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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

Pentagon Paints Itself into Corner with Five-Year Spending Plan

  • March 5, 2014
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Top DOD officials had a difficult time Wednesday explaining to the Senate Armed Services Committee the logical inconsistency between a five-year budget that assumes $115 billion in relief from sequester cuts and the spending plan’s cuts in force structure they said could be avoided with the additional funding. On Tuesday, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters that officials included in its FY 2015-2019 budget a cut in the Army’s active-duty end strength to 420,000 and a reduction to 10 aircraft carrier battle groups. That spending plan assumes that a significant portion of the sequester cuts slated for FY 2016 and beyond would be reversed, allowing the military to avoid some of the most far-reaching impacts of sequestration …

Opposition Mounts on Hill to BRAC Request

  • March 5, 2014
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The Pentagon’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 is having trouble gaining traction among lawmakers, a similar reception to its requests for additional BRAC rounds in each of the past two years. The administration’s proposal stands little chance of going forward this year, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday following his panel’s hearing on DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request. “I just don’t think we’ve seen the value of it, including the last BRAC …

QDR Builds on 2012 Strategic Guidance

  • March 5, 2014
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The 2014 version of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) released Tuesday in conjunction with DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request updates the defense strategic guidance the department released in 2012 while highlighting the need to rebalance the force to carry out the nation’s national security priorities. The review discusses the rationale behind many of the proposals included in DOD’s latest five-year spending plan, such as reducing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, trimming DOD staffs by 20 percent, conducting a new round of base realignment and closure, and slowing the growth in manpower costs. Regarding the justification for a new BRAC, the QDR notes the department estimates it already has more infrastructure than it needs, an imbalance that will only grow as the military reduces its force structure …

Spending Up Slightly, while Forces Come Down over Five-Year Budget

  • March 5, 2014
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The five-year budget released Tuesday by the Pentagon revealed a topline spending level that climbs a total of 13 percent at the same time the uniformed and civilian workforces decline by about five percent through fiscal 2019. DOD’s plan calls for spending $496 billion in FY 2015, a figure virtually unchanged from the current year, before jumping to $535 billion in FY 2016. The topline then would gradually rise to $559 billion in FY 2019. While spending would rise an average of 3 percent annually in current year dollars, the number of civilians and service members would fall under the Pentagon’s plan …

White House Investment Fund Would Provide Injection for DOD Facilities

  • March 4, 2014
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Facilities sustainment and military construction would receive a much-needed infusion in funds in fiscal 2015 under the $56 billion Opportunity, Growth and Security initiative included in the White House’s new budget proposal. The “wish list” of projects is not part of the administration’s base FY 2015 budget, and would require Congress to accept a package of offsets that calls for the elimination of certain tax breaks and alternative spending cuts. As a result, the initiative, which includes $26.4 billion for DOD, almost certainly will not go forward …

Milcon Would Suffer Deep Cut under FY’15 Proposal

  • March 4, 2014
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Spending on new construction would drop 36 percent under DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request, as the department’s proposal defers many military construction projects in order to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness. As a result, the proposal funds only the “most critical facility requirements,” according to a DOD overview of the budget. The FY 2015 request calls for $5.4 billion for milcon, down from $8.4 billion allocated for FY 2014 …

Headquarters Restructuring at Air Force to Tackle Installation Support

  • March 4, 2014
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The Air Force’s effort to streamline its headquarters organization through a 20 percent budget cut likely will involve organizational changes affecting oversight of installation support, Secretary Deborah Lee James said last week. “We need to centralize policy and oversight of installation support in such areas as engineering, security forces and contracting, among others,” James said at the Bloomberg Government Defense conference in Washington. The organizational realignment is intended to eliminate areas of administrative overlap …

Senate Readiness Chair Maintains Resistance to BRAC Request

  • March 4, 2014
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New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), chairman of the Armed Services’ subcommittee responsible for installations policy, last week reiterated her opposition to the Pentagon’s request to conduct a new round of base closures. Last week, during his preview of the fiscal 2015 budget request — which is scheduled to be formally unveiled today — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said DOD will ask Congress for permission to hold a BRAC round in 2017, the third consecutive year the Obama administration has requested additional base closures. “Another BRAC round would have serious consequences for our shipyard, our workers, and our economy in New Hampshire …

DOD Spending Plan Faces High Hurdles on the Way to Congressional Acceptance

  • March 4, 2014
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Based on the reaction of both Republicans and Democrats to last week’s preview of the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request, the administration’s spending plan almost certainly will not be approved without significant changes to its recommendations, particularly those calling for cuts to the Army’s active-duty and reserve forces, adjustments to service members’ benefits and retirement of the A-10 aircraft fleet. “There’s a clear sentiment on both sides, both Republicans and Democrats, on the Armed Services Committee that these cuts are too draconian,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ….

Service Members Will Miss Commissary Benefit, Senior Enlisted Advisers Say

  • March 2, 2014
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Trimming the commissary benefit as part of an effort to lower defense spending would harm service members, the military’s top enlisted members told lawmakers last week. “I personally think it’s ridiculous that we’re going after something that saves a young lance corporal $4,500 a year,” Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett told the House Appropriations’ Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee …

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