A budget memo:
Plus, the first of many FY-15 budget justification documents is out:
On March 6, 2014, the Navy released its budget justification books for fiscal year 2015 operations and maintenance spending.
Stay tuned for more in the coming days.
Continuing our budget coverage, this time from the front page of today's Inside the Pentagon:
The Pentagon is seeking $5.1 billion in its fiscal year 2015 budget request to support defensive and offensive cyberspace operations and build up its cybersecurity personnel, as deterring and responding to threats in cyberspace continues to be a top priority.
Cyberspace is an "attractive target" for adversaries because of the important and central role it plays in American life, senior defense officials state in the newly released Quadrennial Defense Review. Adversaries, be they countries, organizations or individuals, seek to gain unauthorized access to the Pentagon and industry networks, and are "actively probing critical infrastructure" in actions that could disrupt the economy or create havoc, the QDR states.
To better conduct cyberspace operations and support combatant commanders engaged in military operations, the department seeks to invest in "new and expanded cyber capabilities and forces," according to the QDR.
The Pentagon's FY-15 plans look at continuing to train and implement the Cyber Mission Force teams, which the QDR notes is the "centerpiece" of the efforts to recruit, train and retain cyber personnel. The goal is to man these forces by 2016. This force consists of the National Mission Forces, which work to counter cyberattacks made against the United States; the Combat Mission Forces, which provide mission support to the COCOMs; and the Cyber Protection Forces, which secure, operate and defend the department's networks, according to the Pentagon's budget overview released Tuesday.
. . . from earlier this week:
On March 4, 2014, officials from the Defense Department's comptroller, policy and force-structure offices discussed the fiscal year 2015 budget request and the latest Quadrennial Defense Review.
On March 4, 2014, Army Budget Director Maj. Gen. Karen Dyson and Deputy Budget Director Davis Welch held a briefing on the service's fiscal year 2015 budget request.
On March 4, 2014, Navy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget Rear Adm. Bill Lescher gave a briefing on the service's fiscal year 2015 budget request.
On March 4, 2014, Air Force Budget Director Maj. Gen. Jim Martin gave a briefing on the service's fiscal year 2015 budget request.
Document: MDA Briefing On The FY-15 Budget Request
On March 4, 2014, Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. James Syring held a briefing on his agency's fiscal year 2015 budget request.
The Long-Range Standoff Missile program has been delayed:
The Pentagon's next-generation nuclear cruise missile will not begin development in fiscal year 2015 as scheduled and will instead slip by three years, deferring almost $1 billion in spending beyond FY-18.
The Defense Department has not yet released the budget justification documents that provide line-by-line details about military spending, but an Air Force spokeswoman provided those figures for the Long-Range Standoff (LRSO) missile to InsideDefense.com in a March 5 email. The funding table for LRSO, covering the period between FY-15 and FY-19, shows that the service will ramp up spending extremely slowly: $5 million in FY-15, $10 million in FY-16, $20 million in FY-17, $41 million in FY-18, and $145 million in the last year of the current five-year budgeting window, for a total of $221 million in the future years defense program.
That contrasts dramatically with the Air Force's previously documented plans. The service spent just $5 million on the missile's development in FY-14 but projected a need for $40 million in FY-15, and then a major jump to $204 million in FY-16. The funding requirement only grew from there, to $349 million in FY-17 and $440 million the following year.
The rephased and slowed-down development schedule pushes $959 million outside of the FY-14 to FY-18 FYDP.
An Inside the Pentagon front-pager on the Joint Strike Fighter:
The Joint Strike Fighter's program executive officer gave a somewhat mixed review of the F-35 this week, saying that flight, helmet and tailhook test progress has been excellent, but that engine and aircraft durability, reliability rates and especially prognostic capabilities are lagging.
Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan also commented on the newly released fiscal year 2015 budget, which reduces F-35 procurement rates -- slightly for the Air Force, and significantly for the Navy -- compared to previous projections. Bogdan acknowledged that will marginally increase the price of all other aircraft, but he said the F-35's production is in good shape based on growing Air Force numbers, consistency from the Marine Corps, and increasing buys from many international partners. And perhaps more importantly, he said projected operations and sustainment cost estimates are trending down.
Bogdan spoke on March 4, the day the Pentagon rolled out its FY-15 budget, at a conference sponsored by Aviation Week.
The Air Force won't be launching as many GPS satellites as originally planned:
The Air Force in its fiscal year 2015 budget request is slowing its plans for purchasing next-generation Global Positioning System satellites -- a move that significantly reduces the number of launches available for competition between 2015 and 2017.
The service had expected to purchase 10 GPS III satellites in fiscal years 2015 through 2018, according to its FY-14 budget projections. Maj. Gen. Robert McMurry, director of space programs for the Air Force's assistant secretary for acquisition, told reporters today that the service has reduced its plans for purchasing satellites over the future years defense plan (FYDP), due largely to budget pressures.
"The GPS procurement rate was a little bit faster than we needed and we were under pretty strong budget pressure to look for options," McMurry said. "While we would probably have a more efficient buy profile if we had bought them at the rate we had planned, we decided we could delay that purchase rate, still meet the requirement for on-orbit constellation health and at the same time meet funding requirements that were need in the FYDP."
. . . The service has been working with NASA and the National Reconnaissance Office to certify new launch vehicles to compete for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle-class missions. Since 2006, the United Launch Alliance has been the sole EELV-class launch provider. The service is under contract with ULA to provide 36 rocket boosters through FY-17 and it expects to make an additional 14 launches open to competition between ULA and any new entrants who have been proven under a rigorous certification process. To date, Orbital Sciences and SpaceX are the only companies working toward new entrant certification and SpaceX is, by far, the closest to being ready to compete for 2015 launches.
The March 4, 2014, Government Accountability Office report looks at competitive procurement of the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.
On March 5, 2014, the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee held a hearing on national security space launch programs. Includes the prepared testimony of Scott Pace from the George Washington University; SpaceX CEO Elon Musk; the Government Accountability Office; and United Laumch Alliance CEO Michael Gass.
News from a Capitol Hill hearing yesterday featuring the head of U.S. Pacific Command:
In a testy exchange with lawmakers on Capitol Hill today, U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Samuel Locklear defended the Navy's need for a fleet of 11 nuclear aircraft carriers.
During a House Armed Services Committee hearing with combatant commanders on the Pentagon's budget request, which was unveiled on March 4, ranking member Adam Smith (D-WA) called the 11-carrier fleet into question, noting that "a lot of folks very high up in the Navy [think that they] could survive, quite easily, with 10, 9, 8 carriers."
"I don't know who they are and if they do," Locklear responded. "If they do, they haven't been out and about very much or understand the utility of aircraft carriers as it relates to the global security environment."
While the Navy will not make a final decision on the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the aircraft carrier George Washington (CVN-73) until it presents its fiscal year 2016 budget request next year, the Navy's FY-15 budget request funds planning for the carrier's required defueling. Navy officials and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have said that sequestration will make that decision for them, leaving the Navy with a 10-carrier fleet.
Document: House Hearing On CENTCOM, AFRICOM, PACOM
On March 5, 2014, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing featuring the heads of U.S. Central, Africa and Pacific commands. Includes the opening statements of committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) as well as the prepared testimony of CENTCOM chief Gen. Lloyd Austin, AFRICOM chief Gen. David Rodriguez and PACOM chief Adm. Samuel Locklear.
-- John Liang