03.03.20

Senator David Perdue: ABMS Development Needs Proper Oversight

Expects Air Force To Comply With Congressional Requirements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is calling for proper congressional oversight of the U.S. Air Force’s new Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). In response to questioning from Perdue, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett would not immediately commit to complying with requirements previously signed into law through past National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA). The Air Force has committed to hosting the ABMS platform at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.

Click here to watch Senator Perdue’s exchange with Secretary Barrett in today’s hearing. 

barrett

“The development of ABMS is encouraging, but we need to make sure Congress has proper oversight throughout the process,” said Senator Perdue. “Right now, new technologies are being developed to replace legacy platforms, and it is advancing in a way that does not perfectly fit the traditional acquisition process. There’s no question the United States military is moving in the right direction and is working to close gaps between existing technologies and future required capabilities. However, I’m concerned that the Secretary was not immediately able to answer my question about complying with the requirements laid out in the FY19 and FY20 NDAA. I look forward to working with the Secretary and her team to ensure proper congressional oversight and support for these developing capabilities.”

Background:

In a hearing on Air Force posture, Perdue asked Barrett, “I need your commitment today that the Air Force will abide by the current NDAA that relates to JSTARS and ABMS, specifically Sections 236 (FY20 NDAA) and 147 (FY19 NDAA), and that we can expect to receive the analysis of alternatives and the capability of development document. Can you commit to that today?”

Barrett responded, “I am not confident that I could commit to it today. We’ll evaluate it, and may I get back with you, even later today?”

“Absolutely. If changes need to be made to the structure of oversight, now’s the time,” Perdue continued. “It’s really unacceptable that we don’t get these reports on time.”

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.

### 

When Senator Perdue was elected, he was the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress. He is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Foreign Relations Committees.