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S.

2987
[Report No. 115–262]
To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2019 for military activities of
the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense
activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel
strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-115s2987pcs/pdf/BILLS-115s2987pcs.pdf

Subtitle E—Studies and Reports

SEC. 1041. REPORT ON HIGHEST-PRIORITY ROLES AND MISSIONS OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE ARMED FORCES.

(a) SENSE OF SENATE.—It is the sense of the Senate that—
(1) the National Defense Strategy correctly characterizes the leading
strategic challenges facing the United States as the reemergence of great power
competition, the erosion of the United States military technological advantage,
enduring violent extremism and instability in the broader Middle East and Africa,
and continued uncertainty in the United States about the availability of sufficient
resources for national defense;
(2) the National Defense Strategy correctly prioritizes the development of a
more lethal joint force that is ready to deter and, if necessary, defeat aggression by
great power competitors with advanced military capabilities, while conducting
counterterrorism operations in a more sustainable manner, together with allies and
partners;
(3) the National Defense Strategy, and the implications of the Strategy for the
size, structure, shape, roles, missions, and employment of the joint force, was not
completed in time to inform fully the budget of the President for national defense
for fiscal year 2019;
(4) many Department of Defense programs of record are upgraded
replacements of legacy systems that were not premised on the assumption that
future conflict could occur in highly-contested environments against militarily
advanced near-peer rivals;
(5) considerable growth in the size of the military will not be possible
without growth in the budget, because the current future-years defense program
assumes that defense spending after fiscal year 2019 will only increase at the rate of
inflation, while costs for two of the largest drivers of costs for the Department,
namely military personnel and operation and maintenance, continue to grow faster
than the rate of inflation;
(6) the Senate strongly supports the pursuit by the Department of budgetary
savings through internal reform and efficiencies, but notes that previous attempts to
generate additional resources through such mechanisms did not generate resources
as planned;
(7) increased force modernization investments must be based on a rigorous
reassessment of whether current programs will meet present and future
warfighting requirements against near-peer rivals that are making rapid military
technological advancements;
(8) the Department must conduct further analytical work in order—
(A) to facilitate the implementation of the National Defense Strategy,
as recommended by the Commission on the National Defense Strategy; and
(B) to provide Congress with a more rigorous understanding of, and
justification for, future requests for resources to organize, train and equip, and
employ the Armed Forces; and
(9) the Senate encourages the Secretary of Defense to refine the National
Defense Strategy into more specific operational tasks and force planning scenarios
that the joint force must be ready and able to perform in order to facilitate a better
understanding of joint force development priorities and the roles and missions of
each Armed Force.

(b) REPORT ON ROLES AND MISSIONS.—
(1) REPORT REQUIRED.—Not later than February 1, 2019, the Secretary of
Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report setting forth
a re-evaluation of the highest priority missions of the Department of Defense, and of
the roles of the Armed Forces in the performance of such missions.
(2) GOALS.—The goals of the re-evaluation required for purposes of the
report shall be as follows:
(A) To support implementation of the National Defense Strategy
(B) To optimize the effectiveness of the joint force.
(C) To inform the preparation of future defense program and budget
requests by the Secretary, and the consideration of such requests by Congress.

(c) ELEMENTS.—The report required by subsection (b) shall include the following:
(1) A detailed description of the pacing threats for each Armed Force, and for
special operations forces, and an assessment of the manner in which such pacing
threats determine the primary role of each Armed Force, and special operations
forces, including the connection between key operational tasks required by
contingency plans.
(2) A specific requirement for the size and composition of each Armed Force,
including the following:
(A) The required total end strength and force structure by type for the
Army.
(B) The required fleet size of the Navy, identified by class of ships and
the corresponding total end strength requirement once that fleet size is achieved.
(C) The required number of operational Air Force squadrons,
identified by function and the corresponding total end strength requirement once
that number of squadrons is achieved.
(D) The required total end strength and force structure by type for the
Marine Corps.
(E) The force sizing construct used to determine the end strength
requirements covered 10 by subparagraphs (A) through (D), the year-by-year plan
for achieving such requirements, relevant force posture assumptions, and the
associated military personnel costs of such plan.
(3) A re-evaluation of the roles of the Armed Forces in performing low-
intensity missions, such as counterterrorism and security force assistance, including
the following:
(A) An assessment whether the joint force would benefit from having
one Armed Force dedicated primarily to low-intensity missions, thereby enabling
the other Armed Forces to focus more exclusively on advanced peer competitors.
(B) A detailed description of, and accompanying justification for, the
total amount of forces required to perform the security force assistance mission and
the planned geographic employment of such forces.
(C) A revalidation of the Army plan to construct six Security Force
Assistant Brigades, and an assessment of the impact, if any, of such plan on the
capability of the Army to perform its primary roles under the National Defense
Strategy.
(D) An assessment whether the security force assistance mission
would be better performed by the Marine Corps, and an assessment of the end
strength and force composition changes, if any, required for the Marine Corps to
assume such mission.
(4) A reassessment of the roles and missions of the total ground forces, both
Army and Marine Corps, to execute the National Defense Strategy, including the
following:
(A) A detailed description of the allocation of roles for the Army and
Marine Corps in deterring and waging war against advanced peer competitors that
can complement the activities and investments of each such Armed Force and
optimize the capabilities of each such Armed Force.
(B) A detailed description of the appropriate balance and mix of Army
force structure, including light infantry, mechanized infantry, armor, air defense,
fires, engineers, aviation, signals, and logistics, that is required to perform the roles
and missions of the Army against its pacing threats.
(C) A detailed description of the modernized capabilities and concepts
to be developed by the Army to contribute to joint force operations against
advanced peer competitors, including the manner in which Army aviation will
evolve in light of unmanned aerial vehicle technology.
(D) A revalidation of the requirement for ground force modernization
efforts, including the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, and Mobile
Protected Fires, that are not optimized for conflict between the United States and
advanced peer competitors.
(E) A detailed description of requirements for Army forces needed to
support theater operations.
(5) An assessment, based on operational plans, of the ability of power
projection platforms to survive and effectively perform the highest priority
operational missions described in the National Defense Strategy, including the
following:
(A) An assessment of the feasibility of the current plans and
investments by the Navy and Marine Corps to operate and defend their sea bases in
contested environments.
(B) An assessment whether amphibious forced entry operations
against advanced peer competitors should remain an enduring mission for the joint
force considering the stressing operational nature and significant resource
requirements of such mission.
(C) An assessment whether a transition from large-deck amphibious
ships to small aircraft carriers would result in a more lethal and survivable Marine
Corps sea base that could accommodate larger numbers of more diverse strike
aircraft.
(D) An assessment of the manner in which an acceleration of
development and fielding of longer-range, unmanned, carrier-suitable strike aircraft
could better meet operational requirements and alter the requirement for shorter-
range, manned tactical fighter aircraft.
(E) An assessment of the manner in which the emerging technology to
operate large numbers of low-cost, autonomous, attributable systems in the air, on
and under the sea, on land, and in space could change the manner in which the joint
force projects power globally.
(6) An assessment, based on operational plans, of the ability of manned,
stealthy, penetrating strike platforms to survive and perform effectively the highest
priority operational missions described in the National Defense Strategy, including
the following:
(A) An assessment whether anticipated advances in stealth
technology and the employment of such technology on existing or developmental
systems, such as the F–35 and B–21 aircraft, can be expected to outpace and
overmatch adversary capabilities to detect and target such systems.
(B) An assessment of the ability of fourth generation aircraft with
advanced sensors and weapons to perform certain missions equally or more
effectively than the missions assigned to, or envisioned for, fifth-generation
penetrating strike platforms.
(C) An assessment of the manner in which the emerging technology
to operate large numbers of low-cost, autonomous, attributable systems in the air,
on and under the sea, on land, and in space could obviate or reduce the requirement
for penetrating strike platforms.
(7) A re-evaluation of the most effective and efficient means for the joint
force to perform the air superiority mission in both contested and uncontested
environments, including the following:
(A) An assessment of the ability to achieve air superiority from other
domains, including with land-based systems, naval systems, undersea systems,
space-based systems, electronic warfare systems, or cyber capabilities.
(B) A validation of the envisioned operational and cost effectiveness
of the Penetrating Counter-Air platform, and of the requirement for developing this
system as part of the Air Force Next Generation Air Dominance program.
(C) A detailed description of the optimal mix across the joint force of
fourth-generation and fifth-generation fighter aircraft, bomber aircraft, and Next
Generation Air Dominance systems to fulfill operational demands for air superiority.
(D) A detailed description of the manner in which the joint force will
perform the mission of light aerial attack in uncontested environments to support
counterterrorism and security force assistance missions, and the mission of
countering violent extremism operations, at the lowest cost to the readiness of
advanced, multirole combat aircraft.
(E) A determination of what Armed Force, in addition to the Air Force,
should have a role in the mission of light air attack in uncontested environments.
(8) A reevaluation of the roles and missions of the joint special operations
enterprise, including the following:
(A) A detailed assessment whether the joint special operations
enterprise is currently performing too many missions worldwide, and whether any
such missions could be performed adequately and more economically by
conventional units.
(B) A detailed assessment whether the global allocation of special
operations forces, and especially the most capable units, is aligned to the pacing
threats and priority missions of the National Defense Strategy.
(C) A detailed description of the changes required to align the joint
special operations enterprise more effectively with the National Defense Strategy.
(9) An assessment of the manner in which increased use of the space domain
should revise or reallocate the requirements of the joint force, including the
following:
(A) A detailed description of the missions, including joint moving
target indication, air battle management, and missile and aircraft tracking and
targeting, that could be performed more effectively from space-based platforms due
to emerging technology and operational requirements.
(B) An assessment of the manner in which the joint force can take
advantage of the development and deployment of disaggregated commercial
satellite Internet constellations to replace legacy tactical communications networks
and devices and achieve multi-domain command and control more effectively and at
lower cost.
(C) An assessment of the manner in which to ensure that the joint
force has access to technologies that deliver superior offensive space capabilities
and a maneuver advantage to and within the space domain, including reusable
launch systems and spacecraft, on-orbit refueling and manufacturing, on-orbit
power generation, and exploitation of space minerals and propellants.
(D) A detailed description of the actions to be taken by components of
the Department to promote and protect the development of a licit space economy,
including the following:
(i) Defense of commercial activities, facilities, and claims.
(ii) Safety of navigation.
(iii) Rescue and recovery.
(iv) Construction and maintenance of public works in Cis-
Lunar Space.
(v) Active debris remediation.
(vi) Establishment of an on-orbit national strategic reserve of
space minerals and propellants.
(10) A reassessment of the manner in which the joint force will perform the
mission of logistics in contested environments, including the following:
(A) A revalidation of the requirement for the KC–46 tanker aircraft,
including an assessment of the aerial refueling requirements in contested
environments and a greater reliance on distributed systems of systems.
(B) A detailed assessment whether the mission of logistics in
contested environments could be better performed by larger numbers of lower-cost,
autonomous systems capable of dispersed operations on land, at sea, and in the air.
(C) A detailed assessment whether greater forward stationing of joint
force capabilities and personnel would be more operationally effective in
performing the contact and blunt missions of the National Defense Strategy.

(d) FORM.—The report required in subsection (b) shall be submitted in classified
form, and shall include an unclassified summary.