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DOD Budget Request Boosts Research, Nuclear Modernization and Includes 2.7% Pay Raise

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The fiscal year 2022 Defense Department budget request includes the largest-ever research, development, test and evaluation request — $112 billion, which is a 5.1% increase over fiscal 2021. It also includes $27.7 billion for nuclear triad modernization.

The budget totals $752.9 billion. It includes $37.9 billion for the Department of Energy and other agencies. It reflects a 1.6% increase from the fiscal 2021 enacted budget.

The budget provides a 2.7% pay raise for both military and civilians, while investing nearly $9 billion in family support programs.

In a statement today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said the budget invests in people, supports readiness and modernization, combats threats posed by climate change and provides capabilities needed to meet the pacing threat from Beijing.

A helicopter flies while a crew member inside the helicopter prepares an emergency re-supply drop.
Speed Bag System
The U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Fort Rucker, Ala., tests the speed bag system for the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, Fort Detrick, Md. The speed bag system is intended to aid in emergency resupply operations from a UH-60 Black Hawk. USAARL evaluated the system to determine if it could support medical supply drops. The Defense Department's fiscal year 2022 budget calls for $112 billion in research, development, testing and experimentation, an increase of 5.1% over fiscal 2021.
Photo By: Scott C. Childress, Army
VIRIN: 210512-A-BE047-080C

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks briefed the media today on the fiscal 2022 Defense Department budget. She reiterated Austin's comments and said the budget also addresses the COVID-19 pandemic and drawing down U.S. forces from Afghanistan with an exit date of Sept. 11, adding that the department will provide over-the-horizon capability for counterterrorism and Afghan National Security Forces support.

"The budget also documents some of the tough choices we had to make, as we lessen our reliance on vulnerable systems that are no longer suited for today's advanced threat environment, or are too costly to sustain," she said.

Those resource reallocations, she said, are going to fund advanced technologies like microelectronics, hypersonic missiles, artificial intelligence, cyberspace capabilities and a 5G network.

DOD also has invested in its workforce, particularly in billets where there are critical needs, she said. "The request also looks to build an increasingly resilient force, one that recognizes and embraces its diversity as a strength."

The budget also provides funding to strengthen the department's ability to identify and address insider threats in its ranks and to combat sexual assault and harassment, she said.

The budget request slightly lowers total military active and reserve component end strength from FY21 authorized 2,150,375 to 2,145,900. The only service to get an end strength increase is the Space Force, which had 6,434 guardians authorized in FY21, with a request to bump that up to 8,400.

Marines march in formation.
Graduation Ceremony
Marines with Echo Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, march during a graduation ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, May 20, 2021. The Defense Department's fiscal year 2022 budget calls for a 2.7% pay raise for both military and civilians.
Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Grace J. Kindred
VIRIN: 210520-M-CI314-1039

Anne McAndrew, performing the duties of under secretary of defense (comptroller) and chief financial officer, said that the budget also reflects capabilities for managing threats from Russia, Iran, North Korea and violent extremist organizations, in addition to China.

The budget also invests in taking care of people. "Their physical, mental and emotional health is among the department's highest priorities," she said.

Navy Vice Adm. Ron Boxall, the director of Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, Joint Staff, said the department will work with Congress to divest legacy platforms that overburden readiness accounts.

Budget request highlights include:

  • $20.4 billion for missile defense
  • $6.6 billion to develop and field long-range fires
  • $52.4 billion for fourth- and fifth-generation fighter aircraft
  • $34.6 billion for a hybrid fleet of manned and unmanned naval platforms
  • $12.3 billion for ground force weapons and next generation combat vehicles
  • $20.6 billion for space capabilities
  • $10.4 billion for cyberspace activities
  • $122.1 billion for training, installation support, and support to allies and partners.

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