HR 2810: 2018 NDAA Outline and Highlights

Links to highlighted provisions in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

H.R. 2810: National Defense Authorization for Fiscal Year 2018

Division A: Department of Defense Authorizations

Title I: Procurement

Sec. 111: Authorizes the expedited purchase of up to 7,000 rifles designed to pierce body armor and “increase soldier lethality”

Sec. 122: Authorizes the purchase of one polar-class heavy icebreaker

Sec. 123: Authorizes the purchase of 15 Arleigh Burke class Flight III guided missile destroyers

Sec. 124: Authorizes the purchase of 13 Virginia class submarines

Sec. 131:: Requires the Air Force maintain at least 1,970 fighter jets

Sec. 132: Prohibits the Air Force from retiring any Northrup Grumman manufactured E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft

Title II: Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation

Sec. 215: Creates and authorizes $100 million for a new program for developing high energy lasers and high powered microwave weapon systems.

Sec. 233: Creates a pilot program for sharing royalties with individual inventors of new defense technologies.

Title III: Operations and Maintenance

Sec. 312: Eliminates the goal of energy use reduction by the military, replacing it with the goal of “energy resilience”

Sec. 313: Authorizes no more than $125,000 to pay into the Hazardous Substance Superfund to pay off an EPA penalty for soil and groundwater contamination at the Umatilla Chemical Depot, a soon to be closed facility that stored and destroyed chemical weapons.

Sec. 314: Authorizes no more than $1,185,000 to pay into the Hazardous Substance Superfund to pay off an EPA penalty for ground water and soil contamination at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant.

Sec. 316: Authorizes $7 million for a 7 year study to be performed on the human health implications of per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), which are man-made chemicals not naturally found in the environment, which are known to be in the drinking water and ground water near military installations.

  • Contains a provision that says that the study and assessment “shall not interfere with any regulatory processes of the Environmental Protection Agency, including determinations of maximum contaminant levels.”

Sec. 318: Orders a report on any releases by the Department of Defense of radium or radioactive material into the groundwater within a 75 mile radius of the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant in Bethpage, New York.

Sec. 344:: Orders a cost-benefit analysis every time the Defense Department enters into a contract for buying uniforms for the Afghan military.

  • The analysis will include the costs and feasibility of switching the Afghan uniforms to a pattern owned by the United States and/or buying the rights to the Spec4ce Forest pattern the Afghans are wearing now.

Title IV:Military Personnel Authorizations

Active Duty Numbers

Title V:Military Personnel Policy

Sec. 527: Reinstates the military’s ability to reinstate up to 1,000 retired service members on a volunteer basis through December 31, 2022. This authority had expired at the end of 2011.

Sec. 533:: Makes publishing or distributing sexual images of someone else without their consent a court martial eligible offense.

Sec. 556: Until the end of 2022, the military will provide reimbursement up to $500 to pay for professional relicensing costs incurred by spouses of military members who must relocate.

Sec. 581: Expands eligibility for entry into the US Air Force Institute of Technology to private sector employees of companies that provide defense related systems, products, or services.

Title VI: Compensation and Other Personnel Benefits

Sec. 604: The Defense Department will create a process to allow the spouses and children of military members who must move to stay in their homes to finish jobs and/or school before relocating.

Sec. 617: Authorizes $35,000 or less annual bonuses to drone operators until the end of 2018

Title VII: Health Care Provisions

Sec. 702: Raises out of pocket costs for prescription drugs for active duty military members.

Increase amounts (the original law did not have any built in increases over time)

  • 30 day supplies of generic medications increase from $10 to $11 for 2018, and continue to increase to $16 by 2027.
  • 30 day supplies of retail medications increase from $24 to $28 for 2018, and continue to increase to $48 by 2027
  • 90 day supplies of mail order generic medications will increase from $0 to $7 for 2018, and continue to increase to $14 by 2027.
  • 90 day supplies of mail order formulary medications will increase from $20 to $24 for 2018, and continue to increase to $44 by 2027
  • 90 day supplies of mail order non-formulary increases from $49 to $53 for 2018, and continue to increase to $85 by 2027.
  • After 2027, the Secretary of Defense will determine the increases in drug costs for military members based on changes to the price of drugs and prescription dispensing.

Sec. 703: Starting in mid-March 2018, active duty members of the armed forces with PTSD or brain injuries will be able to get hyperbaric oxygen therapy if it’s prescribed as treatment by their doctor.

Sec. 706: Armed forces members will have to get a mental health assessment in addition to a physical exam before leaving the military.

Sec. 707: Expands eligibility for counseling and treatment for sexual trauma to include members of the reserves who were abused while in training.

Sec. 716: In the case the military wants to use a drug unapproved by the FDA using emergency powers but can’t “because the emergency does not involve an actual or threatened attack with a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent”, the Defense Secretary may authorize “an emergency use outside the United States of the product to reduce the number of deaths or the severity of harm to members of the armed forces (or individuals associated with deployed members of the armed forces) caused by a risk or agent of war”

Title VIII: Acquisition Policy, Acquisition Management, and Related Matters

Sec. 803: Privatizes some audits that should be completed by the Defense Contract Audit Agency by October 1, 2020 and allows the private auditors to continue after the 2020 audits are complete.

Sec. 805: Increases the amount of money that can be spent on a purchase, from $100,000 to $250,000, before triggering stricter purchasing standards.

Sec. 806: Increases the amount of money that can be spent on a “micro-purchase”, increasing from $3,000 to $10,000.

Sec. 808: By mid-June 2018, the Defense Dept. will form a committee of executives from technology and war industry companies to meet at least once a year to pitch products to the Secretary of Defense.

Sec. 811: Reduces transparency in contracting requirements by increasing the contract threshold amount that triggers the need to make cost and pricing data available. The increases go from $100,000 to $750,000 in some cases and from $500,000 to $2 million in others.
– The affects of these changes will not be analyzed and submitted to Congress until March 2022.

Sec. 813: Allows chemical weapons antidotes contained in automatic injectors (and components for such injectors) to be purchased from companies outside the United States industrial base starting on October 1, 2018. Also immediately repeals the requirement that solar panels purchased by the Defense Department be manufactured in the United States.

Sec. 866: Removes the cost-sharing requirement put in place so that companies share an “appropriate commitment to the success” of expedited projects intended to be completed in 2-5 years.

Sec. 885: Removes the requirement that businesses, including vending machine companies, that contract with the Federal government accept $1 coins.

Sec. 888: Allows the Defense Dept. to cancel contracts with Chinese companies that supports illegal activities by North Korea.

Title IX: Department of Defense Organization and Management

Re-organizes positions and tasks within the Department of Defense

Title X: General Provisions

Sec. 1011: Re-authorizes the military Drug War & counter-terrorism partnership with the government in Columbia until 2022, specifically naming the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the United Self-Defense Forces of Columbia (AUC) as “terrorist organizations”.

  • Current law limits the number of US troops in Columbia to 800 and US contractors to 600.

Sec. 1024: Prohibits the retirement or inactivation of cruisers or dock land ships.

Sec. 1025: US policy will be to have 355 “battle force ships”, which are “combat capable ships that contribute to war-fighting missions, specified combat support missions, or service support missions”

Sec. 1032: Effective in 2021, the requirement that the Defense Dept submit a detailed budget justification for the “combating terrorism program” to Congress once per year will be eliminated.

Sec. 1033: Prohibits people who have been in Guantanamo Bay since January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama’s inauguration day, to be transferred out before the end of 2018.

Sec. 1034: Prohibits money from being used to construct housing in the United States for prisoners currently in Guantanamo Bay prison.

Sec. 1035: Prohibits the transfer of any current Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Libya, Somalia, Syria, or Yemen.

Sec. 1036: Prohibits the closure of the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Sec. 1045: Prohibits some military officers from “lobbying activities with respect to the Department of Defense” for one or two years, depending on their rank at retirement.

Sec. 1046: Prohibits the retirement or storage of the following:

  • AVENGER-class mine countermeasures ships
  • SEA-DRAGON (MH-53) helicopters or associated equipment

Sec. 1049: Allows contractors to hire up to 4,000 foreign laborers to do construction, repairs, renovations, or facility services for “the military realignment occurring on Guam” until October 1, 2023.

Sec. 1051: Eliminates a long list of required reports, effective November 2017, including:

  • Diversity in military leadership report
  • Health Protection Quality report
  • United States contributions to NATO common-funded budgets report
  • Burden sharing contributions report
  • Contract prohibition waiver report
  • Foreign controlled contractors report
  • Support for sporting events report
  • Military installations vulnerability assessment reports
  • Industrial facility investment program construction report
  • Statement of amounts available from energy cost savings
  • An annual report on allied contributions to the common defense
  • An annual report on the official development assistance program of Japan
  • An annual report on defense cost-sharing
  • An annual report on counterproliferation policy and programs of the United States
  • An annual report on commercial item and exceptional case exceptions and waivers
  • Department of Defense costs to carry out United Nations resolutions
  • Electromagnetic pulse attack report
  • An entire list of reports on Littoral Combat Ship vessels
  • Nuclear triad report
  • TRICARE Mail-order pharmacy program report
  • Warriors in transition programs report
  • Updates of activities of office of security cooperation in Iraq report
  • United States participation in the ATARES program report
  • Defense Clandestine Service report
  • International agreements relating to DoD report
  • Assignment of private sector personnel to defense advanced research projects agency report
  • DoD response to compromises of classified information report
  • DoD assistance to counter ISIS report

Sec. 1057: Orders an annual report for the next five years on civilian casualties caused by US military operations

Sec. 1084: Orders the Defense Department to consider changes to the rules governing the domestic use of military drones

Sec. 1093: Prevents cable companies from requiring that RT – or any other station partially owned, controlled, or financed by the Russian government- be broadcast to their customers.

Sec. 1097: Expands whistleblower protections, including punishments for supervisors who retaliate or allow retaliation against whistleblowers.

Title XI: Civilian Personnel Matters

Sec. 1101: Allows the Secretary of Defense to hire 10 private sector experts “for the purpose of assisting and facilitating the efforts of the Department of Defense in business transformation and management innovation.”

Title XII: Matters Relating to Foreign Nations

Assistance and Training

Sec. 1201: Extends for one year the authority first granted in 2008 to provide up to $400 million in supplies, services, transportation, and other logistical support to coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sec. 1202: Authorizes $10 million per year through 2020 to “provide support to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals” supporting “authorized irregular warfare operations” by US Special Forces.

  • The support is not allowed to be for a covert action or activities that are “inconsistent with the laws of armed conflict”.

Sec. 1204: Changes current law to allow “members of the armed forces” to be advisors to the ministries of defense of foreign countries, along with civilian employees.

  • Changes the law to say that our military can provide tools, training, services, supplies and small scale construction if it promotes “observance of and respect for the law of armed conflict, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law” and new part: “civilian control of the military

Sec. 1205: Extends the authority for the military to train NATO and NATO partner countries to increase interoperability between the US military or NATO militaries and to increase their ability to fight and orders new regulations drafted that require reimbursement of expenses from non-developing countries, which is a requirement the Secretary of Defense will be able to waive.

Sec. 1207: Allows the Defense Secretary to create the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies to help craft the laws governing war in other countries.

Sec. 1208: Extends our participation in the Inter-American Defense College, which is part of the Organization of American States.

Matters relating to Afghanistan and Pakistan

Sec. 1211: Extends the authority of the Secretary of Defense to provide defense articles – not extra ones – for free to the government of Afghanistan until the end of 2018.

Sec. 1212: Allows the Defense Secretary to use $900 million to pay other countries for fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Matters relating to Syria, Iraq, and Iran

Sec. 1221: Orders a report from President Trump in his Syria strategy by February 1, 2018.

Sec. 1222: Extends the authority to “provide assistance, including training, equipment, logistics support, supplies, and services, stipends, facility and infrastructure repair and renovation” to “military and other security forces of or associated with the Government of Iraq, including Kurdish and tribal security forces or or other local security forces.”

Sec. 1223: Expands the authority in Syria to include repairing training facilities and other facilities” that cost less than $4 million, and limits total repairs to $10 million.

Sec. 1225: Lists countries suspected of cooperating with Iran’s military (an enemy’s list) which includes Cuba, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela.

Sec. 1227: Requires the Secretaries of Defense and State submit a report and wait 30 days before giving shoulder launched surface-to-air missiles, which are threats to low flying planes like helicopters, to Syrian “opposition” fighters.

Matters Related to the Russian Federation

Sec. 1233: A sense of Congress that the United States should support “the sovereign right of all European states to pursue integration into the European Atlantic community through institutions such as NATO and the European Union“.

Sec. 1234: Adds to the list of US activities allowed as “security assistance and intelligence support” in Ukraine to include:

  • Healthcare treatment for wounded Ukrainian soldiers including transportation, lodging, meals, and other appropriate non-medical support
  • Education and training for Ukrainian healthcare specialists
  • Radar systems
  • Counter land-mine technologies
  • Coastal defense ships
    • Last year’s NDAA added “a comprehensive border surveillance network” and training for Ukrainian military leadership.

Sec. 1239A: Orders the Secretaries of Defense and State to create a comprehensive anti-Russia strategy. It must include:

  • Building of US military presence in Europe
  • Anti-propaganda partnership with NATO’s Strategic Communications Center of Excellence.
  • Use and full funding of the Global Engagement Center
  • Media programs in other countries
  • Partnerships with social media providers to counter Russian information
  • Hardening of US infrastructure
  • State Department and USAID programs to “promote good governance and enhance democratic institutions abroad”
  • Creating plans with allies to “enhance energy market liberalization”
  • Expand trade in liquefied natural gas with the European Union and expand gas transport infrastructure in Europe.
  • “The continued integration of countries within multinational institutions in Europe.”
  • Outreach to the Russian people

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty Preservation Act of 2017

Sec. 1242: Declares that Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty – a 1987 treaty signed by the US and Russia to eliminate both countries short and medium range ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles – and states that this gives the United States the “right to invoke legal countermeasures which include suspension of the treaty in whole or in part“.

Sec. 1243: Authorizes additional missile defense assets in Europe, authorizes $58 million for defenses against short to medium range ground launched missiles and orders the Secretary of Defense to create a program to develop a road-mobile ground-launched cruise missile system

Matters relating to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region

Sec. 1251: A sense of Congress that additional military assets should be allocated to the region

Sec. 1251: Authorizes a new program called the Indo-Asia-Pacific stability initiative, which will:

Sec. 1254: Orders a plan for handling North Korea to be written by the Defense Secretary which must include:

  • Increased visible presence of military assets in the region
  • More military exercises with allies in the region
  • More weapons sales to allies in the region
  • Plans to deploy air fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear weapons
  • Re-deployment of submarine-launched nuclear cruise missiles to the region

Sec. 1258: Authorizes new joint exercises and mutual defense planning with India, which will be reclassified as a “Major Defense Partner” and the facilitation of a partnership between the governments of Afghanistan and India to “promote stability and development in Afghanistan.

Sec. 1258: Adds the responsibility to “promote United States defense trade with India for the benefit of job creation and commercial competitiveness in the United States” to the job description of an Executive Branch employee

Other Matters

Sec. 1271: Orders a report on the US strategy in Somalia which must include a plan to train the Somali National Army and other Somali security forces, in partnership is AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia).

Sec. 1273: Orders the Defense Secretary to submit a plan for the next five years of the European Deterrence Initiative.

Sec. 1275: Orders a report on the US military and diplomatic strategy for Yemen, which must include:

  • “A detailed description of the threats posed to freedom of navigation through the Bab al Mandab Strait and waters in proximity to Yemen as well as any United Sates efforts to mitigate those threats.”

Sec. 1278: Requires that at least 50% of the $25 million per year spent on equipment to research anti-tunnel capability in Israel must be spent in the United States.

Sec. 1279A: Orders the President to submit a strategy to support security forces in Nigeria, including:

Sec. 1279B: Prohibits funds from being used to implement the 2014 multilateral Arms Trade Treaty – which governs the sale of conventional weapons – until it is approved by the Senate.

Sec. 1279D: Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to supply militaries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania nations to fight Russia.

Sec. 1279E: Asserts the right of the United States to refuse to comply with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits nuclear explosive tests.

Title XV: Authorization of Additional Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

Sec. 1512: Gives the Defense Secretary the ability to transfer up to $2.5 billion as he sees fit.

Sec. 1521: Allows the Defense Department to take possession of equipment that we buy for the Afghanistan security forces that they don’t want.

Sec. 1523: Orders the Comptroller General of the United Staes to submit a report to Congress about the possibility of separating money appropriated for the War on Terror (“overseas contingency operations”) from all other money provide for the Defense Department.

Title XVI: Strategic Programs, Cyber, and Intelligence Matters

Space Activities

Sec. 1601: Orders the Secretary of Defense to sign a contract with a “federally funded research and development center” to develop a plan, including the text of a proposed bill, to create a separate military department responsible for the Department of Defense’s activities in space. The plan must be submitted to Congress by the end of 2018.

Sec. 1602: Allows the governments of allies to install GPS ground monitoring stations on US territory

Sec. 1603: Prohibits the Defense Secretary from signing a contract for satellite services from a company that does it’s manufacturing and/or operates on behalf of China, North Korea, Russia, or any country that is a state sponsor of terrorism starting with launches in 2023.

Defense Intelligence and Intelligence-Related Activities

Sec. 1621: Gives the Defense Secretary the authority to grant a company security clearance as long as the company employs a senior management official who does and is given the responsibility to manage classified information.

General Cyber Matters

Sec. 1633: Orders President Trump to develop a national policy for cyber warfare, including offensive cyber capabilities aimed at targets most valued by US adversaries.

Sec. 1634: Prohibits the entire Federal Government from using any hardware, software, or services developed or provided in any way by Kaspersky Lab, a company based in Moscow that provides anti-virus software, effective October 1, 2018.

Sec. 1638: Allows the Defense Department to test election systems for cybersecurity vulnerabilities but only if the State agrees in writing to participate.

Sec. 1641: Orders the Secretary of Defense to develop a plan to increase inclusion of cyber planning in joint planning exercises in Asia to counter Chinese and North Korean information.

Sec. 1643: At at least two military installations through 2019, the Defense Department will study the idea of isolating military infrastructure from the national electric grid and the use of microgrids.

Sec. 1646: The Defense Department will study and brief Congress by mid-June 2018 on the potential uses by the military of blockchain technologies and an assessment of efforts by foreign powers, extremist organizations, and criminal networks to utilize blockchain technologies. Part of this report is allowed to be classified.

Nuclear Forces

Sec. 1656: Beginning in mid-December 2018, the Defense Department will be prohibited from buying any equipment, system, or service related to our nuclear weapons or missile defense systems produced by Huawai Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation, or any company connected to the Chinese or Russian governments.

Sec. 1664: Requires that the United States have at least 400 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles

Missile Defense Programs

Sec. 1676: Requires a plan to submitted to transfer some missile defense programs from the Missile Defense Agency to military departments

Sec. 1680: Orders a test of the standard missile 3 block IIA missile interceptor by the end of 2020

Sec. 1681: Orders the Secretary of Defense to pick a location within the US mainland for a new ballistic missile interceptor site.

Sec. 1682: Orders the Defense Secretary to make sure Aegis Ashore missile defense systems are deployed in Romania by mid-December and Poland one year after the system is operational.

Sec. 1683: Orders the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to develop a system of sensors in space to support the US missile defense systems.

Sec. 1684: Authorizes $92 million to be given to Israel’s government to buy Tamir interceptors, manufactured by Raytheon, as long as the interceptors are produced partially inside the United States.

Sec. 1684: Authorizes $120 million to be given to Israel’s government to buy the David’s Sling Weapon System, as long as at least half of the production is done inside the United States.

Sec. 1684: Authorizes $120 million to be given to Israel’s government to buy the Arrow 3 Upper Tier Interceptor Program, as long as at least half of the program is produced in the United States.

Sec. 1686: Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to increase the number of ground based missile interceptors, including the option to deploy 20 more at Fort Greely, Alaska at any time before 2022.

Sec. 1690: Orders the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to submit a report on a test plan that speeds up deployment of new missile defense technologies.

Other Matters

Sec. 1691: Creates a commission to study the threat to the United States from electromagnetic pulse attacks and similar events.

  • The 12 members will be appointed by Congress.
  • The report will be due on April 1, 2019.

Sec. 1693: Orders the Secretary of Defense to create a plan to make the prompt strike weapon system operational by September 30, 2022.

Sec. 1694: Orders a report on options for the government to purchase ammonium perchlorate, used as a rocket propellant, to see if they could get it from more than one source.

Sec. 1695: Orders a report on options on buying rocket parts from more than two or more domestic suppliers.

Title XVII: Small Business Procurement and Industrial Base Matters

Sec. 1711: Authorizes a four year program that will give tax money to small and medium war industry manufacturers via contracts and grants to purchase equipment for testing and certification purposes, incentives for the private sector to develop manufacturing capabilities for “national security interest” areas, providing loan guarantees, and giving money to other entities to buy stuff and invest in war industry manufacturers.

Title XVIII: Government purchase and travel cards

Sec. 1803: Orders a strategy to be developed to use data analytics to flag improper purchases on travel cards.

Title XXV: International Programs

Sec. 2512: Authorizes construction of a new 26,000 square foot level 1 correctional facility – which provides pre-trial and post-trial confinement- at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.

Title XXVIII: Military Construction General Provisions

Land Conveyances

Sec. 2846: Prohibits businesses, road creation, mechanical transportation, or any buildings to be construction at any time in the future at Castner Range, Fort Bliss, Texas.

Title XXXI: Department of Energy National Security Programs

Sec. 3101: Authorizes spending on projects for the National Nuclear Security Administration including $174 million for a project in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Program Authorizations, Restrictions, and Limitations

Sec. 3111: Summarizes the unacceptably old age of our nuclear infrastructure and orders the Administrator of Nuclear Security to create a program that will update at least 30% of the nuclear infrastructure by 2025.

Sec. 3118: Orders the Administrator for Nuclear Security to launch a design competition, to take place in fiscal year 2019, for a nuclear warhead that could be employed on ballistic missiles of the United States by 2030.

Title XXXIV: Maritime Matters

Sec. 3514: Enacts stricter policies for punishing sexual assault