WASHINGTON — The House Armed Services Committee in a late-night vote May 22 approved its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2025 by a vote of 57-1.

More than 700 amendments were negotiated. The NDAA, which authorizes $850 billion for the Defense Department, now heads to the House floor.

One of the more contentious amendments on space policy was on the Space National Guard. The proposal submitted by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) requires governors to approve any transfer of Air National Guard units to the Space Force. It also requires annual reports to Congress on the status of transfers of Air Guard units to the Space Force.

This provision could impact the Space Force’s plans to allow Air Guard members responsible for space missions into the Space Force’s new hybrid structure of full-time and part-time workforce. 

  • The HASC voted to give the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration oversight over the Contractor Responsibility Watch List (CRWL). The Air Force sought that authority in order to hold accountable contractors that underperform on acquisition programs.
  • The bill establishes a program known as the Commercial Augmentation Space Reserve to allow DoD to sign agreements with commercial companies that would commit to providing satellite capacity or other services to the military during conflicts.
  • The committee also approved an amendment requiring the Department of the Air Force to brief Congress on how it plans to leverage commercial solutions to meet the mission areas identified in the U.S. Space Force Commercial Space Strategy published in April. 
  • The HASC passed an amendment from Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) directing the Pentagon to assess the impact on intelligence sources of leaked classified information about Russia’s development of an anti-satellite nuclear weapon. That provision was directed at a social media post in February by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) warning of a grave national security threat and urging the Biden administration to declassify and discuss the information publicly. Turner opposed Moulton’s provision but it still passed.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...