An omnibus spending bill introduced by congressional appropriators would fund the modernization and procurement of AH-64 Apache helicopters for the U.S. Army to address recommendations from the National Commission on the Future of the Army, Defense News reported Monday.
Jen Judson writes the proposed bill allocates $262 million for seven new AH-64s and covers the annual operating costs of four attack helicopter battalions.
NCFA recommended that the Army National Guard maintain four Apache battalions amid a dispute between the active Army and Guardsmen over a 2013 decision to transfer all Apaches from the National Guard to active units.
The commission’s suggestions to retain an 11th Combat Aviation Brigade in South Korea and maintain a total force of at least 980,000 troops are also reflected in the spending package, Judson reported.
The bill would provide funds to upgrade existing Army Apaches; sustain a CAB in South Korea; and increase the military branch’s force size by up to 3,000 active soldiers, Guardsmen and reservists, according to the report.
House and Senate leaders on Sunday reached a $1 trillion budget deal to fund the government operations for the remaining months of its 2017 fiscal year.