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September 18, 2017

Inhofe Votes to Advance National Defense Authorization Act

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted to advance the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018. The bill will now be conferenced with the House-passed NDAA.

“The National Defense Authorization Act is the most important bill we consider each year and upholds our constitutional responsibility of providing for the common defense. As Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, I especially appreciate that this legislation makes great strides in addressing key readiness shortfalls and authorizes necessary funding for our national security. While I am disappointed that we not yet successful at ending the disastrous practice of sequestration, this year’s NDAA is an important first step in correcting the past eight years of shortchanging funding for our military.”

Senator Inhofe spoke on the Senate floor in support of the NDAA twice, specifically highlighting the need for increased readiness: 

“Our armed forces are smaller than the days of the hollow force of the 1970s and readiness in the form of personnel training and equipment have been degraded to a breaking point. All the while, we have witnessed an uptick in the training and operational accidents across the armed forces. While the risks posed by the readiness crisis are significant, Congress is already taking steps to correct the shortfalls. Every amendment considered for the NDAA should focus on increasing readiness across our services. We owe it to our troops and our nation. Nothing short is acceptable.”

Senator Inhofe also led the efforts to reject an amendment that would have authorized a base realignment and closure round (BRAC), as he wrote in The Washington Times:

“With the history of previous BRAC Commissions’ inconsistencies between expected and actual costs, there is no certainty that any proposed base closures or realignments would be economically viable in such a critical time. We are in a point of uncertainty that makes it irresponsible to expend billions of dollars downsizing our armed services when we are currently facing some of the most volatile, unpredictable and dangerous military threats that America has ever seen.”

The NDAA also had key provisions for Oklahoma and for national defense:

    Oklahoma Provisions

    Civilian Hiring

    Inhofe authored language that extends civilian hiring authority for depots, shipyards, plants and arsenals for two years, through fiscal year 2019, due to the Office of Personnel Management failure to implement the law requiring direct hiring authority in the FY17 NDAA. This provision will help maintain and grow the workforce at Tinker Air Force Base and the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant. 

    The civilian workforce maintains aging equipment, adopts new technologies and is consistently recognized by industry as the benchmark of success. Because of its abilities, the workload demands continue to grow along with the need for higher levels of technological skill sets.

    Organic depot capacity and interoperability

    Inhofe supported language expanding cross-service depot maintenance operations to avoid backlogs of workloads that negatively impact overall readiness, as currently seen in the F/A-18 Hornet A-D legacy aircraft. By expanding cross­-service depot maintenance within the organic industrial base and sharing best practices, DOD can achieve greater efficiencies and cost savings across all weapon systems. 

    During floor consideration of the bill, Senator Inhofe successfully ensured inclusion of language that will require a comprehensive plan for sharing best practices for depot-level maintenance across the nation. This will help to ensure that all of our depots are operating at the same standard and aiding each other in their best practices.

    Department of Defense Siting Clearinghouse

    Inhofe helped author language that improves DOD procedures for reviewing potential national security implications of future energy projects, specifically reviewing encroachment on military installations, aerial military training routes, airports, drop zones, and ranges. This bill makes great strides to ensure our military maintains its combat readiness and protecting the quality of military training that has made Oklahoma an indispensable asset to our military and our overall national security. 

    Inhofe also recognizes the importance of energy projects and development rights for landowners in the state, so the NDAA directs DOD to work with energy developers and state governors to mitigate potential impacts on military readiness, while also promoting economic development.

    Inhofe also supported language included during floor consideration of the bill that will require a report detailing best practices for use of special-use airspace for training.

    “Senator Inhofe’s leadership in this effort will more adequately protect our nation’s vital military training routes, approaches to runways, bombing ranges and drop zones. We cannot allow our nation’s military readiness or training capabilities to be negatively impacted by improper siting of structures inside any vital areas of national military interest.”Michael Cooper, Chairman, Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission

    E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS)

    Inhofe authored language to upgrade the fleet of E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) to the new Block 40/45 configuration. AWACS mission has been in constant demand, supporting overseas contingency operations as well as supporting homeland defense. AWACS fleet, based entirely at Tinker Air Force Base, entered the service in the late 1970s and requires multiple upgrades to the avionics and mission control equipment in order to meet current and future threats.  

    “The E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System, AWACS, has been on the front line defense of this Nation since the 1970’s--continues as critical to our security and requires significant updates to its aging on board computer systems.  The AWACS Block 40/45 Upgrade is the single largest modification to the E-3 and significantly increases system capability by replacing integrated items such as the computer system and operator terminals necessary to identify and compete with our adversaries.  This AWACS upgrade, which is critically needed to maintain combat effectiveness, is installed by our highly professional and skilled aircraft mechanics and technicians here at Tinker Air Force Base.  Senator Inhofe’s initiative to fully fund the E-3 Block 40/45 modification is critical to maintain our edge in military power.” Randy Young, Director of Military Aviation and Aerospace for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

    Air Force Low Density/High Demand (LD/HD) Assets

    Inhofe authored language that recommends the Secretary of the Air Force ensure replacements are in production before retirement of any Low Density/High Demand (LD/ HD) assets. LD/HD assets are force elements consisting of major platforms, weapons systems, units and/or personnel that possess unique mission capabilities and are in continual high demand to support worldwide joint military operations. Air Force LD/HD systems are required by Combatant Commanders around the globe during contingency operations and include both the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) and Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS). Currently, the Air Force does not possess enough of these aircraft to meet wartime requirements, driving higher required mission capability rates and a high operations tempo due to the constant demand in support of contingency operations around the globe. 

    Paladin Integrated Management (PIM)

    Inhofe authored language that ensures continued support for the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) upgrade to the M109A6 Paladin, the primary indirect fire weapons platform in the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT). The PIM upgrade, assembled in Elgin, Oklahoma, and used at Fort Sill will improve force performance and survivability, while also reducing the logistics burden for soldiers. The NDAA authorizes full funding at $646.4 million to acquire 59 new PIMs. 

    “We continue to be thankful for Sen. Inhofe’s dedication and tenacity in his efforts to strengthen our military. The inclusion of the PIM program in the National Defense Authorization Act will not only make our soldiers safer in future combat missions, it will also greatly benefit Southwest Oklahoma.” – Bill Burgess, civilian assistant to the Secretary of the Army

    Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Capabilities

    Inhofe authored language that encourages military services continue their efforts to develop, procure and deploy directed energy counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) capabilities. Potential adversaries to the United States continue to procure low-cost UAS and arm them for military purposes in conflict areas like Iraq and Syria. The United States must meet this threat by expanding its capability to protect military personnel, military installations and critical infrastructure with advanced technologies. High-energy laser and high-powered microwave weapon systems offer a game-changing capability that augments existing kinetic solutions and can also help break the cost curve of using expensive kinetic weapons and interceptors against low-cost drones. This technology has been demonstrated at recent military exercises such as a live-fire exercise at White Sands Missile Range and the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Fires Integration Exercise (MFIX) at Fort Sill and is ready to be operationalized. 

    B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

    Inhofe supported fully funding the B-21 program that is critical to replacing our aging fleet of bomber aircraft including the B-52 and B-1 aircraft. The B-21 will enable the United States to operate bombers in anti-access/area denial environments and will be capable of carrying both precision-guided conventional and nuclear weapons. This aircraft, once fielded, could be sustained at Tinker Air Force Base, as is the case for the B-1 and B-52.  

    “The ability to hold any target at risk across the globe, even in the most highly defended areas, is an essential element of deterrence and critical to the success of our national security strategy, both now and well into the future.  For the Air Force, a B-21 fleet of sufficient size and capability is indispensable in carrying out this mission.  Its advances in stealth and technology make the B-21 a formidable weapon system that our adversaries must consider when threatening our national interests.”Mark Tarpley, president of the Air Force Association Gerrity Chapter, Oklahoma City

    KC-46A Procurement and Basing

    Inhofe supported increased funding and procurement of two additional KC-46 aircraft bringing the total FY18 procurement to 17 KC-46 aircraft. The KC-46 tankers ensure our military’s ability to engage in operations around the globe. Altus Air Force Base is programmed to receive 8 KC-46 aircraft and will receive $4.9 million in military construction funds to complete the KC-46 Fuselage Trainer Facility. Tinker Air Force Base has been selected to provide all depot maintenance for the KC-46 with construction underway for a KC–46A Depot System Fuel Laboratory as well as taxiways and ramp space to support KC-46 depot maintenance. 

    “As the Chairman of the Altus Military Affairs Committee, I am grateful for the tremendous support to Altus and our great nation from Senator Jim Inhofe and his persistent work with the Senate Armed Services Committee, Oklahoma delegation and the United States Air Force throughout the development and delivery of the KC-46A. Increased funding for two additional KC-46A aircraft will rightly accelerate platform delivery and greatly enhance our nation's global reach capability. Completion of the KC-46A Fuselage Trainer Facility will significantly enhance and jump start critical training in advance of aircraft delivery. For over 75 years, Altus AFB has played a critical role in providing for the common defense of our great nation. Delivery of the KC-46A to Altus AFB coupled with the KC-135 and C-17 training will capitalize a unique synergistic benefit to both meet and exceed global force requirements for the future of our national security.” - Dr. Joe Leverett, chairman of the Altus Military Affairs Committee

    Other Military Construction Projects for Oklahoma

    Inhofe supported authorization of $28.9 million for military construction in Oklahoma. In addition to the $4.9 million Altus Air Force Base will receive for phase two of its KC-46 Fuselage Trainer facility, Altus will receive $16 million to replace its aging fire station. The Oklahoma Air National Guard will receive $8 million to construct a small arms range at Tulsa International Airport. 

    Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence

    Inhofe authored language that would increase capacity and capabilities of the Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence (ICCAE), with a focus on data sciences, machine learning, artificial intelligence, modeling and war gaming and intelligence integration. This will help expand existing ICCAEs, like the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Intelligence and National Security in Norman. ICCAE programs support our national security by providing significant opportunities for students in STEM and critical language skills to develop the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians and linguists necessary to ensure the nation’s security. 

    Impact Aid

    Inhofe was successful in including language that authorizes $25 million in supplemental Impact Aid to local educational agencies and schools with military dependent children as well as an additional $10 million in Impact Aid for schools with military dependent children with severe disabilities, a $5 million increase from last year. 

    F-16 Block 40/50 Mission Training Centers (MTC)

    Inhofe authored language that directs the Secretary of the Air Force to accelerate procurement of additional F-16 Mission Training Centers (MTC) suites for the Air National Guard. These MTCs provide continuity of training between live and virtual scenarios and allow more deployment flexibility by reducing personnel impact for pilots. More training centers also improve readiness by reducing dependency on off-station resources, reduce flight training hours and cost, and increase access to training suites for active duty, reserve, and Air National Guard pilots. 

    Cyber Security

    The rapidly developing cyber space threat requires a clear, comprehensive government strategy to protect our national security and interests. Inhofe supported language to establish an integrated cyberspace, cybersecurity and cyberwarfare policy, as well as to provide resources to do so. Inhofe further supported language establishing U.S. Cyber Command as a unified combatant command, reflecting the importance of cybersecurity to our national defense. Recognizing the critical importance of government partnership with academic institutions, Inhofe supported language that specifically calls for cooperation with academic cyber centers of excellence, like the University of Tulsa (TU). 


    Inhofe supported language that reauthorizes STARBASE, a program to educate and motivate students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.  STARBASE currently operates at 76 locations in 40 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, primarily on military installations. The Oklahoma Air National Guard runs the STARBASE program out of two locations, the Will Rogers Air National Guard Base and the Tulsa Air National Guard Base, with over 4,500 students participating every year. 

    "The hands on STEM instruction and activities in the DoD STARBASE program are designed to provide students with the motivation to continue their education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math career fields, which are vital to our national security interests.  An added bonus is that they get to interact with civilian and military personnel actually working in STEM career fields on our National Guard and Active Duty military installations.  The Oklahoma National Guard is proud to manage and operate this much needed program for the young people of Oklahoma." - Gen. Louis W. Wilham, Adjutant General for the Oklahoma Army National Guard


    Implementation of Direct Hiring Authorities for Military Spouses

    Inhofe supported language that directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report outlining DOD’s progress on the implementation of direct hiring authorities for military spouses no later than Dec. 1, 2017. In recent years, Congress has provided direct hiring authorities to assist military spouses in obtaining employment with the federal government. Despite authorization for special hiring authorities for military spouses, these authorities are not sufficiently used and military family groups have received feedback that spouses still face great difficulty in navigating the federal hiring process in a timely manner and obtaining employment. 

    Directed Energy Weapons

    Inhofe supported language calling for advancements in directed energy weapon system prototyping and demonstration. Numerous reports and studies have highlighted the game-changing potential of directed energy weapons—both in offensive and defensive capacities. Recent tests and demonstrations, including counter-UAS live fire events at Fort Sill, have shown the promise of this emerging technology. Inhofe supported increased funding for applied research in directed energy technology and language to reduce burdensome bureaucratic obstacles that limit the use of directed energy weapons in testing and combat. These Inhofe-supported provisions will speed the process of arming our warfighters with this cutting edge and transformational technology. 

    Civil Air Patrol

    Inhofe supported legislation that provides $26.7 million to fully fund the Civil Air Patrol operation, providing crucial aircraft and national communications upgrades. Civil Air Patrol is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit corporation serving as official auxiliary of the Air Force and continues to play an important role in Oklahoma. With operating locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Lawton, Norman and Muskogee, volunteers perform emergency and disaster relief operations, aerospace, counter-drug and homeland security and courier service missions.

    FAA Licensed Spaceports

    Inhofe supported a key amendment that recognizes the unique importance of U.S. FAA licensed spaceports and, when appropriate, encourages the use of such spaceports and launch and range complexes for mid-to low-inclination orbits or polar high-inclination orbits in support of national security space priorities. These federally-licensed launch facilities—including Oklahoma Air and Space Port—are available to meet the requirements for the national security space program from DOD, Air Force Space Command, Operationally Responsive Space Office, and Missile Defense Agency. The Oklahoma Air and Space Port, near Burns Flat, Oklahoma, is the only space port in the United States to have a civilian FAA approved Space Flight Corridor in the National Airspace System. This space flight corridor is unique because it is not within military operating areas or within restricted airspace, which provides an operational capability for space launch operations and associated industries specialized in space­ related activities. The spaceports improve the resiliency of U.S. launch infrastructure and help ensure consistent access to space to support national security space priorities. 

    “The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA) strongly supports and appreciates Senator Inhofe’s recognition of the importance of U.S. FAA federally-licensed, non-federally owned, spaceport facilities. The NDAA reflects the tremendous value, unique strategic importance, and robust capabilities that our U.S. spaceport assets are capable of providing in support of national security space priorities.” -  Bill Khourie, Executive Director, Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority 

    Acquisition of New Technologies for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Units

    Inhofe authored language that gives DOD Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units more flexibility to acquire, field and use emerging technologies that will save lives and meet mission requirements by acquiring new technology not listed in the table of allowance. The current EOD table of allowance does not always meet the critical requirements faced by our servicemen and women because it is not updated in a timely manner.

    Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) assessment

    Inhofe authored language that directs the Secretary of Defense to provide an assessment on the use of energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) for savings from training improvements, such as fuel savings. The assessment will identify include identification of potential savings that could be achiev

    ed through improvements to training, using those savings as part of a long term ESPC, and authorities needed if a decision was made to use savings as part of additional ESPC. 

    Foreign Language Training

    Inhofe supported language that encourages DOD to continue placing a high priority on foreign language proficiency programs to ensure warfighters and national security professionals receive the language and culture training needed to complete their missions effectively, including partnerships with K-12 schools, as well as universities. 


    VA Burn Pits Center of Excellence

    Senator Inhofe supported language on the Senate floor that will move the VA in the right direction by establishing a center of excellence within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to better understand and treat the health effects associated with exposure to burn pits.


    National Provisions

    North Korea Strategy

    Inhofe supported language that requires the president to submit a report to Congress that sets forth a strategy of the United States with respect to North Korea. North Korea’s aggressive actions have escalated recently, and, for the first time, North Korea can target the United States homeland with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). This language will ensure that Congress remains informed of the administration’s strategy with regard to North Korea, and that all of the appropriate agencies have the Congressionally-provided resources they need to execute the strategy.

    Missile Defense

    Inhofe supported increasing funding for the Missile Defense Agency by $631 million, which will provide for necessary modernization of the U.S. ground-based missile defense system needed to enhance homeland protection and counter the proliferation of growing long-range ballistic missile threats from North Korea, Iran and other adversaries. This increase includes the procurement of 24 additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems. 

    Israel, our long-time ally, faces imminent threat from Iran. Inhofe supported increasing funding for U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs to include funding for continued development of Arrow, Arrow 3 and David’s Sling, as well as procurement of Tamir interceptors for Iron Dome. 

    “The limited United States’ missile defense capability and capacity, as it stands today, will soon be overmatched by North Korean nuclear ballistic missiles in their unstoppable intent, their relentless testing, development, and mass production that is continued to be enabled by China and Russia of these weapons that is unabated and fueled by further isolation, preemptive U.S. military threats, and United Nations Consensus and international sanctions. Expedient and exponential missile defense deployment in both capability and capacity, driven by robust and abundant testing is the only win-win option and the only “absolute” required option of all the “options on the table” for the United States of America to confronting and living with the nuclear rouge nation of North Korea and to preserve our way of life.” Riki Ellison, President and Founder of Missile Defense Advocacy

    Global Force Posture Assessment

    Inhofe supported language that requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct an assessment of global force posture of the armed forces. Current global threats emphasize the importance of forward-based U.S. military forces, especially considering advancing capabilities of global adversaries. These adversaries are increasingly capable of threatening our air and sea lines of communication, and denying our forces of access to important terrain. Inhofe expects DOD to assess and recommend the appropriate ratio of U.S.-based to forward-based forces, and apply that mix in conjunction with end-strength growth to respond to increased threats around the world. 

    Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    Inhofe supported language that extends the prohibition on the use of funds to close U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo), to construct or modify facilities in the United States to house detainees transferred from Gitmo, to transfer or release Gitmo detainees to the United States and to transfer or release Gitmo detainees to Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. 

    Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)

    Inhofe supported language that amends section 1450 of Title 10 of the United States Code to permanently extend the authority to pay the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) under the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and provide for annual inflation adjustments in the authorized amount going forward when it is set to expire. SSIA is a program for surviving spouses who are the beneficiary of the SBP annuity and their SBP annuity is partially or fully offset by the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). SSIA also applies to the surviving spouses of members who died on active duty whose SBP annuity is partially or fully offset by their DIC. 

    Security Assistance for Ukraine

    Inhofe, a long-time supporter of Ukraine, successfully included a provision that authorizes a $350 million increase for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, totaling $500 million for FY18. The security assistance will include defensive lethal assistance and intelligence support to the country’s military and other security forces and will help to build Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and sovereignty. During floor consideration, Inhofe supported language to extend the critical support associated with the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative from 2018 out to 2020.

    Also during floor consideration, Inhofe supported language to express support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and to pledge further assistance in improving Ukraine’s cybersecurity capabilities.

    Counter-ISIS operations

    Inhofe fully supported President Trump’s aggressive counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) budget request of over $1.7 billion. Additionally, Inhofe supported language that streamlined the process of assisting previously vetted Syrian opposition fighters in their fight against ISIS. Due to the diligent work of our armed forces and coalition partners, ISIS lost significant territory over the last year. However, the threat from ISIS-inspired or ISIS-organized attacks persists. The recent terror attack on the London Underground serves as a grim reminder that ISIS and ISIS-inspired attackers will continue to seek to do us harm until they are eradicated.  

    European Deterrence Initiative

    Inhofe continued to support funding for the European Deterrence Initiative that bolsters efforts to deter Russian aggression. Inhofe supported language that authorizes $4.6 billion—up $1.2 billion from FY17—to increase the capability and readiness of U.S. and NATO forces to defend territorial integrity, preserve regional stability and improve the agility and flexibility of military forces to address growing threats in the region. This includes $100 million for the Baltic nations’ joint program for resiliency and deterrence against aggression by Russia. Inhofe also supported language that requires an annual report on Russian military and security developments and adds hybrid and cyber warfare element to the report. 


    Inhofe, co-chair of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, supported many provisions regarding Taiwan, including a provision Inhofe authored to strengthen and enhance the strategic defense relationship between the United States and Taiwan. Inhofe also included language that would implement a program of technical assistance to support Taiwan’s growing submarine program. Another provision that Inhofe supported would extend an invitation to Taiwan to the annual joint military exercises RIMPAC and Red Flag.   

    Security Strategy for Great Lakes region of Africa

    Inhofe authored language that requires the Secretary of Defense to provide a strategy to address Africa’s Great Lakes sub-region. As Operation Observant Compass ends, it is imperative that DOD remains engaged in the region through continued engagement with regional security forces, intelligence sharing and multilateral exercises to increase regional capacity to combat shared threats. As such, the Secretary of Defense is directed to provide SASC a briefing on its strategy to combat security threats in the sub-region, including decades of instability and armed conflict resulting from porous borders, competition for resources, weak governance, territorial disputes and the continued growth of terrorist groups into the region.

    Commanders’ Emergency Response Program (CERP)

    Inhofe supported language that extents Commanders’ Emergency Response Program (CERP) through Dec. 31, 2019. This program is a vital resource for combatant commanders around the world for conducting stability, development, and humanitarian assistance operations where Congress has specifically authorized its use. 

    Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Threat Briefing

    Inhofe authored language that directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing to SASC on its assessment of the military findings and recommendations provided by the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Commission. The EMP Commission was established by FY01 NDAA and was reestablished in FY06. It was charged to assess the nature and magnitude of potential high-altitude EMP threats to the United States from all potentially hostile actors, the vulnerability of United States military and civilian systems to an EMP attack, the capability of the United States to repair and recover from damage inflicted by an EMP attack and the feasibility and cost of hardening select military and civilian systems against EMP attack. Since establishment, the EMP Commission has provided multiple reports and briefings to DOD. Inhofe’s language directs the Secretary of Defense to make Congress aware of those findings and recommendations, as well as any DOD action.

    Future Air-to-Ground Missile Capability

    Inhofe authored language that directs the Secretary of the Air Force to provide a briefing on the current integration efforts to strike enemy armor. Currently, the Air Force lacks an air-to-ground missile that is able to deter massed formations of enemy armor that could be encountered should from an adversary in either Europe or the Asia Pacific region. The current inventory of air to ground missiles lack the ability to launch en masse from fighter aircraft against multiple moving enemy targets with the appropriate standoff in a contested integrated air defense threat area. 

    Low-Cost Ballistic Missile Targets

    Inhofe authored language that directs Missile Defense Agency to complete an assessment that would consider the integration of low cost targets into the flight test plans for the Ballistic Missile Defense System. SASC continues to encourage the Missile Defense Agency to use threat-representative targets in its flight tests, to the maximum extent possible, in order to prove our Ballistic Missile Defense System is capable of defending against increasingly complex threat missiles. The committee is aware of potential target technologies that could provide flexibility, reduce cost, and improve schedule performance in meeting Ballistic Missile Defense System test objectives. Lower target costs that are reliable and meet mission requirements could enable Missile Defense Agency to potentially procure more targets and test more frequently. 

    Low Cost Unmanned Aerospace Systems Development

    Inhofe submitted an amendment that focused on the development of low cost UAS development.  With future anticipated military threats and limited funds for defense, there is a need for new and innovative solutions towards the development of future low cost unmanned aerospace systems (UAS). As manned aircraft costs continue to escalate, the need for UAS concepts that offer dramatic reductions in cost in order to bring "mass" to the engagement, and to achieve a cost imposing effect on future adversaries, has grown. UAS performance, design life, reliability and maintainability drive the cost of today's systems, and need to be traded to achieve the optimum capability and cost effects. This concept should provide long range, runway independent launch and recovery, transonic, strike capability in remote, contested regions where forward basing is difficult or prohibited. 

    355 Ship Build-Up Review

    Inhofe supported language that requires the Secretary of the Navy to deliver a report that provides a detailed business case analysis for options to grow the battle fleet from 276 to 355 ships. “The Future Navy” plan calls for the Navy to achieve the 355 ship objective by the 2020s.  It is important that Congress fully understands the business case analysis for all options to include analyses for service life extension and reactivation options.

    Intergovernmental Support Agreements

    Inhofe authored an amendment to allow Service Secretaries to increase the duration of intergovernmental support agreements from five to ten years with a State or local government to provide, receive, or share installation-support. Secretaries may exercise this authority if they determine that the agreement will serve the best interests of the department by enhancing mission effectiveness or creating efficiencies or economies of scale, including by reducing costs. This change will make our installations more attractive partners for intergovernmental cooperation that may reduce costs across all levels of government.

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