DoD Budget Concentrates on People Programs
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jun. 28, 2001 In the absence of firm guidance from the Quadrennial Defense Review, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's fiscal 2002 defense budget request concentrates on people programs and on trying to arrest rates of decline in readiness and weapon systems procurement.
The budget of $328.9 billion would begin to apply money toward military transformation, but major changes must wait until the fiscal 2003 budget when officials can weigh the conclusions of the QDR.
A total $82.3 billion is slated for military personnel accounts. The money pays for a 4.6 percent across-the-board pay raise. It also pays for a targeted raise that will effectively give a 5 percent raise to all service members, with some mid-level NCOs and officers receiving as much as a 10 percent raise. Unlike past years, both raises are effective Jan. 1, 2002. The civilian raise is set at 4.6 percent.
The budget continues efforts to reduce out-of-pocket expenses service members incur if they live off military installations. Out-of-pocket expenses are 15 percent this year and will go down to 11.3 percent in 2002 with passage of this budget. DoD officials will also stop using "poor or dangerous" neighborhoods in calculating the basic allowance for housing.
The Defense Health Program is getting a substantial raise in the fiscal 2002 request. The request is $17.9 billion, up from $12.1 billion this year. "This is a huge portion of the budget," said Dov Zakheim, DoD comptroller. "It is a reflection of the healthcare situation in the country at large. Again, we cannot treat our people any worse than others are being treated, and the bill is big, and it is growing."
The DoD healthcare program was severely underfunded, Zakheim said. "We have a new healthcare and pharmacy benefit for those who are over 65," he said. Since this is the first year for these programs, the request is based on best estimates. Other healthcare costs are based on "realistic health care cost estimates." DoD is asking for 15 percent more for pharmaceuticals and 12 percent more for managed-care support contracts.
The military personnel budget is just over a quarter of the total DoD request.
The largest portion of the budget -- $125.7 billion, or 38.4 percent -- deals with readiness. The operations and maintenance funds grew just under $18 billion. Army operations tempo funding falls slightly from 14.5 flight hours per month to 14. Tank miles go from 897 to 827. Flying hours in the Navy go up to 22.6 from 17.8 and in the Air Force remain constant at 17.1. Ship underway days per quarter is constant at 50.5.
In dollars, aircraft operations, which spare parts, jumps from $7.6 billion to $9.4 billion. Army optempo spending stays at about the same, $2.7 billion. Depot maintenance goes from $6.6 billion to $7.9 billion. Training, jumps $800 million from $8.5 billion to $9.3 billion. Reserve component readiness funding goes to $12.5 billion and facilities sustainment and base support jump nearly $3 billion from $17.9 billion to $20.7 billion.
The military force structure remains unchanged through fiscal 2002. The Army will maintain 10 active and eight reserve component divisions. The Navy will maintain 12 aircraft carriers and 11 carrier air wings. The plan calls for the Navy to have 313 battle force ships through the year and the Air Force will maintain 12-plus active duty fighter wings and seven-plus reserve component fighter wings.
End strength remains the same at around 1.4 million active duty and 1.2 million reserve component members, Zakheim said.
The Army share of the DoD budget is set at $80.2 billion, the Navy-Marine Corps share at $99 billion, the Air Force at $95.7 billion, and Defensewide, which includes DoD agencies, at $54 billion.
Procurement remains relatively constant at $61.6 billion. The Army is slated for $11.2 billion. Among the service's procurements are 329 Interim Armored Vehicles, 12 Black Hawk helicopters and 60 Longbow Apache helicopters. They will upgrade 104 Abrams main battle tanks.
The Navy-Marine Corps will receive $24.6 billion. This will fund six ships including three DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and one attack submarine. The budget will also fund 12 V-22 Ospreys; Zakheim said 12 is the smallest number that will keep the assembly line open as changes recommended by a blue-ribbon panel are made to the troubled program. The Navy will also buy 48 F/A-18E/F aircraft, four KC-130 refuelers, and 13 Seahawk helicopters.
The Air Force will receive $23 billion. This pays for 13 F- 22 air superiority fighters, 15 C-17 airlifters, two C-130J cargo planes and one Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft.
The research and procurement budget is set at $47.4 billion and represents 14.5 percent of the budget request. Some of this money is seed money for transformation. Some transformation technologies getting major R&D boosts are digitization-networking, $289 million; the Army's Future Combat System, climbing 75 percent from $166 million to $289 million; the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle more than doubled from $143 million to $307 million; the Joint Tactical Radio System, more than doubled from $90 million to $186 million.
Research into the deployable Joint Command and Control is funded at $50 million; the small diameter bomb, intended for the B-2 Spirit bomber, is funded at $40 million.
DoD will also create a Transformation Programs Office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense to monitor these issues.
Missile defense almost doubles in the budget. Funding for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization is set at just over $7 billion. The Army's Patriot 3 missile system is set at $857 million, and the Navy area-wide defense system is $396 million.
Basic science and technology research dropped slightly to $8.8 billion. DoD wants to keep the figure at 3 percent of the DoD budget. This budget comes in at 2.7 percent.
"This 2.7 percent really needs to be compared not to what was enacted, but to what was requested," Zakheim said. "Because what was requested in both years reflects the Pentagon's sense of what are needed military capabilities in the future toward which S&T will contribute. A year ago, that percentage was 2.5 percent. This year it's 2.7. We're on a glide path to 3. Some of the items: high-energy lasers, nanotechnology, chemical and biological agent detection."