The House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel, in its mark-up of the Pentagon’s Fiscal 2014 budget request, provides funding for the missile defense strategy announced by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in March to bolster US defenses against ballistic missile attack, according to a summary of the mark. The panel’s May 22 mark also directs the National Nuclear Security Administration to “annually certify” the security of the nuclear weapons stockpile. In the space domain, the mark reforms “DOD’s business process with commercial satellite companies, ensuring that strategic competitors do not gain inadvertent access to vital systems or information.” It requires “improved information sharing” on “adversary counterspace actions against US national security space systems,” states the summary. It protects “certain missile defense technology and continues congressional oversight of US-Russia missile defense cooperation,” and it supports missile defense cooperation with Israel. (Strategic forces mark; caution; large-sized file.)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.