Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees added funds to continue with development of an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Pentagon, you remember, wants to can the General Electric version of the fighter’s power plant and go sole source with the Pratt&Whitney engine—ostensibly to save money. (Lawmakers questioned that approach and elicited testimony from Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne expressing concern over the decision.) The House panel’s version of the 2007 defense authorization bill would add $408 million, while the Senate panel opted for $400.4 million. It looks like this is one area where there will be little discussion during conference time when the two panels iron out differences in their measures.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.