Armed Forces News

Service members would receive a 3.1-percent raise in basic pay on Jan. 1, under the House version of the 2020 Defense Authorization Act. The House Armed Services Committee completed markup of the measure on June 4, which also included several other key provisions. Among them:

* Steps to resolve issues regarding dilapidation in privatized military housing areas, including the creation of a tenants’ bill of rights.

* Addressing contamination of drinking water on bases.

* Improved oversight of the acquisition process,  to specifically include the “availability and accountability of F-35 parts within the supply chain.”

* Funding of several weapons-system programs, including the Virginia-class submarine, Arleigh Burke destroyer and B-21 Raider strategic bomber, and requiring the Navy to maintain at least 11 aircraft carriers.

* Navigation satellites, conventional prompt strike, missile defense, and other programs related to strategic forces.

* Protections for critical technology and stronger oversight of cyber operations and its related security.

* Funding for sustainment of the Army’s UH-72A, development of the TOW 2B missile, improvement of vehicle-active-protection systems, upgrades and replacement of the M58 mine-clearing system, modernization of the trailers used to transport M1A2 Abrams tanks, and resolving rotorcraft safety issues.

* Modernization of the Navy’s MH-53E helicopter fleet.

Once the House version of the ’20 defense bill clears the floor, the legislators will meet with their counterparts in the Senate to resolve differences between the two measures before sending it to the White House for President Trump’s signature.