Last week, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) completed markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. As a member of the Committee, Congressman Jim Bridenstine contributed several provisions that were included in the bill. The next step is consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives the second week in July.
Congressman Bridenstine highlighted three important provisions:
1) Equal Treatment of Orders to Serve on Active Duty under Section 12304a and 12304b of Title 10, USC
The Congressman is a cosponsor of the Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act, which eliminates disparities in health care, retirement, deployment allowance, and education benefits for mobilized Reserve Component personnel. The bill was partially incorporated in the NDAA, authorizing such personnel to receive pre-mobilization and transitional health care.
2) Establishment of Space Flag Training Event
The Secretary of Defense is directed to encourage department-wide participation in the Air Force’s advanced space training exercise, Space Flag. Additionally, the Secretary is to provide training range infrastructure that facilitates growth in advanced training requirements and the development and testing of doctrine, concepts of operation, and tactics. Such exercises will enhance our ability to successfully engage in a future conflict that extends to space.
3) Responsive Launch
US STRATCOM has repeatedly identified the need to rapidly reconstitute and replenish critical space capabilities in the event of attack. This provision encourages the Secretary of Defense to increase the priority and resources for this mission area in order to field responsive and resilient launch capabilities.