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Department of Defense Press Briefing on the President's Fiscal Year 2021 Defense Budget for the Air Force

STAFF:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I'm Captain Jacob Bailey from Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs.  Thanks for joining us here today.  In just a moment, Major General John Pletcher, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Budget, will provide the Department of the Air Force F.Y. '21 budget overview briefing.

If you were unable to pick up a packet of our budget materials, please let myself or another staff member know and we'll get that to you.  Following the briefing, Major General Pletcher will be taking questions.  In the interest of time, we ask—and so we can through as many as possible—we just ask that you limit that to one, including one follow up.  If we can, we'll get through a subsequent round, if possible.

Without any further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Major General John Pletcher.

MAJOR GENERAL JOHN M. PLETCHER:  Thank you.  Good afternoon and thanks for attending the Department of the Air Force's F.Y. 2021 President's budget rollout briefing.  This is uh -- kind of exciting for us, so thanks for being here.  We'll jump into the next slide, please.

Here's what I'll cover in today's briefing but let me start by giving you the bottom line up front.  This budget request, $169 billion for the Department of the Air Force to maintain our readiness gains of the last three years while also further aligning our Department to what is asked of us in the National Defense Strategy.

This budget invests in the necessary capabilities we must develop to counter the projected threats and continues to build the Air and Space Forces the nation needs.  And of course, one unique feature of this F.Y. '21 budget is that it includes the first separate budget requested for the recently established United States Space Force.

Let's start by taking a look at the strategic environment.  Next slide, please?  As you're aware, the international security environment continues to change in dangerous ways.  Peer adversaries such as China and Russia continue to employ aggressive tactics to coerce neighbors, suppress dissent and undermine freedom.  These actors are developing or are already in possession of technologies that fundamentally alter the calculus of future conflict.

Combined with the threats posed by Iran, North Korea and violent extremism, we face an unpredictable future with challenges across every war fighting domain.  To address these threats, the Fiscal Year '21 budget takes calculated risk in near term capacity and selects legacy platforms to invest in the key capabilities we need to mitigate unacceptable capability gaps in a future fight.

And make no mistake, the threat extends into space and winning any future fight will require us to win in space, so with the establishment of the United States Space Force, the F.Y. '21 budget includes the first ever separate Space Force budget request, a key step in the effort to aggressively develop the necessary space capabilities, war fighting doctrine and expertise required to outpace the future threats.

The future of our Department comes down to this -- our adversaries have designed their forces to exploit our vulnerabilities and unless we evolve, they will some day face a force they have readily trained and equipped themselves to defeat.  We cannot allow that to happen. 

This F.Y. '21 budget request reflects our current thinking about the future Air and Space Forces the nation and the Joint Force need to close those vulnerabilities.  With this request, we're investing in an integrated design and modernized forces that can pursue four -- our four design priorities shown at the bottom left of the slide.

At the same time, we're continuing to provide combatant commanders with ready forces and the critical capabilities necessary to conduct the enduring missions shown at the bottom right of the slide.  Of course it's our greatest asset, our people, that underpins all of these efforts.  Developing and caring for them and their families remains our enduring imperative.

Next slide, please?  Strong bipartisan work by Congress and the President led to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 that set national defense spending levels for our Fiscal Years '20 and '21, providing the stability and predictability so critical to resourcing our national defense priorities.

And with the passage and signing of the F.Y. '20 National Defense Authorization Act and defense appropriation bills in late December, we've been able to continue our focus on advancing the readiness and lethality of our Air and Space Forces.

This continuing congressional support and our ongoing reform efforts, which I'll talk about in a moment, are instrumental in maintaining the readiness momentum of the past few years and achieving the modernization goals called for in the NDS.

This journey began in Fiscal Year '18, where with the increased top line provided by the President and Congress, we were able to halt the readiness decline caused by sequestration and 26 years of continuous combat operations.

In Fiscal Year '19, we continued the recovery, increasing readiness across multiple fleets and mission sets and began lining our modernization efforts to the newly established NDS and the budget we're executing in F.Y. '20 enables us to further advance readiness, innovation and modernization in line with the return to great power competition.

Now, in F.Y. '21, to build the Future Air and Space Force we need, we did a comprehensive review of our portfolios and made tough choices to build the most capable force against the projected threat within the available topline.

The capabilities we're building, some of which I'll now highlight, allow us to pursue an integrated design and field modernized forces that are necessary to achieve irreversible momentum toward NDS implementation, as called for by the secretary of defense.

Next slide, please.

In this slide, we've captured key programs in this year's budget, a few of which I'll highlight, organized by the secretary of defense budget themes.

You can also see, beneath each category, where our Department of the Air Force investment areas are aligned to the secretary of defense themes, all of which are ultimately resourced to build a ready all-domain joint force.

Let me start in the center.  Modern warfare is increasingly all-domain.  And to prevail, any future force must move beyond deconflicted operations and be able to employ true joint all-domain operations, creating simultaneous dilemmas that overwhelm an adversary.

The foundation to successfully executing joint all-domain operations is the ability to network all forces into an effective whole or connect the joint force.  The key to this is Joint All-Domain Command and Control, of JADC2, as we call it, which will bring together sensors, systems and weapons from different services and nations to allow the seamless sharing of information and the convergence of combat power.

The Department of the Air Force is driving the conceptual development of this common architectures through our F.Y. '21 president's budget puts $302 million toward accelerating the development and operational demonstrations of the Advanced Battle Management System, or ABMS, which is a family of systems that will share real-time data connecting the right sensor to the right shooter in any domain.

Now to the top left, where we focus our attention on prioritized NDS investments.  Winning a future fight will require us to dominate space through the development of resilient defendable capabilities under the newly created U.S. Space Force. 

Those capabilities include $2.3 billion in F.Y. '21 to continue one of our key unclassified capabilities, the rapid development of the next-generation Overhead Persistent Infrared, or OPIR constellation, which will replace the current Space-Based Infrared System, or SBIRS, to provide missile warning and battle space awareness as more resilient and survivable against emerging threats.

And as we maintain our commitment to a credible and effective nuclear deterrent for the Joint Force, we continue our recapitalization efforts for the two legs of the nuclear triad we operate, the B-21 Raider to replace the aging bomber fleet, and the ground-based strategic deterrent, which will replace the Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missile.

Looking at the top right, this budget also enhances our competitive edge against a peer adversary by generating combat power.  We remain committed to the F-35 as the anchor of our fighter force through the procurement of 48 new F-35As in F.Y. '21 and the continuing development of the next-generation air dominance capabilities.

And since we know we'll have to generate that combat power in a future battlefield that is dangerous, dynamic and dispersed, where our logistics will be under attack, we're investing to reinvent logistics.  For example, in F.Y. '21, we're putting $148 million into prototyping directed energy solutions for defending our bases.

Transitioning to the bottom left, you'll see that we continue on our prior-year efforts to modernize for increased all-domain lethality, providing ready forces that can carry out the most fundamental mission of the armed forces:  defending the homeland.

We're doing this by requesting an additional 12 F-15EXs to replace our aging F-15Cs by developing advanced sensor capabilities for F-22s and by increasing the Joint Force's cyberspace capabilities.

And we remain engaged worldwide as we counter violent extremism in the most efficient manner possible.

In that light, the F.Y. '21 budget funds 60 combat lines of MQ-9s and sustains our commitment to the Air Force's most effective close air support platform, the A-10, with $161 million to continue the re-winging and avionics upgrades.

And finally, in the bottom right, we remember that it's our people, with the unending support of their families, that accomplish the mission.  They're our greatest asset and we're committed to continuing the investment in their training and wellbeing.

With this budget, we advance our pilot training Next and True North initiatives and continue our emphasis on family programs to include funding for increased oversight of our privatized housing, reinforcing our commitment to safe and habitable homes for our people.

Underpinning every other theme, we recognize our responsibility to continue business reforms to maximize the value of every taxpayer dollar and we have worked hard to resource this future force smartly, taking measures risks now to ensure we avoid unacceptable capability gaps in the future.

So let's take a look at the process we used to get here.

Next slide, please.

As part of the F.Y. '21 budget process, we conducted an exhaustive zero-base review, looking at ever program in the Department of the Air Force budget to see how it advances the NDS priorities. 

After assessing the results of multiple complex wargame scenarios with a myriad of different combinations of capabilities and concepts, we found that winning in the future will require investing in the right new capabilities now. 

And with a set topline, that means trading some of the old in favor of the new.  Those difficult trades are the source of funding for many of the critical technology and capability investments that are funded in this budget. 

The tough decisions in this F.Y. '21 budget include retiring some of our aircraft earlier than planned, knowing that we're already developing our fielding replacement platforms, as is the case with 16 KC-10s and 13 KC-135s we divest in F.Y. '21 as we continue to procure and accept deliveries of the KC-46.

We're also retiring the 17 least capable B-1s but we'll keep the maintainers in the force to drive up the readiness of the remaining B-1 fleet until the B-21s can begin to replace these aging bombers in the mid-2020s.

Additionally, we take measured near-term capacity risk in other select platforms to source the funding required to develop the integrated future force capabilities we'll need to win.  This budget request prioritizes intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR capabilities, that are more adaptable, more survivable and less manpower-intensive, which is reflected by the divestiture of four Block 20 and 20 Block 30 Global Hawks while still continuing our RQ-4 Block 40 modernization and sustainment efforts.

To offset the Block 20 retirements, we'll buy additional E-11s to meet the mission of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node or BACN mission.  And the signals and imagery intel mission will continue to be accomplished by the U-2 as well as space-based capabilities.

Along these same lines, this budget ceases our government-owned contractor-operated MQ-9 lines, reducing our total MQ-9 combat lines from 70 to 60 while still maintaining sufficient quantities of MQ-9s to support combat operations.

Finally, while we invest in the A-10 modernization discussed on the previous slide, we're also continuing on the path we set last year to retire 44 of the oldest and least ready aircraft en route to a completely modernized and combat-capable fleet of 218 A-10s and seven squadrons that will continue to fly through the 2030s.

In addition, we're continuing to create trade space through innovation and better business practices.  For example, the success in advances in the Pilot Training Next program are providing a faster, more cost-effective way to produce pilots.  And once completely employed, this initiative will enable other efficiencies in savings down the road, such a potentially retiring the T-1 as a training platform, avoiding the operating and sustaining costs for that fleet.

Furthermore, we continue our logistics enterprise optimization, which has consolidated or eliminated 178 systems to date.  Through these reforms, we realigned $4.1 billion across this FYDP.

And, finally, we've made significant strides toward meeting our audit goals.  In 2019, we conducted our second full financial audit and the results show significant progress in a number of areas including inventory controls.

In 2020, as we kick off the third iteration of this full financial audit, we'll continue to focus on modernizing our business systems and aggressively working the corrective actions plans to close audit deficiencies as we continue our journey to achieve an unmodified opinion.

Now, let's begin to break down the F.Y. '21 budget request. 

Next slide, please.

Throughout the rest of the slides, you'll see three sets of numbers.  With the F.Y. '20 president's budget request on the left, the F.Y. '20 enacted position in the middle and the F.Y. '21 president's budget request on the right. 

We did that to provide context, but most of our discussion will focus on the differences between the F.Y. '20 enacted and the F.Y. '21 request.

The stacked columns here show the department-wide breakout in this manner, representing the total force budget request to include active, Guard and Reserve.

Looking at F.Y. '21, when we exclude the $38.2 billion non-blue pass-through, the department's budget request is $169 billion, which is a $900 million increase from the F.Y. '20 enacted position, essentially flat.  However, it is worth noting that the F.Y. '20 enacted position includes $3.5 billion for disaster recovery.

The most obvious change in the F.Y. '21 request is the breakout of the first separate budget for the newly created Space Force, shown in the pies on the right.  Most of the $15.4 billion request is transferred from previously controlled Air Force appropriations to new Space Force appropriations.

Additionally, as part of a department-wide decision to comply with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, $8.9 billions of our base O&M requirements will be funded in the Overseas Contingency Operations Account.  This is not reflected in the above chart, in order to show an apples-to-apples comparison from the F.Y. '20 enacted position.

Now, before I get into the details of the individual appropriations, let me take a moment to highlight the significance of the first U.S. Space Force budget.

Next slide, please.

Our potential adversaries are actively devising ways to deny our use of space in a future conflict.  And as I said before, winning a future fight will require winning in space.  So on December 20th, 2019, we made history as a department, as a military service and as a nation when the president and Congress established the U.S. Space Force as a coequal and separate military branch under the Department of the Air Force.

By standing up and separately resourcing the Space Force, we're enabling the future, one in which America has a centralized and equal service to recruit, train and equip experts that can defend our space interests from pure adversaries.

We'll continue to work with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the other services to align and unify DOD space activities into the Space Force while using existing Air Force infrastructure and support to avoid duplication of effort.

In future budgets, space efforts from other military services will consolidate under the Space Force, and we also anticipate the gradual integration of space acquisition authorities and activities, beginning with the transfer of the Space Development Agency in F.Y. '22.

One of the first requirements is establishing a separate U.S. Space Force budget, which you see on the bottom right of this slide.  This F.Y. '21 request consists of four appropriations and we anticipate transitioning the military personnel funding in a future budget, once we can assure a seamless transition of pay for our space professionals.

As you look at these numbers, and the numbers on the subsequent slides, it's important to remember one thing:  In the F.Y. '20 and previous budgets, all of our space funding was in the Air Force appropriations.  However, in order to provide you with an apples-to-apples comparison between F.Y. '20 and F.Y. '21, we normalize the F.Y. '20 columns, moving space program funding out of the U.S. Air Force lines and into the U.S. Space Force lines.

With that normalization, you can see that this F.Y. '21 Space Force budget request also represents a $900 million increase over F.Y. '20, the fourth straight year of growth in overall space funding.

And, finally, what's not included in this table, although we'll talk about it in the rest of the slides, is the extra support that the Air Force will continue to provide in areas such as base operating support and facilities sustainment, something we'll call blue for space.

Now, let's get into the details of each appropriation for our Air Force and Space Force budget request.

Next slide, please.

On each of the appropriations slides, you'll see a similar format where we'll include a funding table that shows the overall department budget broken by Air Force and Space Force.  And as a reminder, that F.Y. '20 numbers have been normalized, moving space program funding to the U.S. Space Force budget line to provide that apples-to-apples comparison. You'll also see key budgetary highlights for each branch with Air Force on the left and Space Force on the right. 

Our operation and maintenance or O&M appropriation is our largest account making up 36 percent of our F.Y.'21 department-wide base budget request.  This account finances our day-to-day operations and is critical to our continued efforts to sustain readiness.

As you can see our U.S. Air Force F.Y.'21 O&M request increases by $3.2 billion over the F.Y.'20 appropriation.  This is largely driven by three things.  First, there's nearly $750 million in growth for civilian pay raises and directed increases in civilian retirement fund contributions.  Second, there's $784 million more for the Flying Hour Program to fund one million peace time flying hours needed to train and hone our combat proficiency.  And third, there's a $1.7 billion in crease to our Weapon System Sustainment or WSS portfolio driven mostly by a difference in the OCO and base accounting between F.Y.'20 enacted and the F.Y.'21 budget request.  In total, this funding keeps us on track to sustain our target readiness gains. 

Within this appropriation, we also continued to build our digital network, exploring the scalability of the enterprise IT as a service efforts that are critical to our connect the joint force priority with the ultimate goal of leveraging industry best practices that will allow our people to focus on war fighting rather than maintaining networks.  And we're resourcing our operational JADC2 programs such as the new Multi-Domain Warfare Officer School House and Shadow Operations Center where we're integrating emerging technologies into live flying operations. 

We've also prioritized our people with investments across our U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force units.  For example, we're putting an additional $51 million into our True North Initiative making sure our high-temp, high-risk men and women have access to the embedded healthcare professionals they need.  And we continue to prioritize our youth MWR and off-duty education programs.

Our U.S. Space Force O&M request includes $2.5 billion for everyday space activities, $1.3 billion of which is for weapon systems sustainment.  This request also provides the resources for the new U.S. Space Force headquarters organization and funds about half of the civilian authorizations transferred to the U.S. Space Force in F.Y.'21 with the remaining civilians funded within the U.S. Space Force RDT&E appropriation.

Finally, as mentioned earlier the Air Force O&M request includes blue for space funds that provide support to the U.S. Space Force.  For example, the Air Force O&M request includes facilities sustainment restoration and modernization or FSRM funding to sustain and modernize our existing facilities across both our Air Force and Space Force bases.  We also fund installation support costs such as utilities and refuse collection for both services from within the Air Force O&M budget request.

In summary, this O&M request enables the department to sustain readiness and care for our people while resourcing the daily operations of both our air and space forces.  Next we'll look our military personnel appropriation.  Next slide, please.

In the F.Y.'21 budget request, the department's total military end strength continues but slows the growth of the past two years.  Our F.Y.'21 total force military end strength, which includes both U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force active, guard, and reserve is 512,100 members, and increase of 1,500 over the F.Y.'20 (programmed ?) end strength.  Included in the 512,000 end strength figure is 6,434 military authorizations for the U.S. Space Force.  Those authorizations along with the civilian billets that transfer will bring our U.S. Space Force to a total of about 10,000 personnel in F.Y.'21.

This budget also includes a 3 percent military pay raise, a 3.3. percent increase to basic (inaudible) for housing, and 2.3 percent increase to base (inaudible) for assistance.  The slowing of our overall end strength growth is primarily a reflection of the fact that we were able to repurpose some of the manpower associated with the force structure divestitures I highlighted earlier, reducing the need for total end strength growth in F.Y.'21.

With the repurposing and modest growth, this budget mitigates shortages in some of our operational squadrons as well as at our space career fields, most of which are now aligned under the U.S. Space Force.

Additionally, this budget addresses the man power requirements needed to support the beddown of our new F-35s and KC-46s as well as the acquisition personnel needed to support the maturing B-21 program and the (inaudible) needed support our develop JADC2 capabilities.  These combined efforts meet our current priority manpower needs while keeping us ahead of the manpower investments required to support the future fight.

Next I'll turn our attention the department's research development test and evaluation or RDT&E budget request.  Next slide, please.

Our department-wide F.Y.'21 RDT&E budget request is $37.3 billion representing the fight straight year of significant growth in our RDT&E accounts and a $2.1 billion increase over F.Y.'20.  As you can see, the Air Force RDT&E -- Air Force RDT&E request is $26.9 billion and the Space Force RDT&E request is $10.3 billion which is by far the largest share of the overall Space Force F.Y.'21 budget.

In the Air Force RDT&E request, we're invested heavily to connect the joint force with a funding request of $302 million for the advanced battle management system, a more than twofold increase over F.Y.'20.  This funding will develop the network on multiple fronts through rapid iterations creating a system of systems as we go and conducting operational demos every four months to rapidly integrate lessons learned.

Also in the Air Force request, we continue our recapitalization of two-thirds of the nuclear triad with $2.8 billion going into the B-21 program and $1.5 billion to further the development of the ground based strategic deterrent.  Additionally, our commitment to next-generation air dominance continues as we capitalize on non-traditional acquisition strategies and resource the most promising technologies needed to close future air superiority gaps.

Finally, this request include $801 million to advance the VC-25 B presidential aircraft recapitalization effort as well as additional funds for testing of the recently named T-7A Red Hawk and funding to continue our prototyping efforts of the hypersonic air launch rapid response weapon.

Turning to the Space force RDT&E budget, while a portion of this request is classified, the $10.3 billion does include a planned increase for the next generation overhead persistent infrared program that I mentioned earlier.  This request also includes funds for the next generation GPS operational control system, a ground component that will allow secure command of both modernized and legacy satellites.  As a combined portfolio, the Space Force's RDT&E budget invests to protect and defend our current space assets, to build more resilient and defendable architectures, and to develop offensive capabilities and options to respond if our national security space capabilities are threatened.

This total Department of the Air Force RDT&E request continues our commitment to rapidly developing the technologies and capabilities that combatant commanders will require from their future air and space forces.  Now let's take a look at the highlights of our procurement appropriations.  Next slide, please.

The department's combined procurement funding request remains relatively stable again this year with the exception of our munitions account, which I will discuss in a moment.  At the macro level, the Air Force F.Y.'21 procurement request totals $22.9 billion and the Space Force procurement request totals $2.4 billion.  Within the Air Force procurement budget, this F.Y.'21 request includes $5.8 billion to procure 48 F-35As, which is the same number as our F.Y.'21 -- or F.Y.'20 PB request but less than the F.Y.'20 enacted quantity as we were thankful to receive an additional 14 F35A's from Congress in the FY '20 authorization and appropriation bills.

This FY '20 request also includes $1.4 billion for an additional 12 F15EX's to replace our aging F15C's.  Additionally we continue to recapitalize our tanker fleet with 15 KC46A's and fund the recap of our rotary fleets with $1.2 billion for H860W's and $212 million to start lower rate initial production of the MH139's. 

In FY '21 we're able to reduce the procurement quantities of some select munitions like the joint direct attack munitions or (inaudible) and a small diameter bomb or SDB1.  The significant munitions buys that Congress has supported in prior years along with reduced expenditures of certain munitions has increased our inventory of several preferred munitions and has us on a path to achieve inventory objective levels in the next few years.

At the same time, while we continue our lower level of preferred munitions buys we begin to shift the development and procurement prioritization to munitions that will be demanded in a high end fight such as a joint air to surface stand off missile, extended range or JASMER and long range an long range anti-ship missile or LRASM. 

Turning your attention to the space force procurement request we continue to focus on our enhanced GPS three constellation buying two satellites this year to continue to increase the accuracy and resilience of GPS for both military and civilian users. 

We're also funding the three national security space launches in this budget to assure continuous US access to space.

Finally, this budget includes $105 million for launch vehicle integration for the two final space based infrared system satellites to maintain our legacy missile warning capability until the next generation OPIR capability is on orbit.  Having highlighted the changes of our procurement funding alliance, we'll take a quick look at our major procurement quantities in the FY '21 budget.  Next slide please.

On this slide we show the procurement quantities funded from both base and OCO across FY '19, FY '20, and FY '21.  I'll briefly pause here to allow you to review the numbers on this chart.  Next slide please.

Similar to military personnel, our military construction budget request supports both the air force and the space force even though all of the FY '21 funding has been requested in the Air Force military construction appropriation.  This is another example of the blue for space support I mentioned earlier. 

The first thing we point out here is that the total funding from FY '20 to FY '21 is not an apples to apples comparison.  As you can see, almost half the FY '20 funding was disaster recovery dollars to rebuild the bases affected by natural disasters, primarily, Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

Thanks to tremendous congressional support in FY '19 and FY '20, we don't have -- or we have the funding necessary to fully rebuild those devastated bases, which is why you don't see any FY '21 requests from the Air Force for disaster recovery.  Excluding the disaster recovery funding in FY '20 you can see that our military construction request does down from FY '20 to FY '21. 

Like the select legacy divestures I mentioned earlier, military construction is another area where we're taking risks in FY '21 to accelerate the develop of the critical capabilities we know are needed to defeat a pure adversary in a future fight.  However, even with reduced overall funding we've prioritized planning and design funding in this FY '21 request to ensure that the projects we budget for in FY '22 and beyond will be ready to execute.

This years request also prioritizes new mission bed downs including our F35 and T7A simulator projects and our highest priority improvement project for an existing mission such as the basic military training dorms at Lackland Air Force Base. 

Finally, this budget request funds the new mission bed down of the space control facility at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam as well as the final phase that consolidates space operations facility at Schriever Air Force Base, which will house the staffs of the Joint Task Forces Space Defense, a National Space Defense Center.

Most importantly, we remain fully committed to addressing the quality of life concerns for our people and their families reflected in the FY '21 funding to continue to the 2018 additional positions in our military family housing offices to oversee the execution of our privatized housing contracts across all of our bases.  That was the final base budget account so let's take a look at the OCO slides.  Next slide please.

Similar to our FY '20 President's budget request this year’s budget includes three categories of OCO funding.  Direct war costs, enduring OCO requirements and OCO for base.  The first traditional OCO category is OCO for direct war costs, which includes combat or direct combat support costs that will continue once -- 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 even after combat operations seize.

This Air Force budget in these two categories funds counter terrorism operations, builds our deterrence infrastructure in Europe, replenishes munitions that have been used during operations and buys H8 60W's to replace three combat rescue helicopters that we lost in combat.

You'll also note a small amount of space force OCO requirements specifically 77 million for counter space operations, satellites communications in support of our overseas efforts, and the sustainment of our space based infrared system. 

Finally, this budget includes $8.9 billion in the Air Forces OCO for Base category which funds traditional base budget requirements, specifically weapon system sustainment.  Now to be transparent we also included this $8.9 billion in the previous O&M slide to enable us to show you an apples to apples comparison between FY '20 and FY '21 but the funding for this requirement will be requested in the OCO portion of our budget.

Let me close with a few final thoughts.  Next slide, please. 

As the National Defense Strategy warns, without a clear commitment to modernizing our military we will rapidly lose our military advantage and be left with a force that relies on legacy capabilities that are irrelevant against the future threat.  This FY '21 budget builds toward the future air and space forces that combatant commanders will need to win against any adversary across all domains. 

Our request was driven by an imperative to invest not just in quantity, not just in near term capacity, but also in quality to develop the integrated joint force capabilities that tip the balance of future power decidedly in the United States favor.  To that end we made tough choices taking calculated near term capacity and infrastructure risk to advance the survivable and effective capabilities of the future.

And we've built the first ever budget request for the United States Space Force, a critical step on the path to space superiority.  As we look to the future we'll continue to make difficult trades to avoid unacceptable capability gaps in the out years while preserving the readiness gains we've worked hard to achieve but we can not do this alone.  We ask Congress and our stakeholders to embrace these tough choices now to partner with us in achieving irreversible implementation of the National Defense strategy to help us become the air and space forces that our nation needs.

Thank you very much.  I welcome your questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you, sir.  Brian?

Q:  Brian Everstine with Air Force Magazine.  I was hoping to touch on a couple air craft inventory questions.


Q:  First on tankers.  The Air Force has said it doesn't expect KC-46 to be deployable for another three to four years prompting AMC and TRANSCOM to ask for more time with the KC-10s and KC-135s. 

How can you meet the tanker lines needed if these retirements do go through?

And on the B-21, the appendix shows one B-21 entering the TAI this year, can you expand a little bit on that?  

GEN. PLETCHER:  Yeah, I'll answer the B-21 issue first.  That's just an error.  We don't have any -- any inventory entering.  So I know it caught everyone's attention, I wish we would have caught it before it went out but there isn't any -- any inventory in -- in F.Y. '21 for B-21s.

On the -- or on the capacity issue for tankers, like -- like I said in the briefing, the bottom line is to -- to try and ensure we have the capabilities that we're going to need in the future, we're going to have to take some risks.  We can't continue to -- to fund everything today that -- that we do in that -- that we have in our force today without having -- eventually having to make some tough choices.

So this budget does that, it allows us to say -- make some choices in terms of the capacity we have.  Essentially what -- what we talked about is, you know, what do you -- what do you compare -- or how do you compare the 2030 demand for the combatant commanders today, which is 2030 on the clock against a 2030 calendar, which is the future capability we're going to have to have against China and -- and -- and Russia.

And if we continue to focus only on one of those two, something has to give.  So the risk we take in the -- the capacity for tankers essentially is what we consider acceptable risk, given that we never go below the 479 total tankers available, and it allows us to -- even though we're -- we don't have full capability on the KC-46 yet, it allows us to continue to do the testing that we want to do so when we complete those fixes in the -- in the tanker that we're fully able to -- to make those fully mission capable and get started immediately.

STAFF:  Courtney?

Q:  Hi, yes, Courtney Albon with Inside Defense.  I wanted to ask about the zero base review.  General Goldfein had said in the past that the Air Force identified like $30 billion across the FYDP.  The slide said this budget only includes a $4.1 billion shift across the FYDP.

What -- what's the reason for that?  Why weren't you able to get to the $30 billion?

GEN. PLETCHER:  Yeah, the -- there -- we've got -- I've got to make sure I give you clarity on what the $4.1 represents.  The $4.1 is what is considered reforms.  So in the reform element of our budget, we identified $4.1 billion -- or million, I'm sorry -- that we moved across the FYDP to address some of our future requirements that we need.

In the Air Force building -- or budget building process, exactly as General Goldfein said, you've got to understand the total budget process.  So when -- when the Air Force submitted our POM, we identify a number of trades, and in that analysis, we looked at a lot of different challenging trades that really added up to $30 billion, but as you look -- go through that review process, you're not -- not all of those trades are going to survive.  You have to consider combatant commanders needs, they get a vote in that requirement decision, as well.

So eventually that total $30 -- $30 billion ends up being something less than $30 billion that moved across the FYDP.  I don't know what the number is, it's a lot more than the $4.1.  The two are not the same but it's really a matter of letting the process play out to allow the -- the decisions within OSD and the combatant commanders have a voice so we know what exactly we're going to ...

Q:  Can you -- if you can't say the number, can you tell us what some of the things were that you had wanted to reduce that you weren't able to because of those ...

GEN. PLETCHER:  It's -- it's more of the -- some of what is more of the same things you see in this budget.  The -- the real trade that the Air Force was looking to make was to try and accelerate as much as we could to that future force.  If we're going to do that, you have to make probably more trades in near term capacity. 

That's obviously, as I talked about -- when you look at combatant commanders who are worried about 2030 on the clock tonight, they're worried about having that capacity in place to be able to counter the threats that they have or -- or address the missions they -- they have.

So as you'd expect, there's going to have to be a balance of what's -- what we can develop in terms of future capabilities, how much risk we can take in near term versus what exactly we'll have to make sure we have in terms of capacity to meet those 2030 on the clock requirements of the combatant commanders.

 STAFF:  Tony?

Q:  A couple of quick questions.  The Defense-Wide Review talked about some of the $5.7 billion of savings will help enable significant investments -- new investments in space capabilities.  Can you address that?  How much of the $5.7 did the Air Force get to significantly invest in new space capabilities?

GEN. PLETCHER:  Unfortunately, Tony, that's -- the process doesn't work where they take this particular pot of money and they say "let me allocate it to that particular requirement."  So -- so the -- the Department is trying to figure out how -- what -- what they're going to fund in terms of their commitments and requirements from the services, as well as combatant commanders, and they're going to identify a lot of different sources to do that. 

Some of those sources come from within the Air Force, some come from the Defense-Wide Review, and then they'll eventually push the dollars that they identify in terms of sources into which items that they -- are going to be funded within the Department.

So to try and do a one-for-one mapping is just not possible.

Q:  Two years ago, 386 was the goal of (inaudible) squadrons.  I don't see any mention of that here.  Did -- does that -- is that dead now as an issue or what?

GEN. PLETCHER:  No, I'm glad you asked me that, actually, and it wasn't two years ago, it was even actually last year. 

Q:  Wilson brought it up two years ago.

GEN. PLETCHER:  Well -- but -- but the study was -- was part -- came out about the same time our F.Y. '20 budget -- so it is absolutely not dead.  What we've got to remember is what was asked by Congress what -- that led to the 386 study.

What Congress asked was "Air Force, every year, do you come here and tell us what you can afford within the top line available?"  The NDAA said "we want to know what's required to meet the NDS."  That's what that study was answering, 386 squadrons.

But the reality is that's an unconstrained answer.  We've got to build a budget within -- inside the top line that the Department has available.  So there's still a requirement, still -- 386 is still a valid requirement, it's still where we want to go.  This budget advances some of the capabilities we need and hopefully in the end we can continue to grow the -- the capacity we need towards that Air Force we need, as well.  Yeah.

STAFF:  Oriana?

Q:  Hi, sir. Oriana Pawlyk with  I was hoping you could clarify in regarding disaster relief and recovery.  Given how dire this funding was for the Air Force with Tyndall and Offutt Air Force Base, what's the current request allotted toward disaster relief and recovery under MILCON?


Q:  Yeah.

GEN. PLETCHER:  I don't have any requirement for disaster relief or recovery in '21 because of the funding that was allocated -- or appropriated to us in F.Y. '19 and F.Y. '20.  So Congress essentially appropriated in F.Y. '20 all of the remaining Military Construction needs I have to recover Tyndall and Offutt, which is great.  They gave it to us earlier than I would have anticipated.

So that takes that requirement off of the table for F.Y. '21 for the Air Force.

Q:  Are you not planning for other weather -- significant weather events in the future?

GEN. PLETCHER:  I can't -- I can't submit a request to Congress for a -- an unknown weather event.  What -- the way it works, we're going to have to have a known requirement.  So they typically -- what they're always doing is chasing after the fact the disasters that occur.

If I submit to them a wedge that says I want to have this money in case something happens, it'll probably be the first place that they have to go to source other requirements.

STAFF:  Valerie?

Q:  Valerie Insinna with Defense News.  To follow up on Courtney's question about the $30 billion in savings, if that were to have happened, how would that have impacted the investments in science and technology that the Air Force would have been able to make?

So, you know, in other words, if you guys would have had that money, where would you have put it?

GEN. PLETCHER:  Well as I said, most of it was going to go to accelerating even faster to that future capability, that -- you know, the Joint All-Domain Command and Control, the ability to connect every sensor, every shooter, the ability to advance space, all of the things that we think are going to be the most relevant in a future fight.

So there -- there's a laundry list of areas I would go to if we had more top line.  You know, the -- talking about the specific $30 billion doesn't really -- is -- is kind of a point in time.  There -- what I'm really trying to tell you is if we had additional dollars, it would be to try and accelerate that capability because we know that's what we're going to need.

Q:  And for ABMS specifically, the funding for that I think about doubled.


Q:  Can you talk a little bit about what more is going to be happening there in F.Y. '21?

GEN. PLETCHER:  Actually, it's -- it's -- I mean, I'm sure you all have read the -- what -- what we did in December.  I think it's pretty exciting.  So there's a lot of different elements to it but the way I explain it is, you know, as we continue to do these on ramps and we're going to do those every four months, we're going to look for more and more ways to connect capabilities, sensors, shooters, platforms that don't exist today in multiple domains.

I thought the -- the December example -- December case was a really successful case of it.  And -- and now it's just a matter of going to individual combatant commanders and figure out what are the next things that they want to test.

We'll do another one in April and eventually what you see us doing in 21 is continuing those on ramps and then trying to develop underlines of effort what capabilities have the most promise so we can get those into war fighters hands.

STAFF:  We have time for one more question. Rachel?

Q:  Hi.  Rachel Cohen, Air Force Magazine. So last year the Pentagon said that you didn't expect that creating a space force would add more than $2 billion over the next five years.  Do you see this request as staying on that track?  Are you -- do you think that you're on track to exceed that or come in under that now.

And just as a -- as a clarification for the R&D programs under Space Force, is it every R&D program that already existed under the Air Force is already moved into the Space Force request or are  you guys moving those over kind of piecemeal.

GEN. PLETCHER:  Second question first.  We -- we try to get everything -- everything as part of space both classified and unclassified moving into Space Force, at least what was inside the Air Force knowing there's more work to be done in the others.

The focus on the -- on the growth you're talking about with -- in my view, if I have your question right, is really about making sure that we didn't let too much bureaucracy get in the way.  And I can tell you the focus of Chief Raymond has been just on that.

Every time they've talked about how big a headquarters, how big of additional centers, anything that might look like added -- or added cost that it doesn't drive to capability.  He's pushed down on it.  Whether or not the Space Force overall grows, it probably depends on how much we as a -- as a nation and we as a department in the capacity and the capabilities that are really the gain of standing up a separate Space Force.

So I think you'll see a desire to continue to accelerate the Space -- U.S. Space Force but I think what you won't see is a desire or any -- any growth -- unnecessary growth in terms of bureaucracy.

STAFF:  Ladies and gentleman, that's all we have time for today. 

GEN. PLETCHER:  Thank you.

STAFF:  If you have any follow up questions come let myself or another staff member know and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.  Thank you.