Congress doesn't plan on authorizing extra cash for the Army's next-generation squad weapon after all

Military Tech
General Dynamic's NGSW-AR prototype in action (Courtesy photo via The Firearm Blog)

It looks as though lawmakers aren't too keen on shelling out additional funding for the Army's much-hyped next-generation squad weapon after all.


Over the course of this year's defense budget wrangling, House and Senate Armed Services Committees had previously added an extra $19.2 and $19.9 million, respectively to the to fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to increase funding to the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) program.

The additional funding put the total budget for infantry support weapons at around $126 million, well above the Pentagon's initial request for roughly $106 million for the line item.

But the conference version of the NDAA that's currently working its way through Congress, lawmakers ended up nixing the additional funding for the NGSW.

The NDAA line item for infantry support weapons, which includes the Next Generation Squad Weapon

The reason for the cut? The new funding "would have created hollow budget authority," one HASC aide told Task & Purpose. "Since it became apparent that the Appropriators would not follow our increase."

Translation: Even if lawmakers authorized the additional funding to the NGSW in the NDAA, appropriators simply would not have funded it in Congress's final spending bill. Consider it a bit of legislative smoke and mirrors: There was no point in adding that money because it never would have been actually appropriated in the first place.

In September, the Army selected General Dynamics-OTS Inc., AAI Corporation Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc to develop prototypes of the NGSW's carbine and automatic rifle variants chambered in 6.8mm, prototypes the gunmakers flaunted at the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting in October.

Army modernization officials previously told Congress recently that the service aims to field the NGSW to soldiers by fall 2021.

Soldiers from the 1-118th Field Artillery Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fire an M777 Howitzer during a fire mission in Southern Afghanistan, June 10th, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jordan Trent)

Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)

Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.

Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.

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Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018

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Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Navy and Marine Corps need to be a bit more short-sighted when assessing how many ships they need, the acting Navy secretary said this week.

The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.

"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.

The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.

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When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.

Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.

"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."

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