Army rolls out 2013 budget request

Story by C. Todd Lopez, Army News Service

 

Army Budget Director Maj. Gen. Phillip E. McGhee and Army Budget Deputy Director Barbara L. Bonessa brief reporters on President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2013 defense budget proposal at the Pentagon, Feb. 13, 2012. (Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, DOD)

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 14, 2012) — Despite cutbacks, the Army’s fiscal 2013 budget request includes a pay increase of 1.7 percent for Soldiers, as well as allowance increases of 3.9 percent for housing and 3.4 for subsistence.

“The fiscal year 2013 (budget) reflects some hard and difficult choices,” said Maj. Gen. Phillip E. McGhee, director, Army budget. Nevertheless, he said, “the Army will remain the best led, best trained, best equipped ground force in the world.”

The fiscal year 2013 budget request, McGhee said, supports the all-volunteer force, and has “wise investments” in modernization programs. There are about eight program cancellations, however. Also, the budget supports operations in Afghanistan, and funds reset of equipment that came out of Iraq as well as equipment planned to come out of Afghanistan.

The Army requested $184.6 billion in this year’s budget — about $18 billion less than what the Army received in FY2012. Of that, about $134.6 billion is part of the “base” request, for the generating force. An additional $50 billion is to support overseas contingency operations, such as the war in Afghanistan.

In the base budget, the largest portion — about 42 percent, or $56.4 billion dollars — is aimed at military personnel. An additional $47.2 billion targets operations and maintenance and $25.7 billion for procurement. Within the overseas contingency operations, or OCO budget, about 58 percent is targeted at operations and maintenance.

Within the O&M budget request, there is a $7 billion decrease from what the Army received last year. Also in the O&M is $15.4 billion to provide trained and ready forces to win the current fight and sustain readiness, including $8 billion to support air and ground operations.

“It also funds additional training seats and professional military education, because we have so many Soldiers that are at home station now and are available to train,” McGhee said.

The O&M funding includes $1.7 billion for Soldier and family programs, including Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, sexual harassment and assault prevention and education programs, and the Army substance abuse and suicide prevention programs. About $1.6 billion is included for recruiting and initial military training for officers and enlisted personnel, and about $4.1 billion for officer, noncommissioned officer and civilian training.

Regarding the O&M funding for OCO, the Army planned for a reduction of 25,400 Soldiers by September 2012, and for a steady state of 41,000 Soldiers in FY 2013.

There are “no changes in the nine brigade combat teams we are planning for in the program,” McGhee said.

Eight programs were terminated in this year’s budget. That should help the Army recognize a total savings of $5 billion over five years. The Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance System aircraft and the base-funded Humvee recap program are among the cancelled programs, though Humvee recapitalization within the OCO will continue. The Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles program and the Mounted Soldier system program and the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System will also be cancelled. Many other Army programs have been downsized.

The Army asked for about $19.6 billion in procurement for FY2013. Within aircraft procurement, for instance, the service requested about $6.3 billion, which “reflects the tremendous demand on aviation assets. We remain committed to aircraft modernization,” said Barbara L. Bonessa, deputy director, Army budget

Included in aircraft modernization is $1.4 billion for the Chinook, $1.2 billion for the Black Hawk, and $1.2 billion for Apache procurement, Bonessa said. The request calls for $518 million for 19 additional unmanned Gray Eagle systems to support two more companies, for a total of 17 companies. Within the OCO budget is a $486 million request for two Apache, six Chinooks and 16 Kiowa Warriors helicopters — all to replace aircraft lost or damaged in current operations.

Within missile and ammunition procurement, the Army asked for about $2 billion to support ongoing missile programs, such as the Patriot Advanced Missile Capability-3 program, which includes a funding requests for 84 missiles and 38 launchers. For tracked vehicles, the Army asked for $1.5 billion: $379 million for the Stryker vehicle, $204 million for the Abrams tank and $184 million for the Bradley Program modifications.

The Army also requested $8.3 billion to support the Army network, the tactical wheeled vehicle modernization, and night vision and thermal vision weapons sights.

The service is also asking for $8.9 billion for research, development testing and evaluation — an increase over last year’s appropriation. Included in that, $640 million for the ground combat vehicle.

“The fiscal year 2013 budget request does begin to take into account the discretionary spending caps, but it does so without any risk to continuing to support our essential roles,” said Bonessa. “We are continuing to meet our commitments in Afghanistan and around the world, we are developing the Army of the future, we are continuing to care for Soldiers and families — that is one of the most important commitments we could possibly have, commensurate with their sacrifice and service. We are continuing to reduce our active component end strength, hopefully in a measured way, and with solid attention (to) how to restructure our force to be an even more capable force than it was before.”