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HASC Starts Mark-ups: The chairmen of four House Armed Services Committee panels on Wednesday released their mark-ups of the Pentagon's Fiscal 2013 budget request. Each panel—emerging threats and capabilities; personnel; seapower and projection forces; and strategic forces—will hold a mark-up hearing on Thursday, April 26. Among Air Force-related items of note, the personnel mark would retain 560 of the 3,900 Active Duty airmen that the Air Force has proposed cutting, thereby leaving an Active Duty end strength of 329,460 vice 328,900. The mark justifies keeping these extra billets to fill the "manpower requirements to maintain" 18 RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 aircraft that the service wants to divest. The mark also calls for establishment of a unified medical command across the Defense Department, something the Air Force has resisted. The seapower and projection forces mark would require the Air Force's future bomber—primarily envisioned for conventional missions—to be certified for nuclear weapons as well by the time it is declared ready for operations. The strategic forces mark would allow the Air Force to buy two Space Based Infrared System satellites using a fixed-price contract and incremental funding, but without advanced appropriations authority.

Mark-up documents (caution, all are large-sized files): 
Emerging Threat and Capabilities mark-up
Personnel mark-up
Seapower and Projection Forces mark-up
Strategic Forces mark-up