Posted by: arbeam | December 16, 2014

2015 Omnibus Bill Defense Summary

Dept-Of-Defense-LogoThe Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2015 provides $554.2 billion in base and overseas contingency operation funding, compared to $572 billion enacted in fiscal year 2014 and $554.3 billion in the President’s budget request. The base budget appropriation is $490.2 billion with $64 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) of the Department of Defense (DoD), compared to $85.2 billion for DoD OCO enacted in fiscal year 2014. The bill also contains $112 million in emergency funds to respond to the Ebola crisis. 

Supporting our Troops, Veterans and their Families

The three million active duty, reserve and civilian employees are the Department of Defense’s most valuable resource. The bill protects investments in, and makes targeted increases for, the members of the Armed Forces, their families and the civilian employees of the DoD. Major initiatives include:

• Funding the one percent pay raise for military and civilian personnel, as requested by the DoD and authorized by the Senate Armed Services Committee;

• $3 million for the Healthy Base Initiative, which promotes wellness practices for troops and their families living on base;

• Adding $190 million to maintain operations at commissaries, pending the commission on compensation report due next year;

• Provides $88 million for Basic Allowance for Housing in accordance with the authorized one percent reduction in fiscal year 2015; and • $13 million for an initiative to provide pre-kindergarten through 12th grade Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education activities for military children.

Investing in Innovation to Maintain our Technological Edge

Investing in basic and advanced research has been a critical factor in the strength of the U.S. economy and our dominance on the battlefield. There are numerous examples of DoD-initiated research efforts that have had significant impacts across society. It is imperative that we continue to invest in medical breakthroughs and technological advancements that keep us at the forefront of innovation, improve the health and safety of our troops and contribute to our overall national security. The bill does this by making significant investments in research. Major initiatives include:

• Increasing DoD’s core medical research budget as well as Congressionally-directed medical research funding by $1.26 billion. As a result, funding increased 11 percent from fiscal year 2014 to 2015, including the emergency Ebola funding.

• Adding $257 million to basic (non-medical) research for the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), equates to a five percent increase from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2015;

Restoring Readiness and Supporting High Priority Programs

Sequestration in fiscal year 2013 had a major impact on the operations of the Department of Defense. Restoring readiness remains a top priority of all the service chiefs, particularly regarding depot and facility maintenance. The bill eliminates billions in wasteful, unnecessary and duplicative funding across all branches. Instead of indiscriminate across-the-board sequestration cuts, the bill proposes 832 specific cuts to programs and redirects some of those funds to higher priorities. The targeted reductions break down as follows:

• Improving Funds Management: Updated cost estimates and excess carryover of prior year funds result in billions of dollars that are not needed for defense programs this year;

• Restoring Acquisition Accountability: Detailed oversight of acquisition programs and practices show savings that are due to schedule delays, unit cost growth, troubled acquisition strategies or concurrency in test and production;

• Maintaining Program Affordability: Re-evaluation of defense strategies reveal unjustified growth in lower priority defense programs; and

• Reducing Duplication: Cuts are proposed due to redundant programs, disparities found in budget justifications or programs that have been terminated since the budget submission.

The bill provides a balanced approach to limit further risk to our forces in targeted areas. Significant items include:

• An increase of $2.3 billion for readiness shortfalls, including $900 million for facility sustainment, a top service priority, and an additional $202.5 million for depot maintenance. The bill includes a $1 billion readiness transfer fund to address other readiness shortfalls;

• $848.5 million for the modernization of CVN 73, the USS George Washington;

• Full funding for three Littoral Combat Ships, plus an additional $80 million for long-lead parts to purchase the final ship of the block by next year, at this year’s pricing;

• $337.1 million to maintain the A-10 fleet. The bill also contains $90.5 million to continue operations of the full fleet of 31 E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACs) radar aircraft;

• $1.46 billion to purchase 15 EA-18G Growlers;

• $224 million for two additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Air Force and $255 million for two additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Navy. In all, 38 F-35 aircraft are funded in the bill – nine more aircrafts than fiscal year 2014;

Full Fy15 omnibus summary

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