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New chairman of House Armed Services Committee plans reorganization

Jan. 13, 2011 - 05:43PM   |  
By KATE BRANNEN   |   Comments
The new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, plans on shaking up the way the committee does business.
The new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, plans on shaking up the way the committee does business. (File photo / Getty Images)

An upcoming reorganization of the subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee will shift oversight of certain weapons programs, including Navy and Marine Corps tactical jets, according to committee staff.

The shifts will be made as part of a new rules package to be proposed by the new committee chair, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., at a meeting that could be as early as next week, the committee's Republican spokesman Josh Holly said.

The Democrats are expected to announce their committee assignments at the same meeting.

"The reorganization of the Armed Services subcommittee structure eliminates jurisdictional ‘stovepipes' and better aligns the seven subcommittees with current operations and future threats," Holly said in an e-mail.

The Air and Land Forces subcommittee, headed by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., will be renamed the Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee. It will oversee all Army, Air Force and Marine Corps acquisition programs with the exception of Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle programs, strategic missiles, space, lift programs, special operations, science and technology programs, and information technology accounts, according to McKeon's office.

The subcommittee will also oversee Navy and Marine Corps aviation programs, as well as modernization and ammunition programs for the National Guard and Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Reserve.

The Seapower and Expeditionary Forces subcommittee, led by Rep. W. Todd Akin, R-Mo., would become the subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. It would oversee Navy acquisition programs, Naval Reserve equipment and Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle programs. It would also oversee deep-strike bombers and related systems, as well as lift programs.

It would not include strategic weapons, space, special operations, science and technology programs, and information technology programs.

The Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, headed by Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, would oversee strategic weapons, except deep-strike bombers and related systems; space programs; ballistic missile defense; national intelligence programs, and Department of Energy national security programs, except non-proliferation programs.

The Subcommittee on Military Personnel, led by Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., would oversee military personnel policy, Reserve Component integration and employment issues, military health care, military education and POW/MIA issues. In addition, the subcommittee would be responsible for Morale, Welfare and Recreation issues and programs.

The Subcommittee on Readiness, led by Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., would manage military readiness, training and logistics; and deployment preparation and processes. In addition, the subcommittee would oversee military construction; depot policy; civilian personnel policy; environmental policy; installations and family housing issues, including the base-closure process; energy policy, and programs of the Department of Defense.

The Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, led by Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, would have oversight of Defense-wide and joint enabling activities and programs to include Special Operations Forces; counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism programs and initiatives; science and technology policy and programs; information technology programs; homeland defense and Defense Department-related consequence management programs; related intelligence support, and other enabling programs and activities to include cyber operations, strategic communications, and information operations.

Finally, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, led by Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., would oversee any matter within the jurisdiction of the Committee, subject to the concurrence of the Chairman of the Committee and, as appropriate, affected subcommittee chairmen. The subcommittee would have no legislative jurisdiction.

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