Daily Report

Dec. 19, 2012

Defense Authorization Conference Report Concluded

House and Senate defense overseers announced on Tuesday that they reached agreement in conference on the final version of the Fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill, completing the conference report that provides $633.3 billion for national defense programs in this fiscal year. That total is some $1.7 billion more than President Obama requested and includes approximately $527.5 billion for the Pentagon's base budget (up $2.1 billion from Obama's request), $88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations (equal to the request), and $17.4 billion for Energy Department national security programs ($395 million less), according to summaries of the conference report (see below.)

Among the major Air Force-related decisions, the conferees:
  • Authorized an end strength of 329,460 Active Duty airmen.
  • Adopted language establishing a National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force.
  • Approved USAF leadership's modified force structure reduction plan, with the exception of keeping an additional 32 tactical airlifters (C-27s or C-130s) in service, along with 1,000 airmen.
  • Prohibited retirement of Global Hawk Block 30 aircraft.
  • Allowed block buys of SBIRS GEO-5 and GEO-6 satellites over six years.
  • Authorized a 1.7 percent across-the-board pay raise for uniformed service members.
  • Established the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.

SASC Chairman Levin release

HASC summary

HASC Democrats summary

Finding a New Strategic Narrative

The Obama Administration’s defense strategic guidance issued in January “made a lot of sense as far as setting priorities,” but there needs to be a strategy now for meeting those priorities, said Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic...

Global Access is the Key

When a country faces economic austerity and global security challenges, it has to protect its vital interests—and for the United States, these interests lie in assuring access to the lanes of the world economy, said Center for Strategic and Budgetary...

No Quick Solution

The violence in Syria between the regime of President Bashar Assad and oppositions forces “poisons the stability and peace” in the Middle East and has become “a sort of national security threat” to Turkey, said Namik Tan, Turkish ambassador to...

Ironclad Support

Turkey has received “ironclad support” from its NATO allies in dealing with the threat to its territory and people posed by the civil war violence in neighboring Syria, said Turkish Ambassador to the United States Namik Tan on Dec. 18....

Condor’s Enduring War

Air National Guard RC-26B Condors have provided overhead surveillance support in US Central Command’s area of operations during more than five years of continuous deployment to the region, according to Air Guard officials. Since its stand up in 2007, the...

Assembly Milestone for AEHF-4

Lockheed Martin completed integration of the system module for the Air Force’s fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite, announced the company. This is the first major step in the satellite’s assembly, according to the company’s Dec. 17 release,...

C-17 Pilot Found Not Guilty in Airdrop Death

A court martial cleared C-17 pilot Capt. Jared Foley of all charges in the case of a West Virginia National Guard soldier killed during a parachute drop over Montana in 2011, reported the News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. The 10-officer...

Honoring Air Force Cross Recipients

The Combat Control School at Pope Field, N.C., dedicated bronze busts of Capt. Barry Crawford, TSgt. John Chapman, SSgt. Robert Gutierrez, and SrA. Zachary Rhyner—four combat controllers who received the Air Force Cross for valor in Afghanistan. The dedication took...

Dyess Unit Recognized for Supporting Small Business

The 7th Contracting Squadron at Dyess AFB, Tex., took the Air Force Secretary’s 2012 small business special achievement award, according to a base release. The award recognized the unit’s efforts in obligating more than 95 percent of its contracts to...

A Highly Unusual Discovery

Restoration staff inspecting an A-1E Skyraider at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, last week found that the aircraft still contained an estimated 200 gallons of fuel, even though records indicated that museum workers had...