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Transcript

Air Force Officials Hold a Press Briefing on FY23 Air Force Budget, March 28, 2022

March 28, 2022
Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones; Deputy Assistant Secretary For Budget Major General James D. Peccia III

UNDER SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE GINA ORTIZ JONES:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I'm Gina Ortiz Jones, the Under Secretary of the Air Force.  Today I'm joined by Major General James Peccia, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Budget.

Thank you for attending the Department of the Air Force's Fiscal Year 2023 President's Budget Rollout Briefing.  Next slide please.

The Air Force and Space Force have outsized roles in today's military operations and the challenges we anticipate in the future, and our airmen and guardians must be equipped to win.  Secretary Austin and Deputy Secretary Hicks have been clear that our pacing challenges China while Russia remains an acute threat to our national security.

Therefore, Secretary Kendall and I have prioritized investments across the Department of the Air Force that will deliver meaningful operational capabilities to our warfighters as quickly as possible.  The rapid transformation of China's military capabilities over the last 30 years demonstrates the urgency with which we must prioritize our own transformation, and modernization efforts to ensure air and space superiority.

The Department of the Air Force F.Y. 23 budget request balances maintaining capabilities to address near term threats, while accelerating vital modernization efforts necessary for success and a high-end fight.  During today's presentation, I will address the strategic context and framework used to align our budget within that context.

Then Major General Peccia will provide an overview of the department's F.Y. 23 budget request and walk us through the appropriation details and I will conclude with final thoughts.  Next slide, please.

The Department of Defense will advance its goals through integrated deterrence, campaigning and building enduring advantages.  We guided our budget request around this framework.  The Air Force's core missions remain unchanged, air superiority, global strike, rapid global mobility, command and control and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The Space Force's main efforts reflect its indispensable support that underpins all other joint operations.  The Department of the Air Force capabilities and platforms that underpinned our success over the last two decades will be insufficient against the pacing challenge.

Therefore, the Department of the Air Force has undertaken the seven operational imperatives listed here.  From defining a resilient and effective space order of battle to defining the next generation air dominance family of systems, to ensuring, we, as a department, are ready to transition to a wartime posture against a peer competitor.

We understand these operational imperatives to include the others listed here to be the most immediate tasks we must accomplish to ensure the Air Force and Space Force can accomplish their core missions.  These imperatives reflect the critical capabilities and functions we must invest in to ensure the United States' ability to deter conflict, project power and prevail in a high-end fight.

These integrated capabilities will underpin the Department of the Air Force's contributions to Secretary Austin's vision of integrated deterrence.  Next slide, please.

Integrated deterrence involves working seamlessly across warfighting domains, theaters and spectrums of conflict in concert with members of the U.S. Interagency as well as our partners and allies, all in an effort to convince our competitors that the benefits of restraint far outweigh aggression.

Owning two-thirds of the nuclear triad and 75 percent of nuclear command control and communications, the Department of the Air Force possesses the unmatched ability to deliver global strike at a moment's notice around the world.  To continue to achieve this objective, the department is recapitalizing the land-based legs of the nuclear triad by developing the ground-based strategic deterrent as the backstop to our nation's integrated deterrence, providing the bedrock for a stable international order.

In order to generate effects required in a high-end fight, the U.S. will need to supplement current and next generation crude platforms with lower cost complementary and highly capable uncrewed solutions.  The operational imperative focused on the Next Generation Air Dominance or NGAD.  Family of systems will be designed with the ability to collaborate with uncrewed and/or autonomous platforms to increase operational effectiveness.

The operational imperative focused on the B-21 long-range strike family of systems, represents our preliminary efforts to modernize the strategic air craft leg of our nation's nuclear triad.  Similar to our transition to the NGAD family of systems, we are assessing the potential to introduce a lower cost, complementary, uncrewed aircraft into the B-21 to provide an enhanced level of capability.

This new resilient missile warning, missile tracking design initiates the Space Forces pivot to a series of resilient, survivable and defendable architectures.  This framework addresses emerging challenges such as hypersonic missiles and anti-satellite weapons, and allows the Space Force to access a more diverse space of satellite vendors and launch providers who are also pivoting to proliferated constellations for commercial applications.

Our investments in space domain awareness such as Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability or DARC, provide a critical all-weather radar system capability to counter existing and emerging threats in deep space and support tactical timelines defined for strategic space defense.

Finally, investments in modernized air and ground moving target indication capabilities to support our operational imperative of achieving moving target engagement and deters our adversaries from playing systems to engage the joint force.  Next slide, please.

The department strengthens deterrence and gains military advantage by building joint force capabilities and by campaigning the conduct and sequencing of military activities to achieve strategy-aligned objectives over time.  The Department of the Air Force will conduct campaigning through Agile Combat Employment or ACE, the Operational Concept whereby forces and capabilities are dispersed and operate at satellite locations.

This budget reflects investments necessary to refine our ACE concepts, or we continue to do in conjunction with our partners and allies.  Advanced Battle Management System, ABMS, is the Department of the Air Force's contribution to Joint All-Domain Command and Control, JADC2.

Our work as part of the operational imperative to achieve operationally optimized, ABMS will ensure our campaigning activities and air and space reflect next generation battle management needed to operate effectively across domains in a contested environment.

To ensure U.S. superiority and space, we're collaborating with industry on national security space launch to drive innovation and increase launch capacity to maintain robust and assured access to space.  Investment and modernizing our operational training infrastructure includes developing live virtual and constructive environments where guardians can train against a threat representative aggressor force.

The National Space Test and Training complex will provide realistic simulations to ensure guardians are equipped appropriately to train in a contested environment populated with threats.  As a Department, we understand maintaining the readiness of our personnel and existing capabilities, combined with investment into more capable weapons will ensure combat ready forces that are resilient, survivable and agile.

We are increasing funding in support of our readiness enablers such as our Flying Hour Program as well as Weapon Systems Sustainment and Munitions.  One of the operational imperatives specifically looks at our ability to transition to a wartime posture and this budget reflects our investments in key munitions such as the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, aka JASSM-ER, Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, aka LRASM, and Joint Direct Attack Munition, aka JDAM, to ensure just that.  Next slide, please.

Building enduring advantages is how the defense enterprise will undertake a series of urgently needed reforms to bolster the defense ecosystem and ensure enduring joint force advantages.  Our total force team comprised of active military and civilian airmen and guardians, reservists, the National Guardsmen that contribute to our nation's air and space and cyber security -- cyberspace security.

Their professionalism and passion make us the untenable force -- unbeatable force we are while inspiring the next generation to serve.  The department is immersed in training and recruiting transformation efforts to ensure we attract top tier talents and leverage technology to enhance our training programs.

We are committed to ensuring all airmen and guardians have the opportunity to serve to their full potential and we are aligned with the Defense Department in making foundational investments to implement the findings of the independent review commission on sexual assault.

Our commitment includes bolstering and professionalizing the sexual assault prevention and response workforce, diversity, equity and inclusion programs, violence prevention programs and training that helps airmen and guardians identify and address extremist behaviors that are incompatible with military service.  These initiatives will set the conditions for also serve to their full potential.

The department is increasing facilities sustainment, restoration, modernization funding.  In doing so, we reduce the department's deferred maintenance and repair backlog and focus on quality of life improvements for mission facilities, dormitories and childcare centers.

This budget further invests in operational energy improvements, facility operations projects and facilities sustainment projects aimed at a more responsible and renewable energy consumption.  We invest in initiatives that decrease our infrastructure and energy footprint and help us gain energy efficiencies within our existing infrastructure.

This includes investments in R&D efforts, such as the adaptive engine transition program that improves the operational capability of our advanced aircraft while reducing emission of greenhouse gases.  The operational imperatives reflect our recognition of the need to think beyond platforms and this budget reflects our acceleration for more integrated family of systems as demonstrated in our investments in capabilities that leverage artificial intelligence and accelerate the development of highly capable uncrewed autonomous collaborative platforms.

Additionally, we're expanding our prototyping efforts with commercial satellite communications providers as part of our overall technology transition effort, with the goal of providing the joint force with a more resilient space architecture and command and control network.

Finally, we invest in digital transformation initiatives to rapidly innovate and deliver capabilities that affect the joint operations and the warfighter.  We're increasing investments in cyber resiliency and foundational enterprise, information technology infrastructure necessary to ensure the digital domain is secure, stable and accessible.

Now I'll turn it over to General Peccia to cover the overall top line for the Department of the Air Force and Appropriation level details.  Next slide, please.

MAJOR GENERAL JAMES D. PECCIA III:  Thank you. Madam Undersecretary.  This afternoon, I'll discuss the department's F.Y. '23 president's budget request, which includes both the Air Force and Space Force budgets.  The two colored stacked bar charts on the left represent Air Force blue dollars, or dollars directly tied to Air Force requirements.

On top of each bar is a gray non-blue box that represents funding within the department requests, but outside the Air Force control.  Today, we'll only discuss Air Force blue funding requirements for F.Y. '23.  The department request is $194 billion, which is $20.2 billion over the F.Y. '22 president's budget submission.

Because of the complexity of the Air Force request and the timing of the Air Force -- or the F.Y. '22 omnibus bill and the F.Y. '22 president's budget release, we will compare the details of this budget to the F.Y. '22 position vice to '22 enacted position.  However, at the overall department level, I can tell you the F.Y. '23 president's budget is still $12 billion above the enacted level.

On the right hand side of the chart are the service breakouts by appropriation.  The Air Force request is $169.5 billion, or $13.2 billion over the F.Y. '22 position.  And the U.S. Space Force request is $24.5 billion, or $7 billion over the '22 requests.

This budget does include an inflation adjustment.  We're appreciative of both OMB and OSD for adding a 2.2 percent non-pay requirement and a 4.6 percent civilian and military pay race to our budget.  The total inflation adjustment is $6.3 billion.  That's 1.8 billion for pay and 4.5 billion for non-pay.  With the inflation taken out, this represents 8 percent real growth.

Next we'll go over the appropriation highlights for each service.  Next slide, please.

The Operation and Maintenance account is the largest appropriation with the department at $72.1 billion. This year like F.Y. '22, the Overseas Operation account or previously known as the OCO, Overseas Contingency Operation account is in the baseline for the program, it is not a separate requirement.  And so you will see that in all of these appropriations but the O&M one in particular, and it directly supports the operational imperatives of readiness.

And so, the O&M account funds the day-to-day activities to organize, train and equip.  Some of the highlights that we'll go over we'll start with the Department of the Air Force.  We fund 4.6, as I mentioned, percent civilian pay raise that adds about $576 billion to the O&M account.

We added $154 million for violence prevention and sexual assault prevention and response programs that's in direct result of the Independent Review Commission.  We increase employee minimum wage to $15 per hour.  That's a $349 million increase to the O&M top line.

And we increase $348 million for facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization.  That fund sustainment at 85 percent, which is a 5 percent increase over the F.Y. '22 position.  That's also includes $232 million for climate energy resilience and operations and projects specifically is contingency preparedness, its installation resiliency, and its operational energy projects and initiatives.

For Air Force highlight, we added $1.2 billion to the weapon systems sustainment account that funds the account and 85 percent which is a 2 percent increase over the F.Y. '22 position.  We also funded 1.1 million flying hours, which is the maximum executable hours we expect to fly in F.Y. '23.

We increase $162 million for the Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications program as well as nuclear deterrence specifically for a ground-based strategic deterrence, and B-21.  This pays for projects, equipment and support for the new weapon system prior to them coming online.

We added $305 million for combat ranges.  This was to support the Joint Pacific Alaska Radar Complex -- Range Complex, the Nevada Test and Training Range as well as the Utah Test and Training Range, as well as we added for sixth generation over the horizon radars, and provided funding for F-35 beddown at eight different locations.

Providing $96 million to support increase Indo-Pacific presence.  This is all part of the Agile Combat Employment concept.  And we added $16 million for rated diversity and inclusion.  This is for aviation scholarships and aviation type training for cadets.

For the U.S. Space Force highlights, we increased $205 million for weapon systems sustainment.  That funds is that 83 percent of the requirement which is up from 4 percent and from F.Y. '22.  And we provide $67 million to bring six space Deltas to fully mission capable in '23.  And also added $23 million for space-focused Professional Military Education and Talent Management specifically for guardians.  Next slide, please.

For the military personnel account, it's a $2 billion increase over F.Y. '22.  This is just about all for increased pay.  And so for the Department of the Air Force, again, it was a 4.6 percent pay raise, that's almost $1 billion in itself.  A 4.2 percent increase for basic allowance for housing, and a 3.4 percent increase for basic allowance for subsistence.

This gets after both the increase in housing costs that our airmen are and guardians are experiencing, as well as increased costs and food and subsistence.  Something new this year in the military personnel account is we added new count what's called the basic needs and allowance, which is to address the economic and insecurities for our youngest airmen and our guardians.

They funded our permanent change of station account at $1.1 billion, which is consistent with prior years.  And the total force for the Department of the Air Force, the end strength will go down by about 4,900 people in F.Y. '23 for a total of 510,400 airmen and guardians.

For the Air Force highlights, we gain fund about $500 million in bonuses.  And that's for retention programs for up to almost 30,000 of our critically skilled positions, which is consistent with last year's funding.  Included almost $200 million for aviation retention programs.  Again, that's consistent with last year's funding.

For the Space Force, the Space Force in F.Y. '23 will have its own military personnel appropriation, and so the Air Force transferred $1 billion to the Space Force for this and the end strength will grow for the Space Force up to 8,600 which is an increase of 200.  Half of that is driven by the Space Development Agency transfer and the other half is related to inter-service transfers.  Next chart, please.

For research development test and evaluation, this is the seventh year in a row of growth for RDT&E within the Department of the Air Force.  And the $20 billion that I mentioned in growth up front, about 9.1 of that is solely in the RDT&E accounts.  And so I'll have two slides for RDT&E, one for the Air Force and one for the Space Force.

The first chart is the Air Force, where the Air Force RDT&E grows about $4.6 billion in '23.  Some of the highlights below, we fund a nuclear enterprise overall as an Air Force.  We added $2.5 billion for the nuclear enterprise.  For RDT&E specifically, we increase the ground-based strategic deterrence by $1.1 billion to maintain the 2029 initial operating capability and to start tests in F.Y. '24.

We added $320 million to Long Range Standoff Weapons for test articles.  And we added $70 million for the Survivable Airborne Operations Center, which will be the replacement for the E-4B National Airborne Operational Center.  We also added $381 million to the B-21 program to continue the EMD efforts, of the engineering manufacturing and development efforts.

We provided $354 million for the advanced engine development program that consists of two parts.  First, is the Adaptive Engine Technology Program or the AETP.  That's $286 million of that.  And then we also added $66 million for next generation adaptive propulsion.

We added $227 million for the E-3 AWACS recapitalization development efforts.  We increase hypersonic weapon development by $131 or $138 million.  That was for the ARRW and the HACM programs.  We added $133 million to the Next Generation Air Dominance family of systems and this is for the advanced sensors, resilient communications and air vehicle technology, which is the next stage of RDT&E for this program.

We also included $113 million for unmanned autonomous platforms, specifically within the Skyborg, the Golden Horde, and the adaptive collaborative platforms.  Nearly $20 million for Advanced Battle Management System.  And then the department grew that transition program by $306 million in '23.  And this specifically was for a base defense, software-based warfare and hypervelocity gun weapon system development.

And we also include $77 million in this budget for climate initiatives within the Air Force RDT&E account.  That's for energy demand reduction, energy management and advanced energy supply.  Go to the next slide.

The Research and Development Test Evaluation for the Space Force.  Like the Air Force, the Space Force RDT&E account grew by $4.5 billion.  As Secretary Jones had stated, this really gets after the Space Force pivot to a more resilient space multi-orbit architecture within the highlights of the Space Force.

The Space Development Agency was transferred from the defense-wide accounts into the Air Force, into the Space Force account, and that was part of the 21 National Defense Authorization Act direction.  They added almost $1 billion to the space technology development and prototyping.  This gets after the missile warning and missile tracking initiative from SDA and $461 million for Space Science and Technology R&D.

This is for the data transport efforts tied to the missile warning and missile checking initiatives.  They added 1$ billion for ground in GEO space segments of Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared missile warning system.  And we added $1 billion to the Space Force for missile or resilient missile warning and missile tracking.  This is to address the hypersonic and maneuverable RVs.

We added $406 million to the Evolved Strategic SATCOM to replace AEHF SATCOM for secure, survivable and strategic communications specifically for NC3, as well as presidential aircraft and senior leader aircraft.  And we added $108 million to the Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability.  And this is for the Site 1 rapid prototyping.  There will be three sites in total.

This is a 24/7 all-weather tracking of space objects in a geosynchronous orbit.  And we provided $121 million for Protected Tactical Enterprise Services, which is to further develop the anti-jam performance for Global Satellite Communications.  And like the Air Force account, we added $36 million for climate initiatives.  And within space, this is for spatial or power, energy storage, and studies on environmental factors within space.  Next chart.

So for procurement, we added $3.7 billion in F.Y. '23.  Over the F.Y. '22 position, which is a good add on the procurement side, we added $1.4 billion for '24 F-15EXs.  This is an acceleration over F.Y. '22, where we had added 12.  This really gets after the fact that we are retiring all of the F-15Cs and Ds by 2026.  And so we were replacing that capability faster specifically within the South China Sea.

We procure 33 F-35s to grow the 5th-generation fleet.  And again, this is a cornerstone of our future fighter fleet.  We add $344 million to the F.Y. '22 program for advanced sensor capabilities, which keeps this aircraft the world's premier fighter.  We add $1.7 billion for the B-21 and that's for low-rate initial production.

We add $74 million to fund the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles that extended range to a maximum production capacity.  And we add $119 million to procure 28 long-range anti-ship missiles.  In F.Y. '22 budget, we didn't have any.  So we added again $128 million to procure 4,200 JDAMs.

In F.Y. '21 and '22, we had a much smaller quantity by, and so we're making up for it in F.Y. '23.  We added $167 million to procure five MH-139s for our nuclear missile field security.  Last year, if you recall, we had an FAA certification problem within the MH-139s.  There are two certification tests.  One is complete, the next is the next couple of months which we expect to pass, and that will enable us to start the procurement of the MH-139s.

And then we also complete the Combat Search and Rescue Recapitalization with 10 additional HH-60 Whiskeys and that will bring the quantity by up to 75 for that weapon system.  We can add $222 million for 15 KC-46s, which is one more than the budget in F.Y. '22.  And again, we added $43 million for climate initiatives.  And this is really an expansion of what we've done in the past for proven drag reduction initiatives for the C-17, the KC-135 and C-130 aircraft.

For the Space Force, we provided $1.1 billion to procure three national security space launches.  Another $314 million to procure three space development agency launches.  And then again, like in F.Y. '22, we procured two GPS III Follow-On satellites for increased resiliency.  Next slide.

So for procurement quantities, I've talked most of these in the previous slides.  But I'll pause just for a moment so you can look through that chart.  Okay, next chart.

And so, for military construction, the growth from F.Y. '22 to '23 is essentially non-existent, it's flat.  For the Air Force highlights.  We do resource $2.3 billion for 38 projects across 15 states and eight overseas locations.  We procure 13 weapons system beddown projects, those are in the lower left hand corner.

We added $245 million for five European deterrence initiative projects.  We added $451 million for six projects for the Indo-Pacific.  And again, in this year's budget like last year, we added two dormitory complexes.  The first is $90 million for basic military training at Lackland.  This is for Dormitory 7 in Increment 2.

And then we added $68 million for dormitory at clear space force station in Alaska.  And while we didn't have a Child Development Center MILCON project in the budget this year, we did add some minor construction funding for a CDC, a project at Hurlburt.  And then this budget finally resources $233 million for Military Family Housing privatization initiative restructures and that's at Dover, Air Force Base, Scott Air Force Base, and AETC Group 1.

And so now I will turn it back over to Secretary Jones.

MS. ORTIZ JONES:  Thank you, General Peccia.  As the Department of the Air Force celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, we have much to celebrate but we are clear-eyed about the threats we face.  Our department looks forward to continuing our partnership with Congress to create the most capable and lethal joint warfighting force.

This budget ensures the Department of the Air Force's posture to address near term threats and allows us to invest in modernization efforts vital to delivering timely and meaningful operational capabilities necessary to address our pacing challenge.

Thank you very much.  We welcome your questions.

STAFF:  Thank you, Madam Under Secretary.  Thank you, General Peccia.  We'll start with Valerie.

Q:  Hi, I'm Valerie from Breaking Defense.  I wanted to ask a little bit about ARRW and the future of that program.  Can you talk a little bit about procurement both this year and then in the out years?

Because I think this past year, F.Y. '22 we were supposed to see, like 12 missiles, the first 12 missiles to be procured.  That's not going to happen.  So can you kind of walk us through how this program is going to go forward?

MS. ORTIZ JONES:  Sure.  Well, I think when it comes to hypersonic weapons, we've got to have the right mix.  And so we're committed not only to ARRW as well as to HACM and that's why you see RDT&E funding for both of those.

Q:  Procurement funding, though, for ARRW, can you talk about quantities?  How many this year and then how many through the (inaudible)?

(CROSSTALK)

GEN. PECCIA:  Yes.  So there are no procurement quantities for ARRW in this budget.  There's actually a very sliver of procurement for ARRW this year, but we expect to do a reprogramming with a hill to move that into RDT&E.  So there won't be any procurement for ARRW in '23.

Q:  Does that mean -- are you guys walking away from the program?  Are you guys like canceling the program?

GEN. PECCIA:  So not walking away, it's funded in F.Y. '23 and then we'll make an assessment after that.

STAFF:  Sandra, go ahead with your question.

Q:  Yes, thank you.  Sandra Erwin SpaceNews.  Question for the Under Secretary.  The Department of the Air Force about two years ago released an Arctic strategy.  We just say that in this budget, you are finding some of those priorities.  Can you talk a little bit about where that's going?  And are you addressing some of those priorities?

MS. ORTIZ JONES:  Absolutely.  I think when it comes to some of the resources that we would need to work with our partners and allies in that area, you could see some of that here.  When you look at some of the resources in terms of our Agile Combat Employment, implement our ACE concepts, some of that you can see in this as well.

General Peccia, if you want to speak to some specific line items, you can also follow up with you with more specifics.

GEN. PECCIA:  Yes.  There are multiple.  And so, so I think the best would be just to provide you a list because there is a long list of initiatives that we have within the Arctic.  And so I don't want to undersell that effort.  But just a couple of examples, I'd much rather provide you the full list.  But we can certainly do that.

STAFF:  Thank you, sir.  We'll now take a question from the call in line.  Joseph, are you still on the line?

Q:  I am.  Thanks for doing these, guys.  I know this came up in one of the earlier briefings but I wanted to ask about the fairly substantial drop in the new F-35 numbers and hope -- was hoping you just talk about whether this is really a temporary dip while they work through some of the issues with Block 4 and so forth, or whether it's a deeper shift away from that.

And any thoughts on the -- what we're already hearing in terms of kind of pushback from the Hill, from lawmakers, including from North Texas on the idea of reducing those numbers.  Thanks.

MS. ORTIZ JONES:  Well, Secretary Kendall was very deliberate in balancing across this portfolio.  So if you look at what happened in '23, in the fire portfolio writ-large increase in -- funding increased, we did prioritize modernization over procurement.  And the F-35 enterprise though we did plus up significantly investments in advanced propulsion as well as advanced weapons.  So we remain committed to the F-35.

Secretary Kendall has said often that it'll continue to be the cornerstone of our future fighter fleet.  But we prioritize modernization which means we need Block 4.  I mean, that's just what the pacing challenge demands.

Q:  So just to clarify, there is funding in the P1s for one ARRW for $46 million, but you're saying there's zero being procured.

GEN. PECCIA:  That's correct.  That's correct.  So in F.Y. '22, we had funding, procurement funding, and Congress moved it to RDT&E.  In F.Y. '23, there's a small amount of procurement $46 million, which we will move to RDT&E.  So we will not use procurement in '23.

Q:  Okay.  So my actual question was B-21.  Can you say anything about procurement quantities over the (inaudible)?

GEN. PECCIA:  I cannot.

STAFF:  Abraham, go ahead with your question.

Q:  Thank you so much.  So clarification on that F-35.  One more procurement bounced back and is there -- what's the maximum buyout years?  And on ISR, you're retiring all these AWACS.  Madam Under Secretary, I wonder if you could address how will that capability gap be replaced in the air and -- from air and from space?

MS. ORTIZ JONES:  Sure.  So on the F-35, I mean, there's no change to the final buy, right?  I mean, again, we are prioritizing modernization.  And so as we see progress there, we may have some more flexibility.  But the emphasis is on modernization and make sure we have Block 4 as soon as we need it.

On the AWACS, let me turn it to General Peccia to go into some of the specifics there.

GEN. PECCIA:  So the AWACS funding?

Q:  That capability.  I know there's a --

GEN. PECCIA:  Yeah.

Q:  -- a recap program, but where are you investing in air and space to fill those gaps?

GEN. PECCIA:  So for the AWACS specifically, right now we have 31 aircraft, we're retiring 15.  So we will still have 16.  And so we will use those in Kadena and Elmendorf.  And so that capability will still exist.

And so then we will recap with an E-cap, or E-3 recapitalization, that will a decision was made sometime in '23.  And then depending on that, we will see when we actually start to procure additional AMTI assets.  For GMTI, we still have the RQ-4s, Block 40s, which we're using as well as we are researching space-based capabilities.

Q:  Can you dig in a little bit more in that space?

GEN. PECCIA:  I can't.

Q:  Okay.

STAFF:  Brian, go ahead with the next question.

Q:  Thank you, everybody.  Brain from Aviation Week.  In a briefing earlier today, McCord said the plan is to retire the entire A-10 fleet over the next five years.  Can you give any more granularity on the timeline for that?  How many per year?  And I know in Fort Wayne, the plan is to backfill F-16s, are there any other missions that you're targeting for backfill?

MS. ORTIZ JONES:  So in F.Y.' 23, we will divest 21 A-10s.  And as you just -- you know, the plan, to backfill those with F-16s.  And we look forward to working with Congress to make sure that, again, we've got the right mix of aircrafts that are survivable, effective, and can provide our airmen, our guardians, the best chance of winning in INDOPACOM.  The A-10 is just limited in its ability to contribute to that fight.  Exactly.

STAFF:  Moving to the call in line.  John, are you still on the line?

Q:  Yeah.  The previous question about A-10.  So just to be clear, we're talking about, I think, in the Navy brief, you said within five to 10 years, they're expecting to see the Air Force get rid of the entire A-10 fleet, is that correct?

MS. ORTIZ JONES:  So we look forward to making -- working with Congress to make sure that that, again, we've got the right profile and can make sure that we transition those personnel because it's not just the aircraft, it's the investment and the personnel as well as we transition to some of these higher -- more capable aircraft and the personnel needed to meet those requirements.

STAFF:  Tara?

Q:  Just back to GMTI, as you're researching how this was been done by the Space Force, is it likely that there will be -- the capability can be done by an existing satellite or there's be something that on the new tranche of the low Earth satellites that would be how it's carried out?

GEN. PECCIA:  So I can tell you there would be an additional constellation.

Q:  Additional.  Just so -- I just want you to be on the -- something new be on the Tranche One that's already under development by SDA.

GEN. PECCIA:  Yes, you're referring to missile warning and missile tracking?  Yes.

STAFF:  This will be our last question, ma'am?

Q:  Theresa Hitchens with Breaking Defense.  My question is for General Peccia, and it's about the 1 -- extra $1 billion for missile warning and tracking for resilient, so warning and tracking.  Is that to be put to the MEO satellites that the Space Systems Command was doing some exploratory work on in F.Y. '22?

GEN. PECCIA:  So I can't can't really get into details on missile warning, missile tracking, but that initiative is looking at all orbits.

STAFF:  Ladies and gentlemen, that's really all of the questions we have time for today.  If you've got any follow-up questions, please come see me afterwards.  And if you need any budget materials, please let us know.

Thank you so much for your time.  Madam Under Secretary, General Peccia, thank you so much.

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