jon M. Davis to speak at Havelock Tourist & Event Center

May 13, 2016

 
Lt. Gen Jon Davis addresses community about F-35's at MCAS Cherry Point. Allies for Cherry Point's Tomorrow.

Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps of Aviation to speak at Havelock Tourist & Event Center

Havelock, NC — Lieutenant General Jon M. Davis, Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps of Aviation has accepted the invitation of ACT and regional leaders to the Havelock Tourist & Event Center on May 17, 2016 at 11:00am to speak to the future of MCAS Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE).

Lt. Gen. Davis will first tour MCAS Cherry Point and FRCE, both of which face tremendous growth opportunities as the future of Cherry Point relies on the success of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program. As head of Marine Corps Aviation, Lt. Gen. Davis will then shed light on the expectations and realities of what’s in store for Eastern North Carolina over the next several years. “As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am grateful to Lieutenant General Davis for visiting the Third District and for the USMC’s continued commitment to MCAS Cherry Point and FRCE,” said Congressman Walter B. Jones.

MCAS Cherry Point will host the largest fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in the country, as our efforts continue to ensure our base is fully equipped and ready for their arrival, beginning 2022.

ACT and its government affairs team have worked closely with the NC delegation and key members of Congress over the last 24 months to help secure the funds necessary for security enhancements and facility upgrades. “All of us in the Cherry Point community understand how important it is to prepare the air station to receive the maximum number of F-35Bs at the earliest possible time,” said Will Lewis, President of ACT. “Our mission is to press ahead with facilities improvements for as we all learned from the movie Field of Dreams “if you build it they will come.”  ACT continues to work with the delegation on many other military construction projects that will enhance the F-35 mission at MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East, he added.

The major tenant command at Cherry Point is FRC East, the nation’s “Vertical Lift Center of Excellence.” FRC East provides maintenance for every fixed wing and rotor winged vertical lift aircraft flown by the USMC and the Navy, as well as provides limited support for other military services and federal agencies. “I greatly appreciated Gen. Davis’s response to my questioning in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee recently of how critical it is that the F-35B Lift Fan Maintenance and Repair facility is built as quickly as possible at FRCE,” said Senator Thom Tillis.

More than 3,500 civilian employees work at FRC East. The replacement value of this facility is at least $1.36 BILLION.

FRC East has access to approximately 100 acres of expansion property with significant room for additional structures and capabilities. This makes Cherry Point attractive for future industrial facility expansion to accommodate growing demands. As our area prepares for this growth, ACT has helped lead programs like the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) to protect military operational demands and mission changes with regional plans for land use, economic development, infrastructure needs, and environmental sustainability.  The community must understand the importance of these ongoing efforts so we can protect and grow MCAS Cherry Point, FRC East and its civilian enterprises.  This is ACT’s primary mission.

Over the next 20 years, unprecedented new construction is planned for MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East. $1.3 billion has been requested for new construction and infrastructure improvements at MCAS Cherry Point and $300 million for facility upgrades and new construction at FRC East over the next ten years alone. “I thank Lt. Gen. Davis for his visit on May 17th.  I am frequently reminded of what an important national asset MCAS Cherry Point is and the critical role that it plays in defending our nation,” said Senator Richard Burr.

ACT also continues to work closely with the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission, state legislators and Congressmen, as well as various military and local leaders. MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East generate over $2 billion in economic impact annually, so it is necessary to protect these assets not only for our national security, but for our local economic stability.

Attendance to hear Lt. Gen. Jon Davis’ remarks is encouraged to demonstrate our local and regional commitment to MCAS Cherry Point during this pivotal time.

As we celebrate 75 years, we must not forget the importance of this base to our history and look forward to future years of economic growth as a key component of our national security.

Lt. Gen. Davis will make remarks upon celebration of the 75th Anniversary of MCAS Cherry Point and its importance to the future of Marine Corps aviation. Prior to assuming his current position as the Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps, he commanded the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Cherry Point and served as the Deputy Commander, United States Cyber Command.

For more information about the Lt. Gen. Davis and the special event on May 17th, please visit the ACT website at www.alliesforcherrypoint.com.

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Navy, Marine Corps Officials Warn of Sequestration’s Impact

March 10, 2015

 

Navy, Marine Corps Officials Warn of Sequestration’s Impact

By Nick Simeone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2015 – The Navy and Marine Corps will be challenged to carry out their parts of the national defense strategy if billions of dollars in sequester-related budget cuts take effect Oct. 1, senior service officials told legislators on Capitol Hill today.

In prepared testimony, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert told the Senate Armed Services Committee the service is still recovering from a $9 billion shortfall triggered in 2013 by the mandatory across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. Further reductions, he added, would put U.S. sailors’ and Marines’ lives at increased risk, and negatively impact military readiness and national security.

“Unless naval forces are properly sized, modernized at the right pace, ready to deploy with adequate training and equipment, and able to respond with the capacity and speed required by combatant commanders, they will not be able to carry out the defense strategy,” Greenert testified, pointing out critical shortfalls in everything from ship deployments to munitions to the resiliency of sailors.

Greenert, who testified along with Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, outlined many of the same points made during a hearing last week before the House Armed Services Committee. “In real terms, this means longer timelines to achieve victory, more military and civilian lives lost, and potentially less credibility to deter adversaries and assure allies,” Greenert said.

Possible Deep Budget Cuts

Under limits imposed on government spending as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, known as sequestration, the military is set to face another round of deep cuts when the new fiscal year begins Oct.1.

Dunford testified that sequestration-related cuts would impact readiness by leaving fewer forces able to respond to contingencies, where he said demand remains high. The commandant said the Marine Corps is already falling short on investments in modernization and that over half of nondeployed units report unacceptable levels of readiness.

“As the nation’s first responders, the Marine Corps’ home stationed units are expected to be in the same high state of readiness as deployed units,” said Dunford, adding that the Marine Corps is currently working on a detailed plan to enhance its overall readiness.

Mabus said the Marine Corps will hold for a year at an end strength of 184,000, while officials assess the impact of what has been an ongoing drawdown.

But despite budget austerity and an unpredictable security environment, in the end, Dunford said, “we will do what Marines have always done — innovate for the future, adapt to overcome and always win.”

 

House GOP Splits on Defense Sequestration

February 28, 2015

 
House GOP splits on defense sequestration. Allies for Cherry Point's Tomorrow.

CAPITOL HILL: Tensions within the GOP over the mandatory budget caps set by the Budget Control Act burst into the open today. The chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee repeatedly warned colleagues and the leaders of the Air Force this morning that they had no choice and must live within the Budget Control Act’s spending limits.

Thornberry urges House Budget Committee Chairman to bust the budget caps for national security

Then, this afternoon, Rep. Mac Thornberry, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee — and 30 of his fellow Republicans — wrote a 13-page letter to the House Budget committee chairman urging him to bust the budget caps in the interest of national security.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, HAC-D chairman, warned Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh quite sternly that: “We do have to cut $10 billion [from the Air Force budget request] with you, or we will cut $10 billion without you.” He’d said almost the same words to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonatan Greenert the day before. Those cuts, he reminded the Pentagon leaders and his members, would be required to comply with Budget Control Act, which is the law of the land, he noted.
Thornberry and his colleagues urged Price to set the committee’s mark at “the pre-sequestration BCA caps of $577.0 billion for national defense and $50.9 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations account. If this is not feasible in the first year, the committee recommends, at a minimum, last year’s House-passed Budget Resolution level of $566.0 billion for national defense in the base budget for FY16 with restoration to pre-sequestration level funding in FY17 and out.”Of course, one of the wonderful things about Congress is that it can write laws to get around existing laws. That was clearly what the 31 GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee on Thornberry’s side were trying to encourage Rep. Tom Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee, to consider starting when he sets the budget limits to which each major committee in the House must mark its bill.

Price and Enzi to produce 2016 budget resolution by mid-to late April

Price and his Senate counterpart, Sen. Mike Enzi, are expected to produce the 2016 budget resolution by mid-to late April.

The Obama administration wants $561 billion for defense, which is $31 billion over the BCA caps. Thornberry and his colleagues are asking Price to approve $16 billion more than the Obama request.

The letter includes this pungent line, one sure to catch the eye of any Republican — except those who fancy themselves adherents of the Tea Party:

Reducing our military spending may bring about more instability in the world

“It may seem ironic, but is still true, that reducing our military spending in the hopes of improving our financial situation may well bring about more instability in the world – economic and otherwise – that damages our economy and undermines the American way of life.”

Not all of the committee’s senior Republicans signed the letter. A marked absence was Rep. Randy Forbes, chairman of the seapower and power projection subcommittee. Forbes told my colleague Sydney Freedberg he refused to sign the letter because the amounts Thornberry and co. requested were not high enough. “[When you say] ‘we wouldn’t do anything less than the president’s budget,’ by implication you’re saying you’ll accept the president’s budget,” Forbes said. “I reject that approach…. I think we have an obligation, at least some of us, to be a voice to say that’s not good enough.”

“We have had a series of roundtable discussions with service chiefs [recently],” Forbes said. New Marine Corps commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford said, and Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno agreed, that even the president’s request was not at the level they’d really need to meet new threats. “The commandant said if we go with the president’s numbers on the budget… the best I can do is to reset our military back to where it was over a decade ago. It would not even start to reconstitute us to where we need be for tomorrow,” Forbes recounted.

That’s why Forbes won’t sign Thornberry’s letter asking for the level of spending in the president’s budget, he said: “I reject that approach too, because I’m not content to build the armies of yesterday, I’m dedicated to building the armies of tomorrow,” Forbes said. “The men and women [of our military] deserve no more… our country can afford no less… as a party and a congress we should settle for no less…. which is going to be a dollar figure that is higher, Sydney, than even the president’s budget.”

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