Budget Proposal Requests Smaller, More Modern, Agile Force

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2012 — The mil­i­tary will reduce its end strength by 5.5 per­cent over five years, while pre­serv­ing mil­i­tary pay and ben­e­fits for cur­rent mem­bers and invest­ing in tech­nol­o­gy and sys­tems to counter future threats, accord­ing to Pen­ta­gon bud­get doc­u­ments released today.

The fis­cal 2013 pro­pos­al calls for a $525.4 bil­lion base bud­get, down $5.2 bil­lion from the cur­rent year, and $88.5 bil­lion for over­seas con­tin­gency oper­a­tions, down $26.6 bil­lion.

The pro­pos­al fol­lows the mil­i­tary strat­e­gy guid­ance Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma released last month that pro­vides a tran­si­tion from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a more agile and flex­i­ble mil­i­tary that responds to broad chal­lenges and main­tains glob­al supe­ri­or­i­ty while also help­ing to reduce the nation­al deficit, offi­cials said.

The admin­is­tra­tion has been work­ing toward a $487 bil­lion reduc­tion in pro­ject­ed defense spend­ing over the next decade, and the fis­cal 2013 bud­get pro­pos­al calls for $259 bil­lion in sav­ings in the next five years. Offi­cials said those sav­ings would come from con­tin­ued efforts at becom­ing more effi­cient, reduc­ing over­head and dupli­ca­tion, and slow­ing the growth of per­son­nel costs.

Defense offi­cials said they fol­lowed a three-prong strat­e­gy for the bud­get request: to make dis­ci­plined use of resources, to fol­low strate­gic mil­i­tary guid­ance on deci­sions about force struc­ture and invest­ments, and to ensure the qual­i­ty of the all-vol­un­teer force while also slow­ing the growth of pay and ben­e­fits.

The pro­pos­al calls for $61 bil­lion in spend­ing cuts through fis­cal 2017 — a con­tin­u­a­tion of $150 bil­lion in pro­posed bud­get “effi­cien­cies” in the cur­rent bud­get year — through reduced over­head and sup­port, as well as improved busi­ness prac­tices. It also calls for the depart­ment to become audit-ready by 2017.

The plan would increase invest­ments in unmanned air­craft and tac­ti­cal vehi­cles, main­tain the joint strike fight­er, and ter­mi­nate the C-27 air­lift air­craft and new weath­er satel­lites.

Also as part of the bud­get pro­pos­al:

— The Army would elim­i­nate at least eight brigade com­bat teams;

— The Navy would elim­i­nate sev­en cruis­ers and two dock land­ing ships;

— The Marine Corps would elim­i­nate one infantry reg­i­ment head­quar­ters, five infantry bat­tal­ions, one artillery bat­tal­ion, four tac­ti­cal air squadrons and one com­bat logis­tics bat­tal­ion;

— The Air Force elim­i­nates six com­bat cod­ed fight­er squadrons and one non­com­bat cod­ed fight­er squadron, and 303 air­craft, includ­ing 123 com­bat air­craft, 150 mobil­i­ty and tanker air­craft and 30 intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and recon­nais­sance air­craft.

End-strength reduc­tions would rise incre­men­tal­ly from a 1.4 per­cent reduc­tion in fis­cal 2013 to a 5.5 per­cent reduc­tion in 2017. The break­down by ser­vice would be:

— For the Army, a 0.9 per­cent reduc­tion next year to 1,115,300, going to a 6.8 per­cent reduc­tion in 2017;

— For the Navy, a 1.7 per­cent reduc­tion next year to 385,000, going to a 3.9 per­cent reduc­tion in 2017.

— For the Marine Corps, a 2 per­cent reduc­tion next year to 236,900, going to an 8.3 per­cent reduc­tion in 2017; and

— For the Air Force, a 1.9 per­cent reduc­tion next year, going to a 2.3 per­cent reduc­tion in 2017.

The bud­get request includes a 1.7 per­cent mil­i­tary pay raise, a 4.2 per­cent aver­age increase in the basic hous­ing allowance, and a 3.4 per­cent rise in the basic allowance for sub­sis­tence.

As part of the plan, the Mil­i­tary Health Sys­tem would receive $48.7 bil­lion, down from $52.8 bil­lion this year. Though there would be some fee increas­es in TRICARE and phar­ma­cy co-pays for retirees younger than 65, offi­cials said, fees will not increase for active-duty ser­vice mem­bers, sur­vivors of mil­i­tary mem­bers who died on active duty or med­ical­ly retired ser­vice mem­bers.

The bud­get request match­es TRICARE mil­i­tary health plan fee increas­es to retire­ment pay. Retirees receiv­ing $22,589 or less would pay $600 in enroll­ment fees in 2013, ris­ing to $893 in 2017. Those receiv­ing retire­ment pay of $45,179 or more would pay $820 in 2013 and $2,048 in 2017.

The bud­get request does not change the mil­i­tary retire­ment sys­tem in 2013, but includes a Defense Depart­ment request that Con­gress estab­lish a mil­i­tary retire­ment com­mis­sion to deter­mine whether cost-effec­tive changes should be made to the cur­rent sys­tem.

Defense lead­ers are ful­ly com­mit­ted to assist­ing ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies, offi­cials said. The bud­get request includes $8.5 bil­lion for fam­i­ly sup­port pro­grams.

The request pro­vides $1.3 bil­lion in fund­ing for child care space for more than 200,000 chil­dren, as well as $1.4 bil­lion for fam­i­ly sup­port cen­ters and morale, wel­fare and recre­ation pro­grams. It also com­mits $2.7 bil­lion for the edu­ca­tion of more than 61,000 stu­dents at DOD Edu­ca­tion Activ­i­ty schools in 12 coun­tries and more than 33,000 stu­dents in sev­en states, Puer­to Rico and Guam.

The request includes more than $50 mil­lion to improve pub­lic school facil­i­ties on mil­i­tary instal­la­tions.

Mil­i­tary con­struc­tion fund­ing is set at $9.1 bil­lion, and fam­i­ly hous­ing at $1.7 bil­lion.

Under the pro­pos­al, the DOD civil­ian work force will decrease by 1 per­cent in 2013, and will receive a 0.5-percent pay raise, fol­low­ing a two-year pay freeze.

The bud­get request also seeks increas­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for flex­i­ble work sched­ules and sup­ports employ­ee lead­er­ship devel­op­ment, train­ing and well­ness.

The request includes an over­all $88.5 bil­lion for Afghanistan and Iraq, down from $115.1 bil­lion this year. Fund­ing require­ments have dropped in bal­ance with decreased troop lev­els, offi­cials said. The num­ber of troops in Afghanistan is set to fall from 95,000 in the first quar­ter of this year to 68,000 by the end of 2013. Fund­ing for Iraq — $2.9 bil­lion is request­ed for 2013 — pro­vides for equip­ment reset and DOD’s costs for the State Depart­ment-led Office of Secu­ri­ty Coop­er­a­tion in Iraq.

Over­seas con­tin­gency oper­a­tions costs include $48.2 bil­lion for oper­a­tions, $9.3 bil­lion for equip­ment reset, and $5.7 bil­lion for Afghan army and police forces.

The bud­get request includes $5.1 bil­lion for force pro­tec­tion, includ­ing body armor and pro­tec­tive gear as well as armored and mine-resis­tant vehi­cles. Anoth­er $4.5 bil­lion is planned for mil­i­tary intel­li­gence fund­ing, which includes invest­ments in intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and recon­nais­sance assets.

The request would invest $1.4 bil­lion in fund­ing divid­ed among the NATO alliance ground sur­veil­lance sys­tem, the com­bat­ant com­mand exer­cise and engage­ment pro­gram, the Nation­al Guard State Part­ner­ship Pro­gram and the Secu­ri­ty Force Assis­tance Pro­gram.

The request also pro­vides for $3.8 bil­lion in unmanned air sys­tems, $3.4 bil­lion for cyber, $9.7 bil­lion in bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense, $8 bil­lion for space sys­tems, and $11.9 bil­lion is sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy, includ­ing a $2.1 bil­lion set-aside for basic research.

Pro­gram cuts pro­ject­ed from fis­cal 2013 to fis­cal 2017 total $75 bil­lion, includ­ing $15.1 bil­lion from the joint strike fight­er and $13.1 bil­lion in reduced ship­build­ing.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)