Reform Budget

The Defense Department trotted out its $664 billion spending proposal for Fiscal 2010 yesterday, a request meant to position the US military so that it is better situated for conducting irregular warfare, to revamp the way the Pentagon buys weapons, and to provide adequately for military personnel and their families. The request includes both the $534 billion base budget and a $130 billion package to fund the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The base budget represents an increase of $20.5 billion, or 2.1 percent real growth, over the $513.3 enacted in Fiscal 2009. By service, the Navy and Marine Corps receive a total of $156.4 billion in the base request, the Air Force $144.5 billion (including $115.6 billion for Air Force-specific needs), the Army $142.1 billion, and defense agency accounts $90.8 billion. By category, the base request includes $136.0 billion for military personnel (up 8.9 percent over 2009), $185.7 billion for operations and maintenance (up 3.7 percent), $107.4 billion for procurement (up 5.6 percent), $78.6 billion for research, development, test, and evaluation (down 1.1 percent), and $21 billion for military construction (down 4.1 percent). Among the highlights, the base budget: adds nearly $2 billion to bolster intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance capability; increases Army and Marine Corps end strength, while also halting Air Force and Navy drawdowns; cancels the Presidential Helicopter program; buys 30 F-35s, including 10 for the Air Force; limits Army brigade combat teams to 45; reduces missile defense spending by $1.2 billion; delays the Navy’s next-generation cruiser; restructures the Army’s future combat systems; adds 2,400 personnel to the ranks of special operations forces, a four percent increase; and seeks to grow DOD’s acquisition workforce by 20,000 by 2015, as it also reduces dependence on support service contractors. (overview and summary charts)