The INSIDER daily digest -- Dec. 8, 2021

By John Liang / December 8, 2021 at 2:00 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has lots of coverage from the House and Senate's compromise defense policy bill and more.

Let's start off with the news from the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill:

Defense bill sets DOD on path to reform key budget and planning processes

House and Senate lawmakers have unveiled a final fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that would establish a new commission tasked with reforming the Pentagon's decades-old "planning, programming budgeting and execution" process.

Controversial 'Buy American' provision removed from final defense policy bill

Lawmakers have agreed to drop a provision from the final fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that would have steadily increased the Pentagon's domestic sourcing requirements for materials used in its major defense acquisition programs.

Defense bill targets DOD acquisition accountability

House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that restores the requirement for the Pentagon to submit annual selected acquisition reports detailing the cost, schedule and performance of its key weapons programs.

Compromise policy bill supports SWAC objectives, but appropriators have the final word

The Space Force's new force design center cleared a legislative hurdle Tuesday in the compromise fiscal year 2022 defense policy bill, with House and Senate lawmakers expressing symbolic support for the office -- however, the fate of the office ultimately lies with congressional appropriators.

Defense bill allocates $200 million to expand Virginia-class submarine industrial base

Lawmakers are pushing to expand the Virginia-class attack submarine industrial base, allocating $200 million in the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill to allow three Virginia-class submarines to be built each year.

Congress wants Army notification on force structure changes

The Army would be required to notify Congress of any "significant" force structure changes, including changes to echelon-above-brigade headquarters or long-range fires units, under the final version of the fiscal year 2022 defense policy bill.

Compromise defense bill keeps LRSO stipulations, host of GBSD provisions

Lawmakers' compromise defense policy bill retains efforts from the House and Senate to set requirements tied to the future of the Air Force's Long-Range Standoff Weapon.

Defense authorization agreement retains certain USAF retirement limits

House and Senate authorizers have proposed lifting legislative constraints on retiring one legacy tanker, retaining a one-year A-10 divestment prohibition and tweaking proposed reduction limitations for the B-1 bomber fleet in the compromise version of the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill.

Lawmakers propose 2029 deadline to transition F-35 program management from JPO to services

Lawmakers want the Pentagon to draft a plan to fully transition F-35 program management from the joint program office to the Air Force and Navy by 2029.

Congress bolsters shipbuilding in defense policy bill, procuring three destroyers

Congress has procured a total of 13 ships, including three destroyers, in its final version of the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill, five more ships than the Navy requested in its initial budget.

House-Senate compromise version of defense policy bill excludes major cyber provisions, Solarium Commission proposals

The House and Senate Armed Services committees today unveiled a compromise fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill to be voted on in each chamber, without including a number of high-profile cybersecurity amendments such as a cyber incident reporting mandate and assorted recommendations of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.

More cyber news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

Pentagon plans to add certification controls from old CMMC model through work with NIST

The Pentagon will make changes to its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program by working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to revise Special Publication 800-171, according to Defense Department assessment leader John Ellis, who says DOD has plans to propose additional controls from the old CMMC model for inclusion in the next update to the key NIST publication.

Plus additional coverage from this past weekend's Reagan National Security Forum:

Marine Corps open to hypersonic strike weapon if the size is right

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Marine Corps is open to one day adopting a hypersonic strike weapon if its size is not too cumbersome for new front-line units being designed to operate in contested areas, said the service's top general, who allowed the service "could be" interested in a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency effort called OpFires.

Lawmakers look to workforce development to strengthen defense industrial base

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- A lawmaker on the House Armed Services Committee is urging the development of a collaborative initiative focused on workforce development to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

New amphibs face budget shortfall; big decks now eyed as unmanned 'motherships'

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Marine Corps needs more money in fiscal years 2023 and 2024 to buy Light Amphibious Warships, critical to service plans to establish new littoral units that can nimbly move shore-to-shore inside China's striking range, while contemplating a radical new use for its big-deck combatants: "Motherships" to unleash unmanned air and undersea systems.

Last but by no means least, some news on a proposed proliferated low-Earth-orbit communications architecture:

SCO pulls 'premature' pLEO communications architecture RFI; plans to reissue next year

The Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office has withdrawn a request for information for a proliferated low-Earth-orbit communications architecture, but a spokesman confirmed the office plans to reissue the notice "sometime next year."