The INSIDER daily digest -- April 18, 2024

By John Liang / April 18, 2024 at 2:47 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on House lawmakers' consideration of the multibillion-dollar supplemental spending package, plus the Michigan congressional delegation's efforts to ensure fighter aircraft are stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and more.

We start off with coverage of the supplemental spending package making the rounds in the House:

Johnson releases multipart security supplemental that could endanger his job

After months of debate and party infighting, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) today released three bills that would provide $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region, a move that could cost him his speakership if GOP hardliners seek his ouster.

House GOP appropriators talk bigger defense budget in advance of Johnson's supplemental

Leaders on the House Appropriations Committee said today they would like to see a higher fiscal year 2025 topline for defense spending, despite the capped $850 billion budget mandated by law, while also throwing their support behind Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-LA) piecemeal plan to pass a $95 billion security supplemental spending package.

Throughout this week, Air Force officials have fielded tough questions from the Michigan congressional delegation about whether they would place another fighter squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base:

Kendall falls short of promising Michigan delegation Selfridge will get a future fighter mission

The Air Force is not precluding Selfridge Air National Guard Base, MI from receiving another fighter mission after its fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs begins to retire in 2026, but that won’t come anytime soon, service Secretary Frank Kendall told lawmakers during posture hearings in the House and Senate this week.

Navy acquisition chief Nickolas Guertin told lawmakers this week that he signed several memos directing efforts to alleviate schedule challenges identified across key acquisition programs by a recent shipbuilding review:

Navy moves to alleviate shipbuilding delays through workforce development and industry collaboration

The Navy today unveiled a series of new initiatives to tackle shipbuilding delays by refining contracting strategies, improving collaboration with industry and strengthening the workforce involved in designing, contracting and building naval vessels.

The Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies is a pilot program that aims to transition technologies through prototyping phase to production:

DOD announces 13 new projects to receive APFIT funding

The Defense Department announced the second tranche of projects selected to receive funding in fiscal year 2024 from the Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies, known as APFIT.

A Pentagon acquisition team is looking to help potential defense contractors to avoid the "valley of death":

Transition Tracking Action Group chair says it will supply insights on programs like Replicator and RDER

The chair of the Transition Tracking Action Group (TTAG) told Inside Defense this week that the group will provide recommendations to Defense Department programs involved in bridging the acquisition "valley of death," like the Replicator initiative and the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER).

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently announced it "intends to award [Blanket Purchase Agreements] to Commercial Accelerators that, together, will provide the best coverage across DOD's critical technology areas as well as diverse coverage of startup ecosystems":

DARPA looking for Commercial Accelerators to help transition funded research to development

The chief of commercial strategy at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency told Inside Defense the agency is searching for multiple Commercial Accelerator providers to aid in scaling acceleration efforts and bringing DARPA-funded projects to the development stage.