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Defense Budget Alert

May 04, 2011 | Daily News

The Air Force, Navy and U.S. Special Operations Command have collectively tallied up nearly $1 billion in projects they would fund in fiscal year 2012 if lawmakers provided additional funding.

In response to what has become a traditional request from the House Armed Services Committee's ranking member to identify funding needs beyond the spending request before lawmakers, service officials for a third consecutive year have served up modest replies compared to hefty wish lists of earlier years like FY-09, when the unfunded priorities lists totaled more than $30 billion.

May 02, 2011 | Daily News

(Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that Army Gen. George Casey was Gen. Martin Dempsey's predecessor as the service's chief of staff.)

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told lawmakers in a memo last month that the service has no unfunded requirements for fiscal year 2012.

April 29, 2011 | Daily News

(Editor's Note: Late Friday night (April 29), a Pentagon spokeswoman clarified that Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy’s remarks on non-discretionary spending referred to federal benefits overall. The story has been corrected.)

Cuts to non-discretionary elements of the federal budget would be highly controversial, but they should be on the table as the Obama administration and Congress seek to strengthen the U.S. economy by reducing the federal deficit, according to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy.

April 28, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

New guidance from Defense Department procurement chief Ashton Carter reveals that not all major weapons programs will use the same process to create new, mandatory "should-cost" estimates.

April 27, 2011 | Daily News

The Marine Corps' reset budget picture is in flux because of the service's changing force structure, the secretary of the Navy told reporters this morning.

At a Defense Writers Group breakfast, Secretary Ray Mabus said the $10.4 billion figure that has been discussed as the amount needed to reset the Marines' ground equipment may not stand given the Marines' recent Force Structure Review, which recommended cutting back on the number of troops in the service while beefing up a few specific capabilities.

April 25, 2011 | Daily News

Multibillion-dollar efforts to build nuclear ballistic missile submarines, Army vehicles and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will spearhead a new Defense Department initiative challenging program managers to deliver weapons under budget.

April 22, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Service officials say they believe the Marine Corps will emerge from President Obama's latest call for defense budget cuts in good shape, but noted that the military will likely take a closer look at capabilities that are duplicated by different forces.
April 21, 2011 | Daily News

The upcoming Pentagon assessment aimed at cutting hundreds of billions of dollars in defense spending will likely start with the same threat scenarios that informed the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, but will use a different process to reconsider the need for longstanding missions, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today.

April 15, 2011 | Daily News

The cost of the Pentagon's weapon systems acquisition portfolio increased $64 billion over the last year, a 4-percent hike due to cost, schedule and management challenges associated with 13 programs -- including seven that have run afoul of legal provisions designed to flag procurement efforts in trouble.

April 14, 2011 | Daily News

New details emerged today about President Obama's call for new cuts to the Defense Department's budget, with one administration official telling InsideDefense.com that the $400 billion the president hopes to save will be spread throughout the national security community.

“[Defense] Secretary Bob Gates has courageously taken on wasteful spending, saving $400 billion in current and future spending,” Obama said yesterday. “I believe we can do that again.”

April 14, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

As the Defense Department presses ahead with implementing "should cost" funding targets in major acquisition programs, senior Pentagon and service officials are discussing how much of the gleaned savings will be retained by the programs and how much will be shifted to unrelated key projects aimed at addressing urgent battlefield needs.

April 14, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

The Defense Department is preparing to launch major new initiatives concerning pricing and cash flow, according to Shay Assad, the director of procurement and acquisition policy.

April 13, 2011 | Daily News

President Obama's call today for a new review to find more savings in the defense budget will require careful attention to "managing risk" and determining which missions "the country is willing to have the military forgo," Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.

Morrell, the chief spokesman for Defense Secretary Robert Gates, made the comments following Obama's speech on fiscal policy at George Washington University.

Obama stressed the need to “find additional savings” in the defense budget.

April 12, 2011 | Daily News

Lawmakers would rescind $2 billion from Pentagon weapons procurement accounts as part of the fiscal year 2011 budget compromise under consideration by Congress, yanking money appropriated in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 that the Defense Department has not obligated and redirecting it into the FY-11 $513 billion spending package.

These budgetary maneuvers are spelled out as “reprogramming guidance” in documents drawn up the House Appropriations Committee and released today by the House Rules Committee.

April 07, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

The Pentagon is asking Congress to grant the defense secretary the power to authorize the transfer of defense appropriations into accounts established by the treasury secretary in order to improve the ability of defense intelligence elements to audit their expenditures.

April 06, 2011 | Daily News

The Army must squeeze $9 billion from its endangered overseas contingency operations account into its base budget and is eying key modernization programs for possible savings, according to a top Army budget official.

Lt. Gen. Edgar Stanton, the Army's military deputy for budget, said today that every program in the service's modernization accounts would have to be reviewed -- including the Ground Combat Vehicle and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

April 05, 2011 | Daily News

The Defense Department last week asked Congress to establish a fund to finance the development and fielding of new technologies and weapons requested by commanders to meet urgent wartime needs, according to Pentagon documents.

The fund would be backed by a $100 million account in the Pentagon's base budget that could be supplemented by another $100 million annually in war-cost appropriations bills.

April 04, 2011 | Daily News

Congress is working to pass a defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2011 instead of continuing to fund the Pentagon under stopgap measures, the head of a key House defense committee said today.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) told reporters today that House leaders have promised him that a defense appropriations bill would “be done very shortly.” The Pentagon, like the rest of the federal government, has been operating under continuing resolutions for the past six months because Congress has been unable to pass a funding bill for FY-11.

April 01, 2011 | Inside the Army

A new era of austerity is beginning to impact the Army's
recent shift in focus to dismounted soldiers and its information technology
systems modernization strategy, according to service leaders who spoke at an
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Conference last week.

April 01, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Navy may come up $750 million short for long-lead materials for ballistic missile defense upgrades if Congress decides to extend the continuing resolution on the budget through the end of the year, an official said last week.