This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has extensive coverage of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee's fiscal year 2021 military spending bill, specifically from the report accompanying the legislation obtained by Inside Defense.
We start off with appropriators' proposals to kill the Pentagon's Overseas Contingency Operations account as well as their criticism of the Defense Department's use of COVID-19 funds on weapons builders and not personal protective equipment:
Powerful House appropriators want to eliminate the Pentagon's controversial Overseas Contingency Operations account and return the department to annual supplemental funding requests, potentially sending defense officials scrambling to fill multibillion-dollar budget holes, according to documents obtained by Inside Defense.
House appropriators are criticizing the Defense Department for spending most of its COVID-19 relief funds propping up weapon systems manufacturers, rather than bolstering the U.S. supply of personal protective equipment.
Here is our coverage of appropriators' Navy allocations:
The House Appropriations defense subcommittee is moving to prohibit the Navy from decommissioning the first four Littoral Combat Ships, calling the move "shortsighted" and directing the Pentagon to consider upgrading and deploying the ships to South and Central America.
A House panel is proposing deep cuts to the Navy's fiscal year 2021 request for ship maintenance, repair and modernization, admonishing the service for its execution of a private contracted ship maintenance pilot program that aims to help address persistent and substantial maintenance delays that hamper the Navy's ability to restore readiness.
. . . followed by the Joint Strike Fighter:
Although the House Appropriations defense subcommittee is recommending full funding for the F-35 Autonomic Logistics Information System, lawmakers are calling out the program office for failing to develop a system that meets requirements and directs the Defense Department to ensure a smooth transition to the replacement capability.
. . . and the Air Force:
A House panel is criticizing the Air Force's management of its hypersonics prototyping program -- pointing to skyrocketing costs and poor budget planning as evidence of the military's broader lack of discipline executing Middle Tier Acquisition authorities.
House appropriators are recommending cutting most of the fiscal year 2021 funding the Air Force proposed for Advanced Battle Management System on-ramp events while also criticizing the service's nontraditional execution of the program.
. . . as well as space funding:
House appropriators are pushing the Air Force to move quickly to create a separate acquisition executive for space -- direction that comes as the Air Force in recent months has slowed down those plans, opting to focus on crafting a new acquisition system before committing to an organizational structure.
A third congressional defense oversight committee is objecting to the Pentagon's fiscal year 2021 proposal to put the Space Development Agency in charge of the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor, a development that could keep the Missile Defense Agency running the project.
Last but certainly not least, we have an interview with the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center's Detachment 5 director:
Air Force testers are developing a first-of-its-kind, systematic approach to guide experimentation with artificial intelligence and autonomous airborne vehicles and fill a need within the defense community for a set of principles for officials evaluating these new technologies.