Budget Request Focuses on Irregular Warfare, Transformation
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2006 President Bush sent his $439.3 billion defense budget request for fiscal 2007 to Congress today, reflecting what Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld called a solid ongoing commitment to defeating global terrorism, transforming the military while increasing its capabilities, and taking care of men and women in uniform.
The proposed budget represents a 7 percent increase over fiscal 2006 funding and incorporates findings of the Quadrennial Defense Review, Rumsfeld and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Pentagon reporters today. The QDR, released Feb. 3, provides a blueprint for the mix of forces and capabilities needed for the century ahead.
"Like the QDR, the fiscal 2007 budget reflects the department's continuum of change as we defend our nation, engage in the long war against terrorist extremism and prepare for future potential adversaries," Rumsfeld said.
Both the QDR and the budget request demonstrate the refocusing of forces and capabilities from the past -- a time of reasonable predictability and a single major adversary, of preparedness to fight major, conventional combat campaigns with large standing forces, he noted.
Instead, the documents reflect demands of an era of surprise and complex challenges, of multiple, irregular warfare operations in various countries around the world and the powerful expeditionary capabilities needed to confront them, Rumsfeld said.
Toward that end, the fiscal 2007 budget request invests in four priority areas: prevailing in irregular warfare operations, defending the homeland against advanced threats, maintaining America's military superiority, and supporting servicemembers and their families, Rumsfeld explained.
To bolster irregular warfare operations, the budget increases the size and capabilities of special operations forces, continues the Army's modularization program and funds equipment to support their operations.
In support of this priority, the 2007 budget:
- Increases the number of active-duty special operations forces battalions by 33 percent and expands psychological operations and civil affairs personnel by one-third to support them and the Army's modular force;
- Funds the new Marine Corps Special Operations Command to conduct special reconnaissance and other missions;
- Establishes a special operations force unmanned aerial vehicle squadron;
- Increases the number of Navy SEAL commando teams to provide more maritime capability;
- Expands language training for special operations and intelligence units and increases language training, pay and recruitment for members with language skills;
- Continues funding to complete the conversion of 48 Army regular combat brigades to 70 brigade combat teams;
- Provides $3.7 billion in funding for the Army's Future Combat System, with major investments in unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles and battlefield command and communications systems; and
- Expands the unmanned aerial reconnaissance force to increase intelligence-gathering capabilities to ensure around-the-clock, real-time intelligence.
The proposed budget gives high priority to the homeland defense mission through improved missile defense capabilities, improved strategic command and control, better satellite communications for deployed troops around the world and new measures to counter the threat posed by catastrophic weapons.
In support of this effort, the 2007 budget request:
- Enhances missile defense capabilities with $10.4 billion to produce and field additional ground- and sea-based interceptors and acquire two additional forward-deployed mobile radars;
- Provides $4 billion toward enhancing space-based early-warning systems;
- Invests $1.7 billion toward development of countermeasures against advanced biological and other weapons and to track and locate nuclear weapons and render them safe;
- Improves worldwide communications by initiating funding of the Transformational Satellite that will extend high-bandwidth satellite capabilities to deployed forces worldwide and deliver eight times the speed and data the military can now transmit and receive;
- Funds a new precision-guided conventional Trident missile capability; and
- Enhances command and control communications.
While continuing to build irregular warfighting capabilities, the budget proposal reflects the need for the United States to maintain its conventional superiority. It invests in improvements in:
- Joint air support through acquisition of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and the AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters;
- Joint air dominance with $10.4 billion for acquisition of the F-22 and F/A-18 E/F fighter jets, aircraft, and continued development and the first procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; and
- Joint maritime capabilities with $11.2 billion for more capable and multi-mission ships, including two DD(X) destroyers, two Littoral combat ships, one Virginia-class submarine, one LHA(R) amphibious assault ship and one T-AKE logistics ship.
The new budget request recognizes that the success of these initiatives depends on the members of the force and provides higher military pay, better housing and more quality-of-life initiatives. These include:
- A 2.2 percent increase in military base pay over the fiscal 2006 level;
- A $263 million provision toward targeted pay increases for certain warrant officers and mid-grade and senior enlisted members, and $1.9 billion for retention bonuses and incentives;
- A 5.9 percent increase in the active-duty basic housing allowance and elimination of all inadequate military housing in the continental United States;
- Construction of 48 new barracks projects for enlisted members, at 1.5 billion; eight new child development centers, at $68 million; and four dependent education school projects, at $77 million; and
- A $39 billion investment in health care for servicemembers and their families.