War Supplemental Goes to Congress

The Obama Administration submitted an $83.4 billion supplemental spending package for Fiscal 2009 to Congress on April 9 that includes $75.5 billion to sustain the US military’s operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The White House’s bill summary indicates that this will be “the last planned war supplemental,” in line with the Administration’s plan to include continued Iraq and Afghanistan operations funding in DOD’s base budget. In this supplemental, the Air Force would get $6.3 billion for operations and maintenance, $1.4 billion for personnel costs, and $281 million for military construction, principally in Afghanistan. The request also allots $2.4 billion for USAF aircraft procurement, including $600 million to buy four F-22s to replace wartime combat losses of other fighters. This F-22 buy would bring the Air Force’s total order to 187 units and complete the projected F-22 buy, based on Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ newly announced plans. The aircraft procurement dollars would also buy more MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, various UAV upgrades, targeting pods, and multiple manned aircraft enhancements. There are separate USAF funding lines, including $57.4 million for Hellfire missiles for MQ-1 Predators UAVs, $183.7 million for conventional ammunition, and $1.8 billion for equipment like ground vehicles, communications gear, and night-vision devices. There is also $108 million for USAF-related research, development, test, and evaluation activities. (Entire bill; caution, large file)