USAF Budget Request Bolsters MILCON Funding

The Air Force’s Fiscal 2015 budget accepts risks in installation support, military construction, and facilities sustainment in order to “strike the delicate balance between a ready force for today with a modern force for tomorrow,” but the Fiscal 2016 budget request looks to soften that blow by increasing funding in each of the three categories, said Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment, and energy. The Air Force’s Fiscal 2016 budget request seeks $4.8 billion for military construction, facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization. That’s $1.9 billion more than the Fiscal 2015 President’s Budget request, according to Ballentine’s prepared testimony to the House Armed Services Committee’s readiness panel on Tuesday. In addition, USAF requested $331 million for military family housing operations and maintenance and $160.5 million for military family housing construction. However, Ballentine cautioned that if sequester-level funding returns, the Air Force “would expect a reduction in military construction funding resulting in reduced support” to combatant commands, “reduced funding to upgrade the nuclear enterprise and support new weapons system beddown, and elimination of permanent party dormitories from the FY16 request,” according to the statement.