The Department of Defense (DoD) would get an additional $26 billion in FY2015 under a funding initiative proposed by President Obama in the federal budget request submitted to Congress this week.
The president’s Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative requests $56 billion in FY2015 for additional investment in defense and nondefense programs to “spur economic progress and strengthen our national security.”
The additional $28 billion in domestic would go to education, research and innovation, infrastructure and jobs, opportunity and mobility, public health and safety, and to promote a more efficient and effective government, according to budget documentation. Another $28 billion would go to defense programs to improve DoD readiness and support modernization and to provide “effective sustainment of the nuclear weapons stockpile.”
This increased funding would be offset from spending and tax reforms proposed by the president.
DoD Comptroller Bob Hale explained to reporters when the budget was released how DoD would allocate its share ($26.4 billion) of funding from the initiative. He said about 40 percent would be used for “direct readiness enhancements,” about 40 percent for “modernization improvements,” and about 10 percent for “installations support increases, sustainment, and military construction.”
Secretary Hagel strongly endorsed the president’s initiative in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week. He said DoD’s share of the initiative’s funding is necessary to close near-term gaps in readiness and modernization that have arisen due to required funding cuts.
He emphasized that this proposal was not meant to satisfy a “wish list of unfunded priorities or unfunded requirements,” perhaps referring to the request by the House Armed Services Committee for such a list from the military services. He said the additional $26 billion is expressly for “bringing unit readiness, equipment, and facilities closer to standard after the disruptions and large shortfalls of the last few years.”
Hagel listed specific examples of how the additional funding would be allocated.
The Army would use the funds to address training needs and buy Blackhawk helicopters.
The Navy would fund aviation depot maintenance and logistics and increased investment in the P-8 Poseidon, E-2D Hawkeye, and Joint Strike Fighter programs. The Marine Corps share would fund unit level training and provide needed investment in the H-1 and KC-130 aircraft programs.
The Air Force would also fund readiness and training support and provide investment funding for the F-35, C-130J, and MQ-9 Reaper aircraft programs.
And, Hagel said all services would allocate funding from the initiative to fund needed base sustainment and military construction projects.