Both the House and the Senate have now passed their versions of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The two bills must now be reconciled and then sent to the President for his signature. The NDAA will provide policy direction for the Department of Defense (DoD) for FY 2018, which began on October 1st. We expect final action on the NDAA within the next few months. Separately, the House has passed its version of the FY 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill, which will provide funding for DoD; the Senate has not yet acted on its version of the DoD funding bill. The government is now operating under a Continuing Resolution through December 8th and we are hopeful that final action on funding bills will occur within the next few months as well.
It is essential that DoD have clarity on funding for its programs. The Improved Turbine Engine Program, or ITEP, remains in the US Army’s top 10 modernization priorities – and remains the top aviation priority. This program will upgrade engines for the AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters as well as for Future Vertical Lift (FVL) platforms in the years to come.
In a September 8th letter signed by Defense Secretary James Mattis and sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee, DoD outlined just exactly what the 90-day CR will do to the department—the noted “Long term CRs impact the readiness of our force and their equipment at a time when security threats are extraordinarily high. The longer the CR, the greater the consequences for our force.”
We urge the Congress to complete action on the FY 2018 NDAA and the FY 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill to provide clarity for program managers, suppliers, and contractors to move forward on needed programs like ITEP.