HASC Endorses Mattis Infantry Task Force – With Some Suggestions by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. - Breaking Defense
WASHINGTON: The House Armed Services Committee unanimously endorsed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s efforts to improve the infantry and added a few suggestions of its own. Let’s give infantry units more drones and train them more like special operators, the amendment to the annual defense policy bill said, and maybe consider creating a special training center for small unit leaders, like a Top Gun for grunts.
The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act came from freshman Congressman Jimmy Panetta, son of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. While one of the most junior members of the committee, Rep. Panetta is a former Navy Reservist who served in Afghanistan as the intelligence officer for a Special Operations Task Force going after “high value targets,” military-speak for terrorist leaders. His Monterey district includes the Army’s famed Presidio as well as the Naval Postgraduate School, with Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton a few hours south.
Panetta’s proposal got packaged with other non-controversial amendments in a so-called en bloc amendment — both Chairman Mac Thornberry and ranking Democrat Adam Smith had to approve its inclusion — which then passed by a unanimous voice vote…