Sunday, November 23, 2014
Defense Budget Alert
An extensive archive on the DOD budget process, plus hard-to-find internal government documents relating to the DOD budget decisionmaking process -- from program budget decisions to congressional debate.
DefenseAlert - 11/20/2014

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work hopes to visit Capitol Hill within the next two weeks to discuss a way forward on some of the Defense Department's most serious budgetary challenges, particularly the fact that Congress is poised to deny the Pentagon's plan to find savings by reforming military compensation, cutting aging weapon systems and closing excess military bases and facilities amid the onset of sequestration.

DefenseAlert - 11/19/2014

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey wants Congress to know the Defense Department will require more base budget funding in fiscal year 2016 than the $535 billion it has planned, especially since that amount is already $35 billion above the spending caps mandated by sequestration.

DefenseAlert - 11/19/2014

The Air Force is working closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to develop its recommended way-ahead for a new domestic rocket engine, and a top service acquisition official says those details will be unveiled as part of its fiscal year 2016 budget request.

DefenseAlert - 11/17/2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has formally launched an ambitious and long-expected innovation investment strategy intended to shape the future of the Pentagon for years to come.

Inside the Air Force - 11/14/2014

The Air Force has secured almost $1.6 billion of the White House's $5 billion amendment to the fiscal year 2015 request for overseas contingency funding, according to government documents. The request includes about $544 million for classified programs and an additional $70 million for missiles and bombs.

DefenseAlert - 11/13/2014

Despite a recent request for $5.6 billion in supplemental wartime funding, the Defense Department may need to return to Congress for more money in the future to fund its $8 million-a-day campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.

DefenseAlert - 11/13/2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wants Congress to know that 40 percent of the recent supplemental budget request to train and equip the Iraqi army to fight Islamic extremists will remain fenced off until the Iraqi government matches that amount.

Inside the Pentagon - 11/13/2014

The Pentagon's efforts to consolidate its information technology structure should reduce the overall IT budget between $4 billion and $5 billion over the next five to seven years, said acting chief information officer Terry Halvorsen.

DefenseAlert - 11/11/2014

The Congressional Budget Office has found that Defense Department spending for military activities dropped by $30 billion in fiscal year 2014, or 5 percent, mostly due to a decline in Army spending.

DefenseAlert - 11/10/2014

The White House is requesting an additional $5 billion in overseas contingency funding in fiscal year 2015 to support its expanded campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, with $1.6 billion to support the U.S. mission to train and equip Iraqi and Kurdish forces, according to government documents.

DefenseAlert - 11/06/2014

The Pentagon will likely submit a fiscal year 2016 budget that is above the sequestration levels mandated by the Budget Control Act, according to a top acquisition official.

DefenseAlert - 11/05/2014

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's acquisition chief, has an unsurprising request for the new GOP majority in Congress: Overturn sequestration as soon as possible.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/30/2014

Congress has jeopardized Defense Department readiness through sequestration and has failed to give it the authorities it needs to effectively reduce costs, according to two former DOD policy chiefs.

DefenseAlert - 10/28/2014

The Defense Department is discussing the future of its overseas contingency operations account with the Office of Management and Budget, including the possibility of making OCO a long-lasting piece of the DOD budget.

DefenseAlert - 10/28/2014

The Defense Department is not yet prepared to disclose what percentage of the overall research and development budget it will use to finance the upcoming technological "offset" strategy aimed to guide long-term R&D spending, but a top acquisition official did provide a list of likely investment areas.

DefenseAlert - 10/27/2014

The Defense Department recently pegged the total price tag for Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria at $580 million -- a $156 million increase from when the Pentagon last provided cost figures.

DefenseAlert - 10/24/2014

After satisfying more than 500 requests in the past decade, the Pentagon's joint rapid acquisition cell is unlikely to slow its pace in the face of new global threats, according to the outgoing chief of the program.

DefenseAlert - 10/21/2014

The Defense Department continues to plan for the worst should the automatic budget cuts triggered by sequestration remain law in fiscal year 2016, according to Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon's chief spokesman.

DefenseAlert - 10/17/2014

Lawmakers have rejected dozens of Pentagon-proposed changes to reallocate prior-year funds, forcing the U.S. military to scrap plans to immediately shift nearly $600 million between programs -- including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Ground-based Midcourse Defense efforts -- while protecting funds for key Army radio and helicopter modernization projects.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/16/2014

Retiring Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said there is bipartisan support to end sequestration and he thinks a future lame-duck congressional session could finally end the across-the-board cuts.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/16/2014

The Defense Department is missing out on as much as $10 billion in operations and management savings a year, according to defense industry experts.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/16/2014

The Defense Contract Management Agency's forward pricing rates used to negotiate $4.5 billion in costs resulted in unfair and unreasonable prices, possibly at the government's expense, according to an Oct. 9 Defense Department inspector general's report.

DefenseAlert - 10/14/2014

The Army plans to ride out $26 billion in statutorily required cuts to its current spending plan between fiscal years 2016 to 2019, protecting its new weapons portfolio by stretching out planned procurement and deferring upgrades of the current inventory, according to a top service official.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/09/2014

Numbers analyzing the affordability of future Defense Department acquisition programs under predicted budget environments may be released for the first time early next summer, but the impacts of sequestration will not be included, according to a top DOD official.

DefenseAlert - 10/07/2014

In a signal to industry that innovation still has a role in the budget-challenged landscape, a senior Pentagon leader said the Defense Department intends to continue resourcing the test and evaluation of prototypes even if it is not currently possible to purchase a weapons system.

Inside the Navy - 10/06/2014

As the drawdown in Afghanistan continues, the Marine Corps is internally identifying the risk of migrating its wartime account priorities back to its base budget in case the Pentagon abolishes the account, according to a service official.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/02/2014

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's chief acquisition executive, is preparing to receive feedback from the defense industry, Capitol Hill and other stakeholders who might be able to improve upon the latest installment of Better Buying Power.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/02/2014

The Defense Department partially met a key milestone this week on its road to audit readiness, according to a Pentagon announcement.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/02/2014

The Defense Logistics Agency is completely prepared to aid the military services with their new new operations in Iraq and would only feel a trickle-down effect from the services if sequestration were to remain law in fiscal year 2016, according to DLA director Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek.

DefenseAlert - 10/01/2014

Pentagon modernization accounts are taking a $743 million hit under the 10-week stopgap spending bill now funding the federal government, reductions that effectively extend rescissions of funds previously appropriated to weapon system procurement accounts.

DefenseAlert - 09/30/2014

Congress, by refusing to allow the Defense Department to cut aging weapon systems and enact compensation reform in fiscal year 2015, has put the Pentagon in a $70 billion budget hole as it contemplates the FY-16 budget submission, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, who sees DOD's embattled overseas contingency operations fund as a way to address the situation.

DefenseAlert - 09/30/2014

Navy operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have cost less than $100 million so far, according to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

DefenseAlert - 09/29/2014

U.S. military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant could require between $2.4 billion and $22 billion annually, a wide-ranging estimate prepared by independent defense analysts in a new report whose findings underscore uncertainty about the scope of the new U.S. mission in Iraq and Syria.

DefenseAlert - 09/26/2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has launched a long-term analysis of how the Defense Department plans to fund its expanded campaign against Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, but Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey already sees "budget problems" approaching the Pentagon.

DefenseAlert - 09/25/2014

The Defense Department is spending between $7 million and $10 million per day on operations in Iraq and Syria, though Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, stressed that those numbers were loose estimates.

Inside the Pentagon - 09/25/2014

Many defense budget analysts, regardless of whether they believe the Defense Department's overseas contingency operations account has become a "slush fund," nodded in agreement last week when they heard Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicate to Congress that the Pentagon's OCO spending request should be expected to climb.

DefenseAlert - 09/24/2014

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), who will retire in 2015, is working to leave behind a 'roadmap' to undo the automatic budget cuts triggered by sequestration, an effort he thinks will be boosted by those who are unsettled by the current threat environment in the Middle East.

DefenseAlert - 09/23/2014

When the U.S. military budget is constrained, weapon system acquisition programs are more likely to experience cost growth, according to a Pentagon-sponsored study that sheds new light on a key factor that has tripped up modernization projects for more than 30 years.

Inside the Army - 09/22/2014

National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Frank Grass believes cutting the National Guard by roughly 30,000 soldiers would trigger costs upwards of $1 billion.

Inside the Army - 09/22/2014

The Army's chief of staff said he can't reduce the service's end-strength numbers any faster than is currently happening, meaning sequestration will hit modernization and readiness the hardest.

DefenseAlert - 09/19/2014

The latest installment of Better Buying Power -- the Pentagon's marquee acquisition improvement initiative -- aims to stimulate technological innovation by increasing the involvement of defense contractors in the weapons program requirements process.

DefenseAlert - 09/18/2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week acknowledged the Pentagon's overseas contingency operations budget is poised to expand in the coming months as the U.S. military is increasingly faced with new expenses related to combating violent extremism in Iraq and fighting Ebola in Africa.

Inside the Pentagon - 09/18/2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey warned senators this week of the brewing budget pressures the Pentagon continues to face in light of sequestration and the White House's new, open-ended commitment to degrade and destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

DefenseAlert - 09/17/2014

The Defense Department has requested that Congress allow it to reprogram a total of $1 billion in fiscal year 2014 overseas contingency operations funds to launch a major effort to fight Ebola in Africa, a Pentagon official has confirmed.

DefenseAlert - 09/17/2014

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has called for "bold leadership" and compromise from Congress to avoid the two fiscal crises that she says would significantly impair the service: a government shutdown and sequestration.

Inside the Army - 09/15/2014

The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget are looking to move $1.89 billion in Army wartime funding to buy six new F-35B Joint Strike Fighters for the Marine Corps and two F-35s for the Air Force, among other equipment, according to a reprogramming request obtained by Inside the Army.

Inside the Army - 09/15/2014

The Army must plug an unexpected funding shortage attributed to increased training costs in the National Guard, a Pentagon notification to Congress states.

Inside the Navy - 09/15/2014

The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget have asked Congress for permission to use wartime dollars to fund increased naval operations in Iraq, according to a Navy official and a reprogramming request obtained by Inside the Navy.

DefenseAlert - 09/11/2014

While a plan to resource President Obama's new strategy to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has yet to fully emerge, the Pentagon remains focused on a $500 million request to Congress for the vetting and training of Syrian rebels as the House prepares to pass a stop-gap measure likely to fund the rest of the president's strategy.

DefenseAlert - 09/11/2014

The fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill should give President Obama enough monetary leeway to handle the expanded attacks on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria the president announced last night, according to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA).