WASHINGTON, D.C. – Led by Chairman Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Ranking Member Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats & Capabilities today released their proposals for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Subcommittee will meet at 11:00am ET on Monday, June 22 in Rayburn 2118.  The markup will be live streamed on the committee’s website. The Subcommittee's mark is available here


Specifically, this year's proposal:


Strengthens the DOD’s Ability to Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction, With a Focus on Chemical and Biological Threat Reduction

  • Directs the Comptroller General to conduct a review of the Department's ability to respond to chemical and biological events and the extent to which the Department’s military and chemical and biological defense support units, both around the world and in the United States, are prepared to counter chemical and biological weapons.

  • Directs the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense to provide a briefing on the Department's assessment of organ-on-chips technology as a platform for threat assessment and for rapidly developed treatments (medical countermeasures) for biological, chemical, and radiological threats, and what plans the Department has to use this technology going forward.

  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing on North Korea's chemical and biological weapons' capabilities and an assessment of the Department's readiness to combat these emerging threats.

  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan to address and implement the recommendations in the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s report on Preparedness of U.S. Forces to Counter North Korean Chemical and Biological Weapons.

  • Encourages the Department to prioritize funding and explore partnerships to improve the Department’s ability to respond to public health and national security threats through emerging infectious disease modeling and forecasting.

  • Urges the Department to include in its bio-engineering roadmap plans to resource and expand its bio-engineering efforts and collaboration with the bio-industrial manufacturing base for defense applications.


Increases Oversight of Military Operations in Cyber Space and Enhances Cybersecurity

  • Requires GAO to evaluate the Department’s approach and shortfalls on addressing internet architecture security.

  • Directs an evaluation of existing policies governing the use of the National Guard to respond to significant cyber incidents.


Enhances the Protection of Critical Technology

  • Requires an update on the status of the Department’s implementation of the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act across the defense enterprise.

  • Requires a briefing on the Department’s deployment of private, low-latency network and cloud interconnection at global peering locations.

  • Directs a briefing on the Department’s practices for identifying duplicative software, hardware, licenses, and potential associated cost savings.


Strengthens Oversight of Special Operations Forces Activities, Readiness, and Alignment to the National Defense Strategy

  • Directs a comprehensive review of the authority under section 127e of title 10, United States Code, to include the history, currency, processes and procedures for transitioning or terminating the programs provided by such authority, and the potential future use of the authority in continued support of the use of special operations forces to combat terrorism.

  • Requires a briefing on the implementation of the roles and responsibilities for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC) as directed by NDAA FY17 section 922

  • Directs the Comptroller General of the United States to review and report on the history, current use, and future intent of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Preservation of the Force and Family (POTFF) program.

  • Requires the Commander, USSOCOM, to provide a briefing on the implementation strategy of the findings from the 2020 Comprehensive Review of Special Operations Forces (SOF) culture and ethics.

  • Requires the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a review and publish a report on USSOCOM's structure and organization regarding all forces aligned or assigned to the Command to include the Theatre Special Operations Commands.

  • Directs the Commander, USSOCOM, to provide a report on the current utilization strategy of the Services’ Reserve Components and Air and Army National Guard units, which provide support to the operational and training requirements of USSOCOM.


Improves Alignment of Intelligence and Security Capabilities to the National Defense Strategy

  • Directs a monthly report on all known instances in which classified information technologies are discovered to be connected to the open internet.

  • Directs the Comptroller General of the United States to provide an assessment of the Special Operations Command’s Joint Intelligence Brigade’s resources, functions, and missions.

  • Requires a report on the relationship between China and Russia, including military relationship, economic ties, cultural exchanges, professional exchanges, competing interests that limit such cooperation, and whether those ties are eroding US influence around the world.

  • Directs the Comptroller General to provide the committee with an assessment of the Department’s resources, capabilities, and plans for artificial intelligence.


Strengthens National Security Workforce

  • Encourages incorporation into pre-deployment training a new component on media literacy to prepare troops to think critically and identify disinformation.

  • Requires improvements in cyber education for primary, secondary, and post-secondary students.

  • Establishes a research and development pilot program within the Defense Innovation Unit to develop a talent optimization marketplace for military personnel in the Reserve and Guard Components. 

  • Urges the Assistant Director for Quantum Sciences in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to consider the Department's quantum workforce gaps, and what science, technology, engineering, and math related education is required to develop the necessary future quantum workforce in the Quantum Sciences road map for the Department.


Provides for a Comprehensive and Robust S&T and R&D Ecosystem to Maintain a Technological Edge

  • Extends the pilot program for the enhancement of the research, development, test, and evaluation centers of the Department to allow the Services to demonstrate methods for more effective management and development of technology.

  • Requires a social, management, and information science research and development program to ensure access to the innovation and expertise necessary for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of executing operational and management activities.

  • Reiterates the importance of social science research programs at a time when peer and near-peer adversaries are increasingly employing elements of malign influence, disinformation, and predatory economics in concert with technological capabilities. 

  • Establishes a Directed Energy Working Group to coordinate directed energy efforts across the military services, leverage shared research and development, eliminate redundant efforts, and expedite the operationalization of directed energy programs

  • Requires a report on the Department’s use of common data standards; how they can be used for artificial intelligence-based technologies; and the feasibility of releasing a public subset to reduce the barriers to research with, and adoption by, academia and technology companies.

  • Requires a plan to address the Department of Defense Inspector General recommendations in the October 2019 report titled, “Audit of the DoD’s Use of Additive Manufacturing for Sustainment Parts.”

  • Requires a briefing on the research, development, test, and evaluation infrastructure master plan for Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

  • Requires a report on the definition of an “endless magazine” to sufficiently facilitate predictable requirements development and guide investment by industry.

  • Urges the Department to expand existing mechanisms and partnerships for international research, development, test, and evaluation for emerging science and technology projects.

  • Urges the Secretary of Defense to work with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to expand the number of open-source, high-quality data sets within Project Open Data to increase the availability of open data and foster research and innovation in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

  • Urges the Secretary of Defense to better partner with Hispanic-serving, land-grant institutions to create a talent development program that provides experiential learning through internships and co-ops with Department agencies, while improving access to science, technology, engineering, and math education and careers for underrepresented populations.

  • Supports the Department’s efforts to prioritize the development and procurement of both Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) technology that can deliver next generation technology supporting both strategic Department priorities and 5th Generation (5G) commercial demands.

  • Urges the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to review safety concerns, mitigations, potential fielding methods, use cases for each military service, and planned timelines to develop and transition the use of hydrogen on the battlefield.

  • Urges the Secretary of the Navy to review and evaluate current testing, capacity, and certification process timelines of Department of Defense lithium-ion batteries, and to identify any commercial facilities that could supplement or replace current Department processes through leveraging commercial expertise in this field.

  • Authorizes funding for research and development of autonomous counter unmanned aircraft system technologies to increase protection of troops operating in austere locations.