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Defense Budget Alert

March 18, 2011 | Daily News

Continuing to restrict Defense Department funding under stopgap legislation could complicate the war in Afghanistan by blocking the acquisition of urgently needed military equipment, according to Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander there.

If Congress does not pass a fiscal year 2011 defense appropriations bill, the restrictions tied to operating under a continuing resolution could prevent the armed services from buying systems such as MQ-9 Reaper drones needed to support troops in Afghanistan, he said today at the Newseum in Washington.

March 17, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

The Pentagon's fiscal year 2012 budget request shifts nearly $72 million to the deputy chief management officer to cover the cost of picking up duties and functions from the Business Transformation Agency, which is slated for elimination in late June.

March 16, 2011 | Daily News

The Navy is working to extend again the terms of a 2008 pact with submarine builder General Dynamics Electric Boat that would preserve until April contractual terms essential to plans for building two Virginia-class boats in fiscal year 2011, one of the Pentagon's top acquisition goals this year.

March 16, 2011 | Daily News

While the Navy is waiting until the smoke clears from the fiscal year 2011 budget debate before asking lawmakers to add funds to the FY-12 request, the service is continuing to construct an FY-13 budget as uncertainties pile up, service officials said today.

After a congressional hearing this afternoon, Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, told Inside the Navy it is practically impossible to talk to lawmakers about how much extra money the service will need while the rest of FY-11 is still up in the air.

March 15, 2011 | Daily News

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has directed the Defense Department to implement by September a batch of efficiency initiatives designed to save $13.6 billion over five years.

In a March 14 memo, Gates details how the Pentagon plans to save the funds by disestablishing U.S. Joint Forces Command, eliminating personnel positions across the bureaucracy -- including nearly 15 percent of the general and flag officer corps -- and reducing the Pentagon's reliance on contractor support.

March 14, 2011 | Daily News

The Air Force will be forced to raid its investment accounts for $4 billion this fiscal year to pay off a budget shortfall if Congress continues to fund the Defense Department under a continuing resolution that sets spending at fiscal year 2010 levels, according to a senior service official.

March 10, 2011 | Daily News

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) today warned the Obama administration that budget cuts are inevitable and that only a comprehensive, long-term deal involving tax reform and entitlement programs can stave off "Draconian" reductions to government spending.

Conrad's warning on looming cuts came at the end of a hearing at which Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn and Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides testified about their departments’ fiscal year 2012 budget requests.

March 10, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has directed military officials to inject millions of dollars into three acquisition efforts urgently needed to save troops' lives by detecting enemy shooters and providing valuable imagery.

March 10, 2011 | Daily News

(Editor's note: The story was updated at 7:20am on March 10 to include comments from Defense Secretary Robert Gates' spokesman.)

A powerful House subcommittee has agreed to allow the Pentagon to use the bulk of funding appropriated for humvee procurement to pay for urgently needed capabilities in Afghanistan, holding out more than a quarter of the resources Defense Secretary Robert Gates wanted to instead improve the Pentagon's current light tactical vehicle fleet.

March 09, 2011 | Daily News

The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee has asked the military's service chiefs to identify "any pressing needs" for additional funding beyond their fiscal year 2012 budget requests, continuing a practice begun in the mid-1990s in which the panel's ranking member has solicited unofficial wish lists from Defense Department brass.

March 03, 2011 | Daily News

(Editor's Note: This story was updated at 11pm to include information from a Feb. 24 letter from House Armed Services Committee leaders to the Pentagon comptroller.)

Defense Secretary Robert Gates today turned up the political heat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee over a month-old, $1.1 billion reprogramming request that would fund "urgently" needed equipment for troops in Afghanistan, suggesting the panel's reluctance to approve it puts troop safety at risk to protect funding for a procurement program the Pentagon considers unnecessary.

March 02, 2011 | Daily News

If Congress passes another continuing resolution following a two-week extension that was approved today, the chairman of the House seapower and projection forces subcommittee wants to ensure the Defense Department is given the authority to reprogram its accounts and begin programs that were scheduled to start in 2011.

March 02, 2011 | Daily News

The Navy likely will have to revise its fiscal year 2012 budget request if Congress continues to fund the Defense Department through the use of continuing resolutions, but the service's top officer said today he has no idea how to do that.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead told reporters at a Credit Suisse conference this morning that because the FY-12 budget request was based on an FY-11 budget that has not been implemented, a full-year continuing resolution -- still a strong possibility -- will change the entire budget picture.

March 01, 2011 | Daily News

The Pentagon would be forced to furlough half of its staff and would be unable to pay the remaining civilian employees and military personnel if the government were to shut down due to lack of a spending plan for the rest of the current fiscal year, Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn told lawmakers today.

During a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing, Lynn said a government shutdown would mean that when payday rolled around in the middle of March, paycheck obligations to exempt Defense Department employees would not be fulfilled.

February 25, 2011 | Inside the Navy
The Navy will lose about $1.3 billion in Joint Strike Fighter funding over the future years defense plan due to the Defense Department's decision to defer buying 124 aircraft, according to a Navy spokeswoman, despite the Pentagon's assertion earlier this year that the money would go back to the services.
February 25, 2011 | Daily News

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is pressing lawmakers to act on a $1.1 billion request to finance an appeal from Gen. David Petraeus for new weapons and capabilities "urgently" needed for the war in Afghanistan -- a proposal to siphon funds from what congressional sources say are potentially unacceptable programs, particularly the Army's humvee procurement account.

February 24, 2011 | Inside the Pentagon

Congress' failure to approve a fiscal year 2011 defense budget is complicating efforts to meet troops' pressing needs in Afghanistan and injecting inefficiency into all the Defense Department's procurement programs, according to Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter.

February 23, 2011 | Daily News

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to state that the defense secretary called for an FY-11 appropriation of at least $540 billion.

The Defense Department needs Congress to approve pending reprogramming requests for equipment urgently needed in Afghanistan and to pass a fiscal year 2011 defense budget that restores stability to major acquisition programs hurting under the continuing resolution set to expire March 4, Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter said tonight.

February 18, 2011 | Inside the Navy
Given the downward pressure on the Defense Department budget, Marine Corps officials are worried that they may not make up the funding lost under the current continuing budget resolution in the future, though a top Navy budget official said last week the service has to come out of the fiscal year 2013 budget process "whole."
February 18, 2011 | Daily News

The Obama administration is requesting $75 million in fiscal year 2012 for Yemen's military and interior ministry, according to a senior Pentagon official.