ASMC is saddened over the loss of one of our own, the Honorable Helen Virginia Thomas McCoy, a former Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller), passed on April 1, 2016 – sincere condolences to her family and friends. (Full Obituary)
House committee approves FY2017 Defense Authorization bill with more base budget funds and a 2.1 percent military pay raise
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) today approved (60-2) the FY2017 Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 4909). The HASC bill authorizes $543.4 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Energy (DoE) nuclear weapons program. The authorized amount for the base DoD budget would be $523.6 billion, essentially the same as the president’s request.
HASC Chairman Rep Mac Thornberry (R-TX) praised the bipartisan vote on the bill. “It is encouraging that for the 55th straight year, this Committee can come together, work through difficult issues, and pass a defense policy bill that supports our servicemembers and our national security,” he said. Thornberry emphasized that the bill “stops cuts to our Armed Forces, provides a pay raise for our troops, and makes major reforms in several critical areas, including military health care, the commissary system, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the acquisition system.
The bill authorizes $35.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) available until April 2017. After that the new Administration would, if needed, have to request additional OCO funds for FY2017. The president’s request included $58.8 billion for OCO in FY2017.
The HASC bill also authorizes another $23.1 billion in OCO funding to be used for base budget requirements. The administration request assumes that only $5 billion of OCO funds will be used for base requirements. Providing this amount brings the total funding authorized by the HASC for DoD in FY2017 to $602 billion, equal to the administrations request.
The HASC uses this extra base budget funding, which would not be counted against the budget cap because OCO funding is considered emergency, to pay for additional troops and readiness funding not included in the presidents budget request.
The HASC bill provides military personnel with a 2.1 percent pay raise, 0.5 percentage points higher than the administration’s 1.6 percent request. The bill rejects administration proposals for new fees for military retirees and enrollment fees for TRICARE for Life. The committee also approved giving at least 14 days leave to servicemembers whose spouses give birth. Also, couples who are both in the military and adopt a child would get two weeks leave.
The bill would increase active duty strength by 27,000 over the president’s budget request (20,000 for the Army, 3,000 for the Marine Corps, an 4,000 for the Air Force). The HASC would also set total Army Guard and Reserve strength levels 25,000 higher than the administration requested.
The HASC rejected an administration proposal to initiate another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. The committee dismissed DoD’s recent report on facilities and force structure levels as not realistically describing the needed future force structure. HASC Ranking Minority member Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) introduced an amendment to establish a base closure commission for another BRAC round. However, as he did last year, Smith withdrew the amendment before a vote could be taken.
The full committee added a provision on a vote of 32-30 that would require the registration of women for the draft. The amendment, offered by Rep Duncan Hunter (R-CA) who opposes drafting women, was proposed to openly discuss the issue. Opponents of drafting women hope that this provision will be soundly defeated on the House floor.
The HASC bill adds funding for 14 more F/A-18′s, 11 F-35s, three C-130J, and two MV-22 aircraft. The bill also funds additional Army AH-64 and UH-60M helicopters and two more ships (one LCS and one DDG-51).
The committee-approved bill rejects the administration’s proposal to retire the A-10 fleet and replace it with F-35’s.
The HASC bill includes acquisition reform proposals that accelerates the fielding of new technology more efficiently. It requires the design of weapon systems with open architectures to allow for easier upgrades. The plan also provides flexible funding to allow experimentation of new technologies and simplifies processes to expand “new avenues of competition for suppliers of all sizes,” according to the committee. The bill would provide DoD with “more tools to manage and and approve cost, schedule, and technological risk for major acquisition programs.” And, in a shift of decision authority, the bill would “grant Milestone Decision Authority for Joint Programs to Military Services after October 1, 2019.”
The full House is expected to take up the FY2017 Defense Authorization bill in May before the Memorial Day recess.
The total cost of 79 selected Department of Defense (DoD) major acquisition programs increased by $7.0 billion (+.43 percent) in 2015, according to a report issued by DoD last month.
The small increase reflects increased planned quantities (+$17.9 billion), higher costs due to engineering changes (+$7.1 billion) and program schedule changes (+$1.3 billon). Offsetting some of these increases were decreased program cost estimates (-$9.7 billion), lower escalation rates (-$4.8 billion), and a drop in support costs (-$4.8 billion).
When $7.1 billion is added to extend the funding for the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) through FY2021 (previous reports limited BMDS funding through FY2020) and adjustments are made for final and initial reports (+$8.3 billion), the total cost of DOD major acquisition programs as of December 31, 2014 is $1.644 trillion.
The cost estimates for selected programs are reported in the congressionally-required Selected Acquisition Reports (SAR). SAR estimates of total program costs include actual costs to date and estimated future costs. Program costs include research and development, procurement, military construction, and operations and maintenance costs that are acquisition-related.
The DoD report for the December 2015 period also identified one program that experienced critical Nunn-McCurdy unit cost breaches—unit cost increases of 25 percent or more to the current Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) or 50 percent or more to the original APB. The breach occurred for the Navy Remote Minehunting System (RMS) was terminated after 2016 in the FY2017 president's budget resulting in a significant reduction in quantities (from 54 to the 10 already delivered).
Programs submitting their initial SAR reports are not represented in the total cost growth estimates for a particular year. For this reporting period, the initial report was submitted for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) and the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) program.
DoD prepares these congressionally-required reports annually (with submission of the budget). Quarterly reports are prepared for programs that experience cost increases of 15 percent or more, and schedule delays of at least six months. DoD also submits quarterly reports for a program’s initial and final report, or for programs that are rebaselined during major milestone reviews.
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) will begin to mark up the FY2017 Defense Authorization bill on Wednesday, April 20.
The HASC markup schedule calls for three subcommittees to mark up on Wednesday April 20: the Military Personnel Subcommittee (11:30 AM); the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee (1:30 PM) and the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee (3:00 PM).
On Thursday, April 21 the remaining three subcommittee will mark: the Readiness Subcommittee (9:30 AM); the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee (11:00 AM); and the Strategic Forces Subcommittee (12:00 NOON).
All HASC subcommittee markups will be open.
Check the committee website for information on live streaming of the markups on the committee's YouTube channel.
The full committee markup is scheduled for the following week on Wednesday April 27 at 10:00 AM. HASC chair Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) hopes to take the bill to the House floor in early May.
Subcommittees may release draft markups on the HASC website before the subcommittees meet.
Proposed FY2017 House Budget Resolution would cut the deficit by $7 trillion, but increase defense spending
The budget resolution reported out by the House Budget Committee (HBC) on a 20-16 vote would cut the federal deficit by almost $7 trillion over the next 10 years and reach a balanced budget in FY2026, according to the committee.
HBC Chairman Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) said the plan would balance the budget through commonsense reforms and greater economic growth; to create a healthier economy, more secure nation, and a more accountable Washington.”
The HBC emphasized that the proposal 1) balances the budget in 10 years by cutting spending and promoting fiscal discipline, 2) strengthens national defense by providing increased resources to the Department of Defense and closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and 3) empowers U.S. Citizens and communities by repealing Obamacare, strengthening Medicare, and dismantling the Department of Commerce.
The annual budget resolution, often referred to as a “congressional budget blueprint,” sets revenue and appropriations targets for the tax writing and appropriations committees, so they can begin work on the president’s budget request. This is an internal congressional procedure, so the passed budget resolution is not sent to the president for approval.
The HBC plan, using the same name as last year “A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America,” would set the FY2017 total federal spending level at $3.9 trillion, $186 billion less than current policy.
The $7 trillion reduction in the deficit for FY2017-2026 would come from $6.5 trillion reductions in spending, a small increase in revenue (+$225 billion ), and $241 billion cuts from resulting economic changes. Of the $6.5 trillion in spending cuts, $2 trillion would come from repealing Obamacare, $2.9 trillion from reforms to Medicare (-$449 billion), Medicaid (-$1 trillion), and other mandatory programs (-$1.5 trillion). The remaining reductions would result from cuts to discretionary programs (-$690 billion) and lower interest payments on the debt (-$856 billion).
The HBC took no action to end sequestration.
The discretionary budget authority for national defense (DoD plus other defense-related spending such as the Department of Energy’s nuclear program) would increase over the budget caps by $268 billion from FY2017 to FY2026, while non-defense budgets would be cut by $759 billion over the same period, according to the HBC budget. The budget agreement set the budget caps for 2017-2021 and the budget resolution calculates cap levels for 2022-2027 budget authority using Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline estimates.
For FY2017, the proposed budget would keep defense at the sequester level of $551 billion, would allow $23 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding to be used for base budget requirements.
The Defense budget proposal may prove to be a sticking point as defense hawks are pushing for a larger number than included in the budget agreement and there is still disagreement in Congress (primarily from Democrats) on whether or not to use the OCO account to fund base priorities as the HBC proposes.
To placate calls from the House Republican Caucus for larger cuts to total spending in FY2017, the HBC resolution includes an amendment calling for a separate vote on a proposed $30 billion cut to mandatory spending.
House floor action has not been scheduled.
Last week, the House Appropriations Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (HAC-MilCon/VA) approved FY2017 funding for Military Construction (included in the total Department of Defense (DoD) budget request) and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The bill now goes to the full appropriations committee for consideration.
The MilCon/VA bill is the first FY2017 appropriations bill to advance in Congress. Noting the beginning of the appropriations season in the House, House Appropriations Committee chair Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) said “once again, the Committee is getting off to a fast and productive start. This Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill is a critically important piece of legislation that will provide the resources our veterans and servicemen and women need and deserve.”
The Military Construction portion of the FY2017 MilCon/VA bill provides $7.9 billion for military construction projects, family housing, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), and the NATO Security Investment Program. This amount is $250 million billion above the president’s request. The bill also funds $172 million in the Military Construction Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) appropriation.
Funding for specific active and reserve component military construction projects in the bill is set at $5.6 billion. However, another $515 million is provided in FY2017 for the Army ($41 million), Navy and Marine Corps ($294 million), Air Force ($26 million), Army national Guard ($68 million) and Army Reserve ($86 million) to be used for projects (identified in priority order) in unfunded priority lists provided to Congress.
The HAC subcommittee bill would fully fund the request for Family Housing projects ($1.3 billion) and the NATO Security Investment Program ($178 million) to support fixed and mobile infrastructure projects for NATO operations.
The bill also would rescind $144 million from prior appropriations Acts.
A provision in the bill would continue to prohibit the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and would prohibit the use of funds for a facility within the United States to house detainees.
Have you been waiting to choose your PDI courses for this year's PDI in Orlando? The schedule of PDI workshops is now final, and you may choose your personal selections.
- If you already registered for PDI, simply log in to your registration account at https://secure3.rhq.com/asmc/pdi16/attupdate/index.cgi. You will need the email address you used to register, and your registration number, which you can find in your original confirmation email.
- If you have not yet registered for PDI, course selection will be available to you when you register, at https://secure3.rhq.com/asmc/pdi16/attreg/index.cgi
More information about the 2016 PDI is available at www.pdi2016.org.
We are pleased to announce the winners of the CY2015 ASMC Achievement Awards!
This award category recognizes individuals and teams for outstanding accomplishments within one of the functional fields of membership. Click here to see the full list of individual and team winners.
These awards will be presented at the PDI in Orlando, Florida.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) wants to increase agency accessibility of custom software developed for the federal government.
Last week OMB released a draft Federal Source Code policy to the public for comment. The proposed policy would “require new software developed specifically for or by the Federal Government to be made available for sharing and re-use across Federal agencies,” according to blog post by Tony Scott, Federal Chief Information Officer.
Scott said the new policy could achieve savings by “avoiding duplicative custom software purchases and promote innovation and collaboration across federal agencies.” The administration expects this program to spur innovation, reduce costs, and result in better service to the public.
This is consistent with the government's policy of “technology neutrality,” Scott stressed.
The draft policy would require new custom code developed and paid for by the government to be accessible to all federal agencies for reuse and the release of some of the new custom code to the public as Open Source Software.
OMB is particularly interested in public comments on releasing custom code as Open Source Software (OSS). The policy would require agencies (in a pilot program) “to release at least 20 percent of their newly-developed custom code, in addition to the release of all custom code developed by Federal employees at covered agencies as part of their official duties.”
In addition, OMB wants comments on how the pilot program might “fuel innovation, lower costs, benefit the public, and meet the operational and mission needs of covered agencies.” OMB also would like feedback on possible advantages and disadvantages of the program, potential metrics that could be used to determine effectiveness of the policy, and opportunities and challenges resulting from an open source policy.
Part of the implementation of this policy will be the initiation (within 90 days of publication) of “Project Open Source.” This will be “an online repository of tools, best practices, and schemas to help covered agencies implement this guidance.” This resource is expected to “facilitate the adoption of good custom source code development and release practices.” Also within 90 days of publication, agencies will update and maintain an inventory of information resources required by OMB Circular A-130. Under the OSS policy, each agency CIO will have to “develop an agency-wide policy that addresses the new requirements and amend or correct agency policies that are not consistent with the new policy.
The period of public comment ends on April 1, 2016. Comment and suggestions can be provided on GitHub “issues” and direct edits may be provided through “pull requests” on “edit this page.” Comments are also accepted via e-mail to the OMB Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer.
A bill introduced in the House would improve efficiency in the hiring process at military bases, according to its sponsors Rep, Steve Russell (R-OK) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK).
The Department of Defense Workforce Flexibility Act of 2016 (H.R. 4687) would allow “temporary employees within the U.S. Department of Defense to more easily apply for vacant, permanent positions within the department,” Russell said in a press release. This competition would occur under internal merit promotion procedures.
The bill would amend Title 5 of the United States Code and apply hiring provisions that currently apply to land management agencies.
Russell (a retired Army officer) and Mullin directed their attention to military installations in Oklahoma, e.g., McAlester Army Ammunition Plant and Tinker Air Force Base, which have a large number of temporary workers. But, their legislation would also apply to DoD installations nationwide.
Russell said that hiring externally can involve a lengthy process, but “giving temporary workers the opportunity to apply for merit-based promotions would expedite hiring and cut down on the time needed for training a new hire.” Under the bill, temporary workers would apply for vacant permanent positions under the same procedures used by permanent workers for merit-based promotions.
This legislation would give installations the needed flexibility to hire temporary workers to fill permanent positions quickly to adapt to changing demands, Russell said.
The bill is supported by the McAlester Defense Support Association (MDSA) and the Federal Managers Association.
The proposed legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) and Grant Thornton Public Sector today released the findings of their 2015 survey of Defense financial managers. The 13th annual survey reveals that top concerns for the military financial management community include budgetary pressures, an aging workforce and the ability to sustain auditability.
Read the press release here.
The Department of Defense (DoD) is poised to introduce a Defense Innovation Advisory Board Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced this week.
Speaking at a Microsoft-sponsored breakfast in Seattle, Carter said the board will “advise me and my successors on how the DoD can better connect to innovation and make better use of it—including by changing ourselves.
The Board will be chaired by Eric Schmidt and executive with Google's parent company Alphabet. Schmidt is the author of “How Google Works.”
Carter stressed that DoD must partner with the technological communities (e.g. Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Boston) “because technology is commercial and the competition is global.” The Secretary likened the Innovation Advisory Board to the Defense Business Board (DBB), which provides DoD with independent advice on the potential use of the best business practices.
Carter emphasized in Seattle that DoD must “innovate for the future, because that's the way to make sure we have the finest fighting force in the world tomorrow, 10 years for now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now.” So, DoD must invest in innovation to ensure that the U.S. Military stays the best in a changing and competitive world,” he said.
In a statement released by the Pentagon, DoD Press Secretary Peter Cook the Board's mandate will be “to provide department leaders independent advice on innovative and adaptive means to address future organizational and cultural challenges, including the use of technology alternatives.” The Board is expected to provide advice on particular areas of expertise such as, rapid prototyping, iterative product development, complex data analysis used in business decisions, mobile and cloud applications, and information sharing
Cook said the board (including up to 12 members) will be jointly selected by Schmidt and Secretary Carter. Members will be experienced in leading large private and public organizations and will have identified and adopted new technology concepts. They “will represent a cross-section of of America's most innovative industries, Cook said.
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To register for PDI 2016, simply visit http://www.pdi2016.org/.
We look forward to seeing you in sunny Orlando June 1- 3!
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has introduced the first in a series of improvements to the USAJOBS website, the official federal government's job search and application website.
The purpose of these improvements is to make the application process more user-friendly for federal job applicants, according. OPM also expects these improvements will increase the number of completed job applications.
OPM surveyed job seekers and engaged human resource and design experts and specialists to develop these improvements, which include new capabilities and the incorporation of new U.S. Web Design Standards. This research effort determined that some users found the application process “difficult and frustrating” leading many to quit the process. The improvements to the website will address these concerns and will enhance the federal job seeking experience, OPM stressed.
The features of the improvements will: simplify the application process; reduce incomplete applications; and improve access to materials for completing the application process. The website will clearly show the steps to complete the application with a step-by-step process, OPM advised.
The new features on the website will make it easier for the federal job applicant to: track the progress of the application; find necessary documents without leaving the application process; save changes to the pending application; prepare, view, or delete a resume; attach resumes or other documents; and review the final application before submission. A video on the website briefly describes the features.
OPM will integrate additional features throughout the year to continue to improve the applicant's experience. Acting OPM Director Beth Colbert said “throughout the rest of the year, new features will be added to increase the usability of the USAJOBS website by enhancing the job application process for those interested in careers in the Federal Government.”
Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress yesterday that the biggest concern to the U.S strategically is averting the return of sequestration next year.
In his first testimony before Congress on the FY2017 DoD budget, Carter praised Congress for passing a budget deal last December that gave the department much-need stability. Having that said that, Carter told the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee (HAC-D) that “the greatest risk we face in DoD is losing that stability this year and having uncertainty and sequester and caps in future years.”
He urged Congress to continue to provide that stability in future years. ”Doing something to jeopardize this stability would concern me deeply,” Carter told the subcommittee. To return to sequestration, Carter said, would risk sustainment of critical investments in future years.
Asked what would happen if Congress does not pass an appropriations bill by October 1, Carter answered in terms of losing the stability Congress has provided with the budget agreement. He said without budget stability, we start to do things inefficiently, begin to shorten contract time (which wastes money) and can't plan for the long term (which hurts the industrial base). Carter also said instability and accompanying funding uncertainty is not fair to the military and their families and is bad for troop morale. Finally, Carter said he is worried how our allies and enemies view budgetary gridlock.
Carter addressed the concern expressed by subcommittee members that the FY2017 budget funding level of $582.7 billion is too constrained to meet US strategic challenges. He reiterated that the budget “meets our needs.” He said the force funded in the budget is the right size and supports the readiness and capabilities to prevail against today's conflicts and builds a force that can meet future threats.
In describing the administration's FY2017 DoD budget request, Carter said the budget agreement set the size of the budget: The department's budget submission focuses on the shape of the budget. Carter emphasized the budget plan changes the shape “in fundamental but carefully considered ways to adjust to a new strategic era, and seize opportunities for the future.”
Carter outlined five strategic challenges in this new strategic era: Russian aggression in Europe; China's rise in the Asia Pacific region; security concerns caused by North Korea and Iran; and continuing the fight against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and other forms of terrorism.
Carter said the U.S will take a “strong and balanced approach to deter Russian aggression.” In Asia, he said DoD is continuing to rebalance in order to maintain stability in the region. US forces on the Korean Peninsula are ready “to fight tonight” and the U.S. must “deter Iranian aggression and counter Iran's malign influence against our friends and allies in the region,” Carter stressed. In fighting terrorism more broadly and ISIL in particular, Carter emphasized that the US “must and will deal [ISIL] a lasting defeat…in Iraq and Syria, but also where it's metastasizing in the world.”
Successfully meeting these security challenges requires strong congressional support, Carter emphasized. He urged the subcommittee to continue it strong support for the department and to “help make a better world for generations to come.”
The FY2017 Coat Guard budget (included in the Department of Homeland Security budget) totals $10.3 billion. This is $0.6 billion less than enacted in FY2016 (excluding Overseas Contingency Operations supplemental funding).
The budget “preserves Coast Guard operations and continues recapitalization efforts for cutters, boats, aircraft, systems and infrastructure,” according to the Coast Guard's budget overview.
The FY2017 Coast Guard budget supports its three priorities: invest in the 21st century Coast Guard; sustain mission excellence; and maximize the Coast Guard's value to the nation.
Commandant of the Coast Guard ADM Paul F. Zukunft said the budget “illustrates the Coast Guard's dedication to strategically investing for the future while sustaining mission excellence.”
The request includes $8.4 billion in discretionary funding (to be appropriated by Congress) and $1.9 billion in mandatory funding (including retired pay).
Operating expenses account for $7.0 billion of the FY 2017 discretionary budget, slightly higher ($0.1 billion) than the enacted FY2016 level. These amounts fund Coast Guard operational activities worldwide, including personnel costs.
The FY2017 Coast Guard budget preserves critical front-line operations. The budget funds parity with the Department of Defense (DoD) in military pay (1.6 percent pay increase) and allowances and civilian pay (1.6 percent pay increase). It also provides operations and maintenance funding of new assets (e.g., NSC-6 &7, HC-130J, Fast Response Cutters 22-25, and the Rescue 21 C3 system), and shore-side support for Coast Guard facilities.
The FY2017 acquisition, construction, and Improvements discretionary request of $1.1 billion ($0.8 billion, less than FY2016) finances the acquisition of new assets and construction of new facilities and improvements to existing facilities.
The principal investments funded in the acquisition budget comprise: (a) $704 million for new vessels, including four Fast Response Cutters (FRC), accelerated production of the new Polar Icebreaker, final design and long-lead items for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), and In-Service Vessel Sustainment for the 140 ft domestic icebreaker fleet; (b) $201 million for aircraft, including H-65 helicopter enhancements/upgrades, missioning the first HC-27J airframes, and retrofitting the HC-144A fixed wing aircraft; (c) $59 million other asset initiatives including the GG-Logistics Information System and C4ISR development and upgrades; and (d) $51 million for shore projects such as pier and infrastructure improvements supporting the the FRC homeport at Galveston, Texas and facility modifications at Air Station Clearwater, Florida and Air Station Kodiak, Alaska.
The Coast Guard makes what it describes as “risk-based reductions” to maintain assets and sustain front-line operations. The budget reflects savings from fuel efficiencies throughout the National Security Cutter (NSC) fleet. The Coast Guard also proposes to decommission four Island Class Patrol Boats (to be replaced by FRCs) and one High Endurance Cutter (and accept delivery of one NSC).
Other details of the FY2017 Coast Guard budget are available in the Department of Homeland Security Coast Guard budget justification documents.
The FY2017 Department of Defense (DoD) base budget request is $523.9 billion for discretionary budget authority, $2.2 billion more than the amount enacted for FY2016 ($521.7 billion).
The budget request also includes $58.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), essentially the same amount enacted for FY2016. ($58.6 billion).
DoD’s five-year budget plan FYDP) for FY2017 to FY2021 is $2.8 trillion, $18.5 billion less than planned in the FY2016 FYDP. The FY2017 budget is $23.4 billion less than planned last year, but budgets for FY2018 through FY2021 are $4.9 billion higher. The cut to FY2017 was made primarily through a combination of fuel and inflation savings (-$5 billion) and program changes (over -$11 billion).
DoD’s press statement stressed that the budget “complies with the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015, giving the department both funding stability and protection from the damage of sequestration in FY2016 and FY2017.” The FY2017 budget request “reflects the priorities necessary for our force today and in the future to best serve and protect our nation in a rapidly changing security environment,” according to the statement.
DoD’s budget overview identifies six key themes of the FY2017 DoD budget Seek a balanced force; Manage enduring readiness challenges; Accelerate the pace of defense reform; Pursue investments in military capabilities; Take care of people; and Support Overseas Contingency Operations.
The Army’s FY2017 base budget request totals $123.0 billion (23.5% of the total DoD base budget) down $0.3 billion from the FY2016 enacted level. The Navy’s budget (including the Marine Corps) totals $155.4 billion (29.7%), $3.9 billion lower than FY2016. The Air Force base budget request is $151.1 billion (28.8%), up $5.4 billion. The budget request for Defense-wide accounts (including the Defense Health Program) is $94.5 billion (18.0%), $1.1 billion higher than the previous year.
Total active forces end strength will decline by 9,000 across the FYDP, from 1,281,900 in FY2017 to 1,272,100 by 2021. The Army will lower its active end strength level from 460,000 in 2017 to 450,000 by 2021. The active Marine Corps force will remain constant at 182,000 as will the active Air Force at 317,000. The Navy active force will increase slightly from 322,900 in FY2017 to 323,100 in FY2021. Total Guard and reserve end strength will decline only marginally decline from 801,200 in FY2017 to 801,100 in FY2021.
The FY2017 budget would raise military pay by 1.6 percent. The president's budget also proposes a 1.6 percent pay raise for civilians. The 2016 pay raise was 1.3 percent.
The budget makes no changes to TRICARE for active duty personnel. The administration proposes an annual enrollment fee for TRICARE-for-Life coverage for Medicare-eligible retirees (not-medically retired) and their families. Some copays would increase, but there would be no copays for treatment in Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs).
The FY2017 budget provides significant funding for major modernization programs. The budget funds 63 F-35 aircraft for Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy, 15 KC-46 Tanker Replacement aircraft for the Air Force, and 52 AH-64 Apache and 36 Blackhawk helicopters for the Army. The Navy will buy seven ships, including two Virginia Class submarines, two DDG-51 Aegis destroyers, two Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), and one Amphibious Assault ship. The budget also funds the procurement of five EELV Launch Vehicles. The Air Force rephases its schedule for retiring the A-10 aircraft, retaining the A-10 aircraft force through 2022.
However, in order to meet budgetary targets, DoD cut planned weapons buying in FY2017. The Army is buying nine fewer Apache and 24 fewer Blackhawk helicopters than previously planned. Five fewer F-35 aircraft, three C-130J aircraft, four less LCAC Service Life Extension Programs, and 77 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the Marine Corps will be bought in FY2017.
Investment in cyber warfare and security will be $7 billion in FY2017 and $35 billion over five years. This funding will support DoD's main cyber missions: defend DoD networks, systems, and information; defend against cyber attacks that have a “significant consequence;” and provide cyber support to operational plans. The budget also continues funding support for Science and Technology (S&T)–$12.5 billion in FY2017 and $65 billion across the FYDP–to “develop capabilities that advance the technical superiority of the U.S. Military to counter new and emerging threats.”
The FY2017 budget also includes department-wide savings and reform proposals. The administration renews its request for approval to initiate a new round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), this time in FY2019. Congress has repeatedly rejected another BRAC round due to concerns that DoD has not demonstrated significant net savings. Other reform proposals include a 25 percent cut in headquarters costs (from the 2014 level) by 2020, continuing efforts department-wide to become audit ready by 2018, improving business practices in the commissary system, and continuing defense acquisition reform through the implementation of Better Buying Power initiatives.
Details (including Military Service briefings) on the FY2017 DoD budget request is available on the DoD Comptroller website.
President Obama will release the FY2017 federal budget to the public and Congress on Tuesday February 9, 2017. This is one week later than the usual date for submission of the budget, which is the first Monday in February.
After the FY2017 budget is released senior administration officials will brief the press and begin testifying before congressional oversight committees.
This year, contrary to what has become usual practice, the House and Senate Budget Committees will not receive testimony from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on an overview of the president's budget request, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) issued a joint press release announcing that the committees will not hold hearings on an OMB review of the president's FY2017 budget.
Sen. Enzi said rather than hear from the administration on the FY2017 budget,the committees “should focus on how to reform America’s broken budget process and restore the trust of hardworking taxpayers.”
The House and Senate Armed Services Committees have not yet announced when they will receive testimony from the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the FY2017 Department of Defense (DoD) budget.
Next week, Highlights will include a brief overview of the FY2017 DoD budget request and identify links to official statements and available budget material.