House Armed Services Releases Chairman's Mark
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) released the Chairman's Mark for H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 yesterday. The bill would restrict the retirement of C-130 and C-27J cargo aircraft. Specifically, the bill would prevent the retirement of C-130 aircraft in FY13 and permit the retirement of up to 41 such aircraft thereafter. It would prevent the divestment or retirement of C-27J aircraft during FY13 and until 180 days after the Air Force submits a previously required report on the number of aircraft required to support federal and state missions and until the Congressional Budget Office submits a life-cycle cost analysis comparing C-27J and C-130 aircraft. The bill would preserve Air National Guard (ANG) personnel required to retain 21 C-27J aircraft and 39 C-130 aircraft. Under the Air Force's original budget proposal, the ANG would lose 39 C-130s and all C-27J aircraft. The Chairman's mark does not address the proposed reduction of other ANG aircraft. The Committee will markup the bill tomorrow. The full Chairman's mark may be accessed here.
NGA Contacts:  Heather Hogsett, 202-624-5360; Mike Obrock, 202-624-5390

House Committee Releases Defense Appropriations Bill for FY 2013
The House Appropriations Committee released the subcommittee draft of the Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013 yesterday. The bill provides $519 billion in non-war funding, an increase of $1.1 billion over the fiscal year 2012 level and contains $88.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations for activities related to the Global War on Terror. In addition, the bill includes $850 million to “pause” retirements and reassignments of Air National Guard and Reserve aircraft until Congress and the Government Accountability Office complete a cost-benefit analysis of the Air Force’s FY 2013 budget proposal. The Air Force’s proposal included disproportionate cuts to the Air National Guard to reduce its budget over the next several years. The Defense Appropriations Subcommittee plans to mark up the bill Tuesday, May 8, at 10:00 am EST. 
NGA Contacts:  Heather Hogsett, 202-624-5360; Mike Obrock, 202-624-5390

NTIA Announces Recruitment of FirstNet Board of Directors
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced the recruitment of the board of directors of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) yesterday. FirstNet was created by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 to be an independent authority within NTIA to build, deploy and operate a single, nationwide public safety broadband network. The board of directors will be responsible for making decisions and establishing guidelines regarding FirstNet’s operations. The legislation requires the board to be comprised of 15 members, including the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget as permanent members. The Secretary of Commerce, serving as Chairman of the Board, is required to select the remaining members, including representatives of state, local and tribal governments and public safety officials. Expressions of interest for membership on the FirstNet board of directors must be submitted no later than May 25, 2012. More information, including qualifications and submission guidelines, can be found here.
NGA Contacts:  Heather Hogsett, 202-624-5360; Mike Obrock, 202-624-5390