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EANGUS Legislative Alert; 6 October 2015

HR 1735, FY2016 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT (NDAA)

Legislative Provisions affecting members of the National Guard:

WINS:
• Creation of defined contribution Thrift Saving Plan with government matching program (Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission “MCRMC”)
• Discounted Lump Sum Payments after 20 years of service (MCRMC)
o Major victory for Guardsmen
o EANGUS National Office played a major role in this victory
• Financial Literacy for Military (MCRMC)
• Reserve Component stream lining of statuses (MCRMC)
• Extends the limitation on the transfer of AH-64 Apaches helicopters from the ARNG from March 31, 2016, to June 30, 2016
• Accelerated C-130 Avionics Modification Program (AMP) 1 and 2 Modernization
• Additional funding for F-15 and F-16 AESA radars
• Authorizes additional funding for Black Hawk procurement and modernization
• Authorization for the National Guard State Partnership Program for five years including enhancements to scope, state coordinators, and reporting and feasibility of central funding stream
• Authorizes additional ARNG Operation and Maintenance funding
• Council of Governors consultation on cyber forces
• Requires DoD report detailing options for potentially accelerating the replacement of all UH-60A helicopters in the ARNG
• Requires CNGB to issue guidance that prioritizes UH-60 helicopter upgrades within the ARNG
• Restores funding to A-10 and prohibits retirement
• Authorizes additional funding for M1 Abrams tank modifications
• Enhancements to Yellow Ribbon Program to include quality of life services
• TRICARE effectiveness reports and data collection
• Allows one time access of TRICARE Prime for those living more than 100 miles from MTF
• C-130 Engine and Propeller modernization funding
• Authority for Reserve AGRs and Mil Techs to provide training to active duty and foreign military personnel
• DoD biennial exercises on responding to cyber attacks against critical infrastructure includes RC, Governors participation
• SECAF Remotely Piloted Manning Issue Report

LOSSES:
• Allows the ARNG to increase end strength by up to 3,000 AGR by 615, and dual status technicians by 1,111 (Loss of 1,726 jobs)
• Honorary Veterans Status for Guardsmen with 20 YOS, but not 180 days active duty
• Exemption of Dual Status Military Technicians from civilian employee furloughs
• Counts previously transferred ARNG AH-64s against number of transferrable aircraft
• CNGB assessment of requirements for personnel, training and equipment for non-federalized Guard
• Comptroller General Report on Cyber Authorities/Title 32
• Requires NGB to expand the CST Information Management System to all CBRNE Enterprise units
• Comptroller General Review of Homeland Response Forces readiness
• Annual report on Personnel, Training and Equipment Requirements for the non-federalized Guard to support civilian authorities in prevention and response to non-catastrophic domestic disasters
• Comptroller General report on DoD plans and actions for providing support to civil authorities in the event of domestic cyber incident, including Title 32 and SAD
• Electric tour calculator for Reserves
• Tracking of Reserve Component non-disability mental conditions
• Requires training of all ARNG and ANG Cyber Protection Teams by 2018, and plans for FY16-17
• Allowing Guard and Reserve to purchase veteran memorial headstone and markers
• CNGB plan on better execution of NG Counterdrug funding

ANALYSIS:
• During the week of September 28th, The House of Representatives passed the NDAA by a vote of 270-156, twenty votes short needed to override a veto.
• President Obama has threated to veto because of the use of one-year Oversees Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.
• EANGUS National Office restraining from engaging Senate and Office of the Presidency regarding support for the bill (i.e. there will not be an EANGUS Legislative Call-to-Action at this time). If the President vetoes the legislation, EANGUS National Office staff can reengage the House and Senate about the issues listed above.

ESTIMATED OUTCOME:
• President Obama will veto the NDAA in October. Congress will consider a new budget deal during the fall, then reconsider the NDAA (this time with more money in the base budget and fewer dollars in OCO), and pass the reconsidered NDAA for the President’s signature by the end of calendar year 2015.

Healthcare Reforms in 2016

The Senate and House Armed Services Committees will consider reforms to the military healthcare system. While Congress is still considering the FY16 NDAA, there are no specific details about what could be considered in the FY17 NDAA. EANGUS, in conjunction with the Reserve Officers Association and NGAUS, crafted a survey to ensure the voices of the Reserve Component are heard. Please follow this link to the EANGUS homepage and fill out the TRICARE Reserve: Access and Quality of Healthcare survey.

From: Scott Bousum, scott.bousum@eangus.org, Legislative Director, EANGUS National Office