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Department Of Defense Press Briefing on the Fiscal Year 2020 Air Force Budget

March 12, 2019
Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget Maj. Gen. John Pletcher; Air Force Deputy for Budget Carolyn Gleason

STAFF:  All right, good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.  We are at 2:30, which means it is Air Force budget time.  In just a moment, General John Pletcher and Ms. Carolyn Gleason are going to present the Air Force budget submission for this year's President's budget.

When we get to our question and answer portion, I'll revisit the (inaudible), but again I know most of you, but please do identify yourselves by affiliation and name for our own records.  With that sir, I'll turn it over to you.

MAJOR GENERAL JOHN PLETCHER:  Thank you.  Well good afternoon and again, thanks for sticking around for the Air Force F.Y. '20 PB roll out briefing.  We want to certainly give you as much information as we can upfront and we'll leave some time at the end for questions.

Let me start out by giving you the bottom line upfront.  The Air Force's F.Y. '20 budget request requests $165.6 billion to continue our path to build a more lethal and ready Air Force.  

That's a $9.8 billion increase over the F.Y. '19 appropriation, with the increase enabling growth in both readiness as well as continuing steady increases in our military end strength, our renewed emphasis on infrastructure recovery and our ongoing focus to develop and field faster and smarter the advanced capabilities needed for our return to great power competition.

Along the way, we'll highlight some of the successes we've been able to achieve with recent congressional support and will spend the majority of our time discussing the highlights within each appropriation.  Finally, we'll touch on the Overseas Contingency Operations account before providing some closing thoughts and opening the floor to your questions.

Next slide[slide 3] please. Actors in today's international security environment aim to threaten U.S. prosperity and security around the globe.  The National Defense Strategy prioritizes military capabilities that counter overt challenges to the free and open international order and the re-emergence of long term strategic competition between nations, in particular China and Russia.

Through coercion and intimidation, these actors aim to threaten regional neighbors, undermine our allies and displace American influence across the globe.  These great power competitors look to challenge U.S. dominance across all war fighting domains and confront us through information warfare, ambiguous or denied proxy operations and subversive actions.

To face these challenges, we must compete, deter and win across the five priority missions of the National Defense Strategy.  Those five missions are one, defend the homeland, two, provide a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent, three, defeat a powerful conventional enemy, four, deter opportunistic aggression, and five, disrupt violent extremists in a cost effective manner.

Each of these missions requires the combination of capabilities from all military services, and the Air Force is integral to every one of them.  In fact, the Air Force is unique in that we must be ready every day to accomplish all five of these missions simultaneously.

With these priority missions in our wind screen, we developed the F.Y. '20 President's Budget request to build a more lethal and ready force while focused on fielding tomorrow's Air Force faster and smarter.  Currently, the Air Force has 312 operational squadrons, and those squadrons continue to be in very high demand, employing unrivaled air, space and cyber power from over 179 locations across the globe.

But to counter the threats projected in the 2025 to 2030 timeline, as defined in the future defense planning scenarios, we must increase our capacity to evolve to incorporate advanced technology and cutting edge capabilities in new and innovative ways.

While the F.Y. '20 budget does not directly fund additional squadrons to build towards the future Air Force we need, it does set the conditions for success by fielding faster and smarter the technology and innovation that will allow us to achieve a strategic advantage over near peer competitors.

On the next slide, we'll highlight how the F.Y. '20 budget improves readiness and increases lethality.  

Next side [slide 4], please. Our National Defense Strategy directs a more lethal and ready force prepared to defeat our adversaries in high end combat, and through the following set of priorities, this budget request accelerates fighter lethality and continues to restore readiness to our squadrons.

First and foremost, readiness recovery is about people.  The F.Y. '20 President's Budget request increases our total force military end strength by 4,400 airmen to a total of 511,000.  

To prepare our airmen to fight alongside allies and partners and defeat the high end threat, this budget includes 1.3 million total peacetime contingency flying hours, the current maximum executable amount, and includes funds to modernize our live and virtual ranges and training of the structures such as Nevada Test and Training Range and the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.

Second, the F.Y. '20 budget restores the readiness of the force through cost effective maintenance and logistics.  We continue to prioritize our weapons systems sustainment programs, growing this account by $1.7 billion in the F.Y. '20 request to ensure our aircrafts equipment and systems are ready when needed.

This budget also funds enterprise sustaining engineering efforts to drive down sustainment costs through automation, streamline supply chains and industry adapted, conditions-based maintenance practices such as analytic tools and monitoring centers.

Third, this request continues our unwavering focus on aviation safety, ensuring we do not compromise safety as we prepare our airmen to fight today and tomorrow.  The Air Force will always prioritize and repair any immediate issues that may endanger our air crews.

As a specific example, this budget funds the next generation ejection seat designed to mitigate ejection risks for aircrew wearing helmet-mounted devices in multiple fighter and bomber aircraft.  

Fourth, the F.Y. '20 request supports the Air Force's commitment to providing a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.

The NDS, the Nuclear Posture Review and the National Defense Strategy Commission all re-affirm America's need for a modernized nuclear triad.  The F.Y. '20 budget continues the upgrade and recapitalization of the ICBM and the bomber legs of the nuclear triad, as well as modernization of the nuclear command and control and communication capability.

Fifth, we continue our modernization efforts across multiple weapons systems.  The F.Y. '20 budget increases funding to continue to B-21 development program, which is poised to add significant capability to both our nuclear and conventional operations.

We remain committed to the F-35 and its game-changing capabilities to the procurement of 48 F-35s, and this F.Y. '20 budget also - request also balances readiness and modernization in the near term by procuring eight F-15EX aircraft to refresh our aging F-15C fleet, allowing us to benefit from foreign partner investments in the F-15 line. 

Sixth, we continue our focus on cyber dominance by funding our 39 offensive and defensive Cyber Mission Force teams in support of U.S. Cyber Command to simultaneously generate effects in cyberspace while we secure and defend our systems against attack. 

Furthermore, our Joint Cyber Command and Control System provides combatant commanders with cyber, situational awareness and battle management of our forces. 

Finally, we continue our efforts to accelerate toward defendable space, with a fourth consecutive year of growth, our space portfolio is growing 17 percent over F.Y. '19, building on previous advances and further accelerating our competitive advantages relied upon by our warfighters. 

The F.Y. '20 request develops resilient satellite communications and procures the first GPS III follow-on satellite, keys to thwarting attempts to blind or jam our space systems. 

And as you've heard, this budget includes the initial funding to stand up the provisional elements of the United States Space Force headquarters under the Department of the Air Force. 

Although establishing a Space Force would require enabling legislation from Congress, this provisional headquarters will be responsible for addressing scope of mission and functions, organizational components and planning considerations to implement the new service. 

Now let's shift our attention from what we buy to how we're buying it, as we capitalize on new acquisition authorities and streamline agile processes to deliver acquired capabilities to the field faster and smarter. 

Next slide [slide 5], please. 

Let's face it.  The acquisition system we inherited from the Cold War era is too slow for the digital age.  China is innovating faster than we are, and fielding game-changing capabilities that threaten the advantages we enjoy. 

To accelerate fielding of new U.S. capabilities, the 2016 and 2017 National Defense Authorization Act delegated acquisition responsibility down to the services, and granted new acquisition authorities as well. 

We're utilizing these new authorities to deliver to the warfighter faster and smarter, the capabilities called for in the National Defense Strategy.  Let me highlight four specific ways in which we're doing this. 

First, we're capitalizing on the prototyping and experimentation authority Congress provided.  Using this authority, the F.Y. '20 budget continued the funding to accelerate hypersonics development, keeping us on a path to build and fly our nation's first hypersonic boost glide weapon, five years earlier than anticipated. 

Additionally, we'll continue our experimentation efforts for the light-attack aircraft by including funds in the F.Y. '20 budget to build on what we've learned in the first two experiments, and expand the experiment to other classes of air vehicles such as unmanned, rotary or turbo jet aircraft. 

Through this experimentation, we can ensure the U.S. and our international partners have the right mix of options with the necessary intelligence and information-sharing capabilities to fulfill the counter-VEO mission. 

Second, we're empowering our acquisition professionals to tailor the acquisition process, structuring their decisions to best support the needs of the program. 

As an example, our B-52 commercial engine replacement program utilizes digital modeling to conduct digital fly-offs, finding the design flaws earlier in the development period and fixing them before building.  This modeling will save three years from the normal development timelines, as well as improve fuel efficiency.  

Third, we're transitioning away from our historically slow and unresponsive approach to software in favor of a much more agile and rapid development approach. 

A key to this change is putting acquirers and operators together, to focus on rapid, incremental software improvements that deliver at the speed of relevance.  Leading this change is our Kessel Run Experimentation Laboratory.  

One example of Kessel Run's agile development successes is a new software tool they developed for air refueling planning that helped the Air Force reduce fuel consumption by millions of dollars each month, and reduced the requirement by two tankers in support of the counter-ISIS campaign.  That software, too, was delivered in months instead of years. 

And finally, our commitment to competition continued to reap positive results.  Recent contract awards for National Security Space Launch, the Global Positioning Satellite 3F, and UH-1 helicopter replacement and the T-X trainer netted over $15 billion in savings over the program estimates. 

In addition, our focus on expanded competition has opened the door to more innovators.  By reducing bureaucracy and removing barriers to entry, our Space and Missile Systems Center is awarding prototype contracts twice as fast as traditional contracting methods, opening the door to more companies. 

We're also seeking small business and entrepreneurs' ideas with our inaugural pitch day, as well as airmen inputs through our Spark Tank Competition.  These programs provide an entry to nontraditional vendors, foster innovation and find revolutionary ideas to the Air Force's toughest problems. 

As you know, we can only achieve these goals of building a more lethal and ready Air Force while fielding these new capabilities faster and smarter through the continued support of our Congress. 

On the next slide, I'll cover the fiscal environment, highlight the recent successes and the need to maintain that funding commitment in the coming years. 

Next slide [slide 6], please. 

In the past few years through support from Congress, the Air Force has accelerated modernization programs while simultaneously building a more lethal and ready force. 

Since F.Y. '17, Congress has appropriated Air Force funding roughly $50 billion above the Budget Control Act caps.  Listed below are four areas where these additional funds enabled key improvements. 

First, we grew over 14,000 total force military personnel.  These airmen filled critical gaps in air crew, maintenance, remotely piloted aircraft, intelligence and cyber career fields that set the foundation for our readiness recovery.  

Second, almost $1 billion in full-spectrum readiness funds address gaps in supplies and equipment across the Air Force, and specifically in the Indo-Pacific area of operations.  This included chemical defense ensembles, cold weather gear, communications equipment and medical war reserve material to ready our forces to fight tonight. 

Third, our research and development budget almost doubled.  These funds honed our technical edge against rapidly modernizing competitors, and accelerated game-changing technologies and space programs that will make a difference in the war fight of today and tomorrow.  

Finally, we procured an additional 23 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.  This accelerated production of the equivalent of an entire F-35A squadron one year earlier, to ensure the Air Force remains lethal against emerging high-end threats. 

In addition to top-line increases, we are appreciative of Congress passing the F.Y. '19 National Defense Authorization Act and Defense appropriation bills on time. 

As a result, we've been able to accelerate spending on our operations and maintenance accounts by $3.7 billion this year, compared to this time last year.  This timely funding was key to advancing our readiness recovery, and specifically addressing mission-capable rates for our fighter platforms.  

We're grateful for the continued congressional support and the subsequent confidence it injects in our military and industry partners. 

The F.Y. '20 president's budget builds on these gains.  However, we're not relying solely on additional funding to accelerate our NDS implementation.  We're driving smarter use of resources through reform efforts, and creating our own trade space. 

As one example, we improved the modeling of our military personnel costs by analyzing how personnel entitlements expend over time.  And this analysis led to targeted improvements in budgeting for basic pay from a change of station and other accounts, enabling the Air Force to realign $1.6 billion over the next five years to address other readiness and lethality needs. 

Additionally, through the identification of redundant capabilities, we were able to divest all funding for the Eagle Vision program through an agreement between the Air Force and a national geospatial intelligence agency.

Now the Air Force receives a higher resolution of service at no cost to the Air Force saving $21 million per year.  Finally, looking to maximize a return on every dollar we spend, we've implanted a new infrastructure investment strategy.

This strategy shifts Air Force infrastructure spending from a worst first approach to a prioritization based on mission needs and getting the most bang for the buck.  Utilizing three primarily lines effort; first restoring readiness to power projection platforms, second cost effective modernization of infrastructure, and third driving innovation to installation management. 

We can accelerate infrastructure readiness, resilience, and modernization.  However, even with increased buying power to reform initiatives is true ability to continue our multi-year effort to rebuilding readiness and lethality while modernizing our force requires predictable requirement driven funding.  

The most critical element of support we need from Congress is to find a way forward on the budget front to continue delivering the top line necessary to implement the national defense strategy and protect America's vital national interest.

With these budget priorities, streamline acquisition processes and strategic and physical environments in mind; let's begin to break down the F.Y. 20' budget.  

Next slide [slide 7] please.  The stacked columns on this slide illustrate the breakout by appropriation of the fiscal year 19 enacted appropriation and a fiscal year 20 budget request.

These columns represent the total force budget request to include active guard and reserve.  Starting on the right when you exclude the $39.2 billion non blue pass through the Air Force budget for F.Y. 20' including both base and overseas contingency operations is $165.6 billion and $9.8 billion 6.3% increase over F.Y. 19's enacted budget authority.   

You'll also notice there's a significant change in our operations and maintenance or O&M and the overseas contingency operations accounts.  This change is due to shift of significant portion of the Air Force O&M funding from the base budget to the OCO budget and as you heard before this is a department wide decision to comply with the Budget Control Act by holding the base budget request under the BCA caps.  

We'll discuss the detailed view of the overall OCO budget later in the briefing.  To compare the F.Y. 20' budget request to the F.Y. 19' appropriation let me shift your attention to the two stacked bars on the left.  Here you'll see an apples to apples comparison of F.Y. 19's enacted appropriation to the F.Y. 20' budget request where we've applied in OCO rule set similar to that using F.Y. 19'.  

As you can see the requirements driving the majority of the overall $9.8 billion budget increase F.Y. 20' are in O&M, military personnel, and research development testing evaluation or the RDT appropriations.  

We'll discuss the drivers or the changes in more detail in the coming slides.  First, let's start with a look at the O&M account.  

Next slide [slide 8] please.  Our operations and maintenance or O&M appropriations is our largest account making up 36% of our F.Y. 20' request.  

This account finances our day-to-day operations and is critical to our continued efforts to restore readiness.  And as you can see our F.Y. 20 O&M request includes a $4.7 billion increase or the F.Y. 19' appropriation.  In part this is due to $1.3 billion growth for facility sustainment restoration and modernization program, which is a 40% increase over F.Y. 19'.  

After years of falling short of our infrastructure investment goals we significantly increased our infrastructure budget both here and in our military construction appropriation, which I'll discuss later.  

Since we fight from our bases these increases begin to turn the corner on ensuring our power projection platforms are ready for tomorrow's fight.  Another significant driver of the O&M growth is the $1.4 billion increase which includes both base and OCO to our F.Y. 20' weapons system sustainment or WSS portfolio.

That's one point billion -- $4 billion total increase as a combination of the $1.7 billion base -- budget increase that WSS that you see on this slide offset by $300 million reduction in OCO funding for WSS.  

With this funding we continue the privatization of our 204 pacing units to ensure our lead force packages are ready to fight tonight while also advancing the overall readiness of the force to achieve our F.Y. 20' and F.Y. 22' readiness goals.  

Additionally this budget resources over $6 million for 1.1 million peacetime flying hours.  Again, funding this readiness program to current maximum executable levels.  These baseline hours combined with a live virtual training range improvements and increased adversary air authorities retain and sharpen today's aviators and help us increase pilot production to 1,480 pilots in F.Y. 20'.  

This request also right sizes our installation support accounts adding almost $1 billion compared to the F.Y. 19' appropriation.  This change minimizes reprogramming actions and year of execution and ensures or must stay installation maintenance contract utilities are funded to levels we've historically executed.  

Finally, this request includes $3.3 billion for cyber mission set and $2.5 million for space operations and training requirements.  And as I mentioned earlier, this budget resources the standup of the initial U.S. space force headquarters were $72 million to cover the initial personnel and operating costs.  

Through this O&M budget request and other initiatives; our airman will be organized, trained, and equipped to meet the complex challenges we face across the multi-domain battle space.  

Next, let's turn our attention to military personal appropriations.
 Next slide [slide 9] please.  In fiscal year 20' we continue the steady growth of our military and strength and add funding for 3.1% military pay raise, a 3.4% increase to basic Allowance for housing, and a 2.4% increase the Basic Allowance for Subsistence.  

As I mentioned earlier, this budget also reflects the savings from a reform effort to improve the modeling of military personnel costs.  An effort that reduced our F.Y. 20' military personal budget request by $490 million.  

In terms of end strength this budget request supports our fifth consecutive year of increases with F.Y. 20' growing an additional 4,400 airman over F.Y. 19' levels to just under 511,000 total force military members.  

This brings us back to our F.Y. 12' pre-sequester manning levels.  In terms of mission sets this budget targets critical skill gaps across active guard and reserve components such as special warfare airman, Intel, cyber, and nuclear defenders.  We also continue to enhance the capability of our recently added maintainers ensuring their skills and abilities are prepared for both fleet modernization and readiness goals.  

Additionally, the F.Y. 20' military personal budget expands efforts to address the pilot shortfall and retention challenges in other career fields to a $30 million increase for targeted bonuses, which when coupled with nonmonetary efforts which are mostly funded within our O&M appropriation aimed with retained seasoned airman and stressed career fields and airman performing hazardous duties ensuring critical Air Force specialties are preserved.  

Through these efforts the Air Force will be better sized, better trained, and more lethal to face the challenges of great power competitions.  Next let's shift our attention to the Air Force research develop and testing evaluation budget request where Ms. Gleason will discuss how our third straight year of substantial growth enables our ability to develop the capabilities that will be necessary to counter the threats of tomorrow.  Next slide please.

CAROLYN GLEASON:  Thank you, General Pletcher [slide 10]. As General Pletcher mentioned earlier, RDT&E appropriation has almost doubled in the last four years and the F.Y. 20' budget request is an increase of $4.5 billion over what was appropriated in F.Y. 19'.  This year's budget invests heavily in innovative technologies and focuses on modernization of key capabilities shaped by the National Defense Strategy.  We continue to modernize our aircraft fleet, recapitalize 2/3 of the nuclear triad, accelerate defendable space capabilities, and invest in technologies to maintain our edge against emerging threats.

This budget increases development funding for the B-21 by $725 million as the program transitions from design to manufacturing development.  It also continues TX development to recapitalize our aging T-38 fleet; invests $794 million in F-35 Block 4 capabilities, a $290 million increase from the F.Y. '19 enacted amount; funds $247 million to advance capabilities for the combat rescue helicopter; continues the presidential aircraft recapitalization; and invests in multiple legacy aircraft.

Additionally, the F.Y. '20 request adds $1.8 billion in procurement and RDT&E funding to accelerate our defendable space investments, securing the satellite constellations that power our military forces and civil societies.  We continue efforts to accelerate development of the next generation overhead persistent infrared system to enhance our missile warning and invest $463 million in the GPS 3 follow-on constellation to provide enhanced anti-jam position, navigation, and timing.

Moreover, this budget invests $713 million in the long-range standoff weapon to replace the air-launched cruise missile and $570 million in the ground-based strategic deterrent designed to recapitalize the aging Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missile.  These two efforts will ensure the reliability and effectiveness of the most responsive and flexible legs of the nuclear triad.

Furthermore, the F.Y. '20 request invests in advancing technologies to counter emerging threats, including the next-generation air dominance or NGAD family of systems.  Although most of the specifics of NGAD are classified, this budget increases funding by $570 million to re-source the most promising technologies needed to close air superiority gaps as identified in the air superiority 2030 flight plan.

Finally, our budget continues efforts to institutionalize prototyping and experimentation, to quickly move game-changing technologies into warfighting capability.  Specifically, we invest $878 million to continue the adaptive engine transition program, which is providing revolutionary advances in fighter turbine engine performance.  In addition, we invest $576 million in hypersonics efforts to include both the air-launched rapid response weapon and the hypersonic conventional strike weapon, with each scheduled to achieve initial operational capability by F.Y. '22.

This budget also focuses our directed energy efforts on prototypes for the base defense mission.  These increased RDT&E and investments build on progress made in F.Y. '18 and F.Y. '19, safeguard our technological edge against near-peer competitors, and enable the Air Force to accelerate the next-generation capabilities required to counter threats outlined in the National Defense Strategy.  

Now let's take a look at the highlights of our F.Y. '20 procurement appropriation.  Next slide [slide 11] please.

Our procurement appropriations remain relatively stable as we continue buying aircraft, space assets, launch services and munitions at a steady pace.  In future years, some of these accounts will increase as RDT&E investments we just reviewed move into production.  Looking specifically at our aircraft procurement account, our F.Y. '20 request funds $5.7 billion to procure 48 F-35A aircraft, continuing our commitment to the F-35 and its game-changing capabilities.

This budget also adds $1.1 billion to purchase eight F-15 EXs to begin to replace aging F-15 Cs.  In addition, the baseline aircraft procurement account continues recapitalizations for tankers, providing $2.2 billion to procure 12 KC-46As and rotary assets funding $884 million for 12 combat rescue helicopters, as well as eight MC-130s.

Our baseline budget also funds three additional MQ-9s in addition to the nine aircraft funded via the overseas contingency operations account for a total of 12 procured in F.Y. '20.  Our F.Y. '20 space procurement request funds four national security space launches, leveraging a public private partnership to inject competition into the market.  In addition, $415 million in this budget procures the first GPS 3 follow-on satellite, adding to the robust GPS constellation.

For the munitions account, the table on the bottom right of the slide includes both space and OCO funding to allow for an easier comparison between fiscal years.  The F.Y. '20 president's budget request begins to transition our munitions priorities from the counter-VEO fight to the high-end fight.  During this shift, we continue to maximize production of the joint direct tech munitions, small diameter bomb, and Hellfire, while placing greater emphasis on the Joint Air-To-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range, or JASSM-ER, and the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, both of which are critical to defeating threats in a highly contested environment.

Having highlighted the changes in our procurement funding lines, let's take a quick look at our major procurement quantities in the F.Y. '20 budget.  

Next slide [slide 12].  Shown on this slide are procurement quantities for both the base and OCO accounts that were included in the F.Y. '18 and F.Y. '19 appropriations as well as the total quantities funded in the F.Y. '20 president's budget request.

Let me pause here for a moment to allow you to review the numbers on the slide.

And now let me turn it back over to General Pletcher to highlight the investments and changes in our military construction, BRAC, and family housing appropriations.

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  Thank you, Ms. Gleason [slide 13].  This is another good news story for the Air Force as our F.Y. '20 request includes the first meaningful increase to our military construction budget in over four years…with a 24 percent increase compared to F.Y. '19.  Notably, a significant portion of this request, $1.1 billion, is for existing mission construction projects.  This increase combined with the additional restoration and modernization funds in our O&M account, begins to address the deferred infrastructure maintenance risk that has been building since sequestration.

As you can see from this slide, this request includes funding for infrastructure improvements across the range of Air Force missions and includes funding for active guard and reserve bases.  

Additionally, this request supports $530 million for combatant command MILCOM requirements, particularly in the Indo-Pacific area, and funds limited bed-down requirements required for new missions.

Moreover, the F.Y. '20 budget request continues reconstruction efforts at Tyndall Air Force Base which was devastated by Hurricane Michael last October.  In addition to $466 million of facility sustainment restoration and modernization funds in our O&M account, the DOD, as you heard earlier, set aside emergency funding in this budget request that may be used to help rebuild Tyndall once the planning and design work is completed.

Finally switching to our military family housing appropriations, the health and safety of our airmen and their families is a top priority, so much so that we recently conducted a 100 percent boots on the ground review of housing across the service to identify, document and fix any health or safety risks.

While much is being done in the near-term and quickly to address any problems, we must ensure our corrective actions are consistently applied and enduring.  This budget request supports our military family housing needs through continuous oversight of privatized housing, sustainment of government owned inventory, and leasing of homes as required. 

That was our final base budget accounts, now let's take a look at the overseas contingency operation or OCO portion of the F.Y. '20 request.  

Next slide [slide 14] please.  Another change, as you've heard earlier today, is the F.Y. '20 president's budget request classification of our OCO accounts.

In this F.Y. '20 request, we've included three categories of funding, the first category is OCO for direct war costs, which includes combat or direct combat support costs, it will not continue once combat operations end. 

The second category is OCO for enduring requirements, which includes requirements previously funded in OCO for in-theater and in-CONUS activities that will likely continue after combat operations cease.

And the final category is OCO for base requirements, which includes funding for traditional base budget expenses that are financed in our F.Y. '20 OCO request in order for the department to comply with the Budget Control Act of 2011.  

Focusing on the first two categories of OCO, this budget prioritizes operations and retrograde missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and expands European infrastructure through the European deterrence initiative and continues counter terrorism operations.

Our F.Y. '20 direct war and enduring OCO account show a $2 billion decrease from F.Y. '19, primarily due to fewer MQ-9 purchases in F.Y. '20 and less munitions funded in this category.  

These accounts continue supporting personnel at six enduring locations on remotely piloted aircraft combat lines replenished consumed munitions, built seven European deterrence initiative construction projects and procure nine MQ-9 aircraft.

Switching to the OCO for base requirements, the $29.6 billion funds traditional base budget requirements such as flying hours, weapons systems sustainment and base operating support.

We've also included funding for additional munition in its OCO for base category.  All of these requirements were included and briefed in the previous slide to provide you with an apples to apples programmatic comparison. 

Even though the funding for these requirements will be requested in the OCO portion of the budget.  Let me close with a few final thoughts before we open it up for your questions.  Next slide [slide 15] please. 

The Air Force is called up to compete, deter and win across the five priority missions of the National Defense Strategy.  This F.Y. '20 president's budget request is driven by this strategy, focused on building more lethal and ready force and prepared to defeat our adversaries in the high end fight. 

This budget request takes needed steps to restore our readiness and increase lethality while simultaneously fielding the force faster and smarter.  However, we can't fully implement the National Defense Strategy to protect America's vital national interests without sufficient budget top line.

Preserving lethality and readiness gains requires continued congressional funding support in the form of predictable, timely and requirement driven funding.  As I said earlier, this is the most critical element in enabling the Air Force to field the capabilities and build the capacity needed for the next two decades.

As we have in the past, we must come together to find a way forward.  Thank you very much, I welcome your questions. 

MRS. GLEASON:  Sandra. 

Q:  Thank you, Sandra Erwin, Space News.  General, can you explain the 17 percent space growth, what is the 19 enacted number that increased by 17 percent?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  As Ms. Gleason pulls up the details, 17 percent increases across all appropriations; RDT&E, procurement, O&M, and MILPERS so it looks at the entire portfolio.

And so we'd have to give you those individuals, but I think we've got the number here.  Let me have her pull it up.  And then essentially as a continued emphasis that we've had accelerating to a defendable space, growing capabilities, some of that is just what new satellites we're funding in this program as well.  But you have the numbers, Carolyn. 

MRS. GLEASON:  Rates were at 19 across that portfolio, we were enacted just over $11.8 billion and in '20 we are - we're enacted $13.8.  So it's roughly at 17 percent.  Most of our growth is in R&D and a little bit in procurement, but it's predominantly research and development. 

Q:  (Inaudible) first question, the KC-46 purchases slowing, can you explain why?  And then second, the directed energy amount from last year and this year, can you break that out for us please?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  The KC-46, essentially we're committed to 15 a year.  Two years ago we got three additional added by Congress, so this 12 that we buy in F.Y. '20 still keeps us at 15 a year on average of those three years. 

And you have the direction (inaudible)...

MRS. GLEASON:  I don't, we're going to have to take that, I don't have a number for that broken out.  Sorry. 

Q:  Hi, Valerie Insinna, Defense News.  Can you talk a little bit about the light attack experiment and where that's going, how much is being spent this year, where that money is coming from and how those experiments might be different?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  Yes, so in the F.Y. '20 budget, we have $35 million for light attack experiments.  It essentially continues the experiment from the past two years.  The decision the Air Force had to make this year was essentially are we ready to go to a program of record given what we had learned up to this point with the first two experiments. 

And then keeping in mind the light attack is all about allies and partners, that's the most important thing.  The second line of effort from the secretary of defense and the NDS is to attract more partners and to support our allies. 

And the light attack aircraft is all about providing the right mix of capability in a weapons system that would be most attractive to those allies and partners to take on the counter-VEO mission.

The result of the experiment from the first two phases, we just didn't feel comfortable that we had the right mix of capabilities that was going to attract the partners and allies that we needed.

So we want to look further, as I said in the briefing potentially look at rotary and fixed wing, potentially look at manned and unmanned, potentially look at turbo prop and turbo jet and do a study across the industry as well, looking at what are the most likely interest for allies and partners across the globe.

$35 million in '20 allows us to continue that experiment and there is procurement dollars in the out years that would allow us to start a program should the results of the experiment say it's a good investment to do so. 

Q:  Hi Laura Seligman Foreign Policy, thanks for doing this.  

I want to clarify, there's been some conversation today about INF Treaty non-compliant weapons, and, you know, the Army is bringing up something, I'm wondering if there's anything in the Air Force's books that would potentially support that which is the restart of the ground launch cruise missile program?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  No I appreciate that, I actually heard your question earlier, I'll put it this way, there's nothing I'm aware of in terms of development of a non-INF Treaty missile. 

But let me - to be accurate, let me make sure we take that question for the record and get back to you. 

Q:  I have one question on the F-15EX that going to get a lot of attention.  $1.1 billion divided by eight, is it going to be that expensive going forward?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  Part of that is non-recurring engineering in the first year, so as you know, when you buy a new weapon system, you've got to pay for the aircraft but you've also got to set up the line in although at the same time, we're leveraging much of the investment the allies that have been buying the F-15.

But there is some non-recurring engineering in the first year, and then of course you've got the spares and everything else, as well, so I won't get into the specific numbers that are going to be part of the contract negotiation, but I think you see $1.1 billion, but I wouldn't say that's the same average cost we would expect to see every year after that.

Q:  Do you think $80 million range is Boeings claim of an accurate number roughly going forward?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  I think if you looked only at aircraft, that might be a reasonable number, but you're going to have to have all of the other items that come with buying aircraft, such as spares and such, so that's just the airframe itself, and again the contract negotiation will make the final determination on that.

Q:  80 in the FYDP?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  It's not $80 million in the FYDP, it's more than that.  I don't even know what the ... 

MRS. GLEASON:  You mean the number of aircraft?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  Oh yes, I'm sorry, yeah I thought you were talking about the average.

Q:  80 in the FYDP?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  Yes, yes, yes.

Q:  Then Ms. Gleason, the B-21what’s the $3 billion going to buy?

MRS. GLEASON:  It's continuing so that program has been pretty much on schedule for the life of the program.  It's moving into manufacturing design, let me see if I have any more specific ... 

Q: We see so little of it, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to ask…

MRS. GLEASON: Yeah, and a lot of that's just cause it is fairly sensitive, as you are well aware, and I think you and I have talked about this three years in a row, Tony.

Q:  Yeah.


MRS. GLEASON:  So the most I have is we’re proceeding on schedule and building on three years of success for development.  You know they're getting ready to move into manufacturing design, so sorry about that.

STAFF:  Rachel?

Q:  Hi, Rachel Cohen with Air Force Magazine.  

(Inaudible) NDAA, Congress directed you guys to look at ways to accelerate nuclear modernization programs.  I'm wondering if this budget reflects any shifts in money to do that, you know, the options that you looked at for that?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  I don't know that I would say it's any new acceleration.  There's a continued commitment in the modernization of the two legs of the triad the Air Force has.  Clearly we're continuing to invest in those two and it's a significant amount of money every year, but I don't know that I've seen any change in our strategy there.

Q:  OK.

STAFF:  I think our last question's for Steve Losey?

Q:  The 74 added squadrons was a big priority for Secretary Wilson and General Goldfein.  Why is there no funding for any new squadrons in the budget, and is this a sign that the Air Force we need initiative might be dead?

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  Not at all.  This is a sign that the F.Y. '20 budget was built at the same time that study was being made.  This is a 312 squadron budget, the F.Y. '20 request is.  That discussion will happen in subsequent years.

We owed that answer to Congress based on their direction.  It is clearly, as you said, a priority for our Secretary, but the F.Y. '20 budget was built off the 312 number.

Q:  Do you expect next year we'll see added squadrons ... 

MAJ. GEN. PLETCHER:  I won't try to predict what will happen, but that's a discussion that'll happen going forward.

STAFF:  Ladies and gentlemen, (inaudible) NDA and our team in the back are standing by to take any additional questions that you have.