The FY2012 DoD base budget request, announced today, totals $553.1 billion. The budget also requests $117.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations. Secretary Gates said the FY2012 base budget provides a “reasonable, responsible, and sustainable level of funding, the minimum level of defense spending that is necessary, given the security challenges we are facing around the globe.” The FY2012 DoD budget supports four main objectives: 1) maintaining and strengthening the commitment to caring for the all-volunteer force; 2) balancing the U.S. defense posture; 3) continuing support for deployed personnel; and 4) reforming the way DoD does business and allocates resources (shifting funds from “tail to tooth”).
The Army’s FY2012 budget request is $144.9 billion (26%). The Navy budget totals $161.4 billion (29%) and the Air Force $150.0 billion (27%). Defense wide accounts FY2012 budgets amount to $96.8 billion (18%).
The FY2012-16 Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) budget plan implements Sec. Gates’ efficiencies proposal that identified $178 billion in savings. Of the total savings, $100 billion was reallocated to higher priorities and $78 billion was used to lower defense budgets as part of the president’s deficit reduction plan. The budget overview describes the makeup of the $78 billion as: $54 billion from efficiencies in staffing and operations; $4 billion from restructuring the F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter Program); $14 billion from economic and other adjustments; and $6 billion from reductions to Army and Marine Corps ground troops in FY2015 and FY2016.
The FY2012 DoD budget reflects the pay freeze for civilian employees enacted by Congress for two years. The civilian workforce will generally stay at the FY2010 level, with some exceptions made for improving the acquisition workforce. The budget provides a 1.6 percent across-the-board pay increase for military personnel. The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will increase by 4.2 percent and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) will rise by 3.4 percent. Under the budget proposal, TRICARE premiums for working-age military retirees will increase by $2.50 for individuals and $5.00 for families.
According to a briefing presented by Robert Hale, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), the FY2012 budget focuses on investment requirements to meet current military operations and threats, as well as modernization requirements for potential future conflicts. He emphasized that funding for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, improved cyber capabilities, and the Chemical Biological Defense Program are needed to support current operations. To meet requirements for future conflicts, Hale pointed to restructuring the F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter), extending procurement of F/A-18EF aircraft, and the 11-ship shipbuilding program for FY2012. In addition, the budget will invest in a new long-range bomber, the KC-X tanker, a new family of armored vehicles, and a 2% growth in funding for basic research.
Real growth (budget dollars adjusted for inflation) in the FY 2012 DoD budget will be 3.6% when measured against FY2011 appropriations funded at a year-long level. However, reductions to budgets over the next four years will mean minimal real growth in FY2013 (+1%) and FY2014 (+5%) and no growth for FY2015 and FY2016, when troop strength levels for the Army (-27,000) and Marine Corps (about 20,000) are implemented.
Total DoD spending in FY 2012 (including war spending) is expected to be 4.5 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and almost 19 percent of total federal spending.
Additional detail on the FY2012 budget request is available on the DoD Comptroller website. On Tuesday, February 15th at 9:30 EST, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Robert Hale will discuss the FY2012 DoD budget on DODLive Bloggers.