Georgia Senators Express Concern Over Delayed ABMS Report

“Without this required documentation, Congress cannot perform its oversight role.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) wrote to Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett to express concern that the Air Force did not meet a deadline to submit key information to Congress about the development of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) platform, which the Air Force has committed to hosting at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. 

Section 236 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 required the Air Force to report to Congress on certain aspects of the ABMS development process by June 1, 2020.

“Without this required documentation, Congress cannot perform its oversight role to ensure on-time, on-budget development of this critical weapon system,” wrote the senators.

“We support the work of the Air Force as it equips its warfighters of tomorrow, and are proud that Robins Air Force Base will be home to these capabilities vital for success in future combat,” continued the senators. “As ABMS plays a pivotal role in implementing the National Defense Strategy, we respectfully request the documentation required to be submitted to Congress as soon as possible. We look forward to working with you to field this critical capability and ensure we avoid any gaps in our national security.”

In March, Senator Perdue questioned Secretary Barrett in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing and reiterated that ABMS development needs proper congressional oversight. He called missed deadlines “unacceptable.”

Senator Perdue continues to work with Air Force leadership, Robins Air Force Base, and the 21st Century Partnership to ensure the new battle management system is developed efficiently, while continuing to fly the existing JSTARS to prevent any capability gaps.

  • In June 2018, the Air Force announced it will locate the Advanced Battle Management System at Robins Air Force Base.
  • In the FY19 defense bill, Senator Perdue secured funding to accelerate the development of ABMS and extend the operational life of the JSTARS fleet.
  • In the FY20 defense bill, Senator Perdue included provisions to hold the Air Force accountable for timely development of AMBS and provide additional funding for its development.

Read the full letter here.