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Jeh Johnson: FY 2017 Defense Policy Bill Covers DHS ‘Unity of Effort’ Initiative

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has said the fiscal year 2017 defense policy bill signed by President Barack Obama includes provisions to codify components of DHS’ Unity of Effort initiative.

Johnson said in a statement posted Tuesday the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes DHS’ efforts to unify the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection under the Joint Task Forces.

“I am particularly pleased that Congress has now authorized this approach, not just for border and maritime security, but also for purposes of homeland security crises and other regionally-based operations,” said Johnson.

Obama signed the 2017 NDAA that authorizes $618.7 billion in base funds and includes $67 billion for overseas contingency operations.

Johnson added the bill also authorizes joint duty training and DHS’ proposal to create a new office of strategy, policy and plans that will be led by a presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed undersecretary.

He noted Joint Task Forces is the “centerpiece” of the Unity of Effort initiative, which works to provide a centralized approach to budget making, acquisitions, employment and realignment of headquarters functions.

Johnson said he established the Joint Task Forces based on the combatant command structure in the Defense Department.

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