News   Reform

2020 Budget Request Essential to Security, DOD Leaders Say

May 8, 2019 | BY David Vergun
You have accessed part of a historical collection on Some of the information contained within may be outdated and links may not function. Please contact the DOD Webmaster with any questions.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan, Defense Department Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer David L. Norquist and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford testified about the fiscal year 2020 defense budget request at a Senate Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee hearing in Washington.

Three defense leaders sit together at a table.
Budget Testimony
Left to right: Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan; and David L. Norquist, DOD’s comptroller and chief financial officer, testify on the fiscal year 2020 Defense Department budget request on Capitol Hill, May 8, 2019.
Photo By: Lisa Ferdinando, DOD
VIRIN: 190508-D-BN624-0294

Main Points

  • The fiscal year 2020 defense budget request of $750 billion supports the 2018 National Defense Strategy. The request includes $718 billion for DOD with most of the remaining amount going to the Energy Department, which manages military nuclear systems.
  • The budget enables DOD to maintain irregular warfare as a core competency, yet prioritizes modernization and readiness to compete, deter and win in a high-end fight of the future against China and Russia.
  • This budget is critical for the continued execution of the NDS, and it reflects difficult, but necessary decisions that align finite resources with strategic priorities.

A ship rests in dry dock.
The littoral combat ship USS Detroit receives maintenance and upkeep during a scheduled dry-dock maintenance availability phase in Jacksonville, Fla., March 29, 2019.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan T. Beard
VIRIN: 190329-N-QI061-033C

Budgetary Highlights

  • The largest research, development, testing and evaluation budget in 70 years.
  • Double digit increases to investments in both space and cyber.
  • Modernization of the nuclear triad and missile defense capabilities.
  • The largest shipbuilding request in 20 years, when adjusted for inflation.
  • An increase in total end strength by roughly 7,700 service members.
  • A 3.1% pay increase to the uniformed military, the largest in a decade.

Soldiers work on a tactical vehicle.
Assessment Training
Alabama Army National Guardsmen from the 690th Chemical Company prepare their Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Stryker vehicle at the Joint Warfighting Assessment training exercise at Yakima Training Center in Washington, April 29, 2019.
Photo By: Army Pfc. Valentina Y. Montano
VIRIN: 190429-A-RU425-0001C
A soldier works at a computer station.
Cyber Shield
Soldiers participate in Exercise Cyber Shield at Camp Atterbury, Ind., April 16, 2019.
Photo By: Army Spc. Joshua Syberg
VIRIN: 190416-A-XJ616-999C

Future Budgetary Concerns

The officials told Congress that DOD cannot implement the NDS at sequestration levels of funding. Sequestration would halt progress in rebuilding readiness, growing the force, modernizing for the future and investing in critical emerging capabilities such as artificial intelligence, hypersonics and directed energy. It would also force DOD to cut end strength and critical modernization efforts that ensure the United States outpaces its competitors.

A continuing resolution would also hamstring DOD by stopping new initiatives, the officials said, including the increased investments in cyber, space, nuclear modernization and missile defense. Funding would be in the wrong accounts and DOD would lose buying power.