This week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, ADM Mike Mullen, CJCS, and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller & CFO) Robert Hale testified before the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on the FY2011 defense budget.  Secretary Gates reiterated DoD’s priorities he identified in earlier hearings to the Armed Services Committees (Highlights, Feb 11, 2010):  care for the force; rebalancing forces; and acquisition reform.  He underscored his support for killing the alternative engine program for the F-25 (Joint Strike Fighter), stating again that if Congress funded the program he would recommend a Presidential veto.  In response to questioning, Secretary Gates stated that one of his goals was to institutionalize capabilities used in current conflicts needed in the future.  This means including their funding in the base budget rather than in war cost supplemental requests.  ADM Mullen provided an overview of the U.S. military force posture and urged the subcommittee to continue its support for a well-trained and equipped force, especially the well-being of servicemembers and their families.  He identified several areas where increasing capacity deserves special attention, including rotary wing, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), electronic warfare, and Special Operations Forces (SOF) programs.   ADM Mullen also expressed concern about the defense industrial base and pressed leaders in DoD, industry, and Congress to begin addressing how best to equip and sustain future forces.