It’s been a busy week at the House Armed Services Committee where they’ve been working on the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. In fact, it passed out of committee with a vote of 59-2 and is expected on thd House floor next week. And while, we’ve been talking quite a bit about the Enyart Amendment that directs all of DoD to adopt a common camouflage combat uniform, there are plenty of other Soldier Systems items on their plate.
From the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee we’ve seen language that:
1) Creates budget line items for protective equipment. This will move money out of Operations and Maintenance accounts and into procurement accounts providing more visibility of funding to industry in the Military Department’s budgets.
2) Provision requiring DOD to contract with a Federally Funded Research Center to study the procurement methods used to for protective equipment
3) Provision requiring the DOD to report on their body armor strategy to increase innovation, reduce weight, etc.
4) Provision requiring report on plan to provide female specific clothing and equipment.
Additionally, from the Chairman’s mark there is:
1) Language requiring IG to audit Berry amendment compliance
2) Directive report language to evaluate the risks of use of Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Contracting and Reverse Auctions for critical safety items and protective equipment.
The HASC characterized the bill in summary press release available here but this how they refer to their work on warfighter equipment:.
“The bill facilitates the development of ever more functional, lighter, and more protective body armor by requiring each service to create a separate procurement budget line for personal protective equipment- thus making body armor a more traditional weapon system acquisition program that can build on successive generations of innovation and investment, rather than the ad hoc procedure now in place. The bill also requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a comprehensive study and assessment on ways to improve personal protective equipment for female service members.”
We asked our friends at the Warfighter Protection & Readiness Coalition for their thoughts on HR 1960 and they offered us this statement:
“The WPRC applauds all of these legislative steps by the House Armed Services Committee that support warfighter readiness and ensure equipping the individual warfighter is a continued priority. This bill recognizes that warfighter equipment acquisition reform is needed to sustain industry’s innovation investments and production capabilities to meet future force requirements.”