In his election year budget, President Donald Trump proposed a 3 percent pay rise for service members across the board, along with increases in the allowances for housing and subsistence.
The Department of Defense is also seeking $8 billion for a range of programs to support military families. They include professional development and education opportunities for service members and their spouses, child care for more than 160,000 children, youth programs for more than a million family members, and support to the schools that educate more than 77,000 students from military families.
The president released a $4.8 trillion fiscal 2021 budget request Monday, which includes $705.4 billion for the Defense Department. It focuses on preparing the U.S. military for all-domain high-end warfare, Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist told reporters at the Pentagon.
Top priorities include nuclear modernization, missile defeat and defense, space and cyberspace.
For fiscal 2021, DOD is asking for $28.9 billion to fund modernization of the nuclear defense program, covering land, sea and air.
Around $7 billion is proposed for nuclear command, control and communications. Another $2.8 billion is earmarked for the B-21 Raider long-range strike bomber. The Air Force eventually expects to get some 100 of the aircraft, which will carry the B61-12 and B83 nuclear gravity bombs, as well as the long-range standoff cruise missile.
The request for nuclear modernization also funds procurement of the Columbia-class ballistic submarine at $4.4 billion, and the ground-based strategic deterrent at $1.5 billion. The GBSD is expected to replace about 400 existing Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
DOD’s request also includes $15.4 billion for the newly created U.S. Space Force, $337 million for the Space Development Agency, and $249 million for U.S. Space Command.
A Pentagon statement said the research, development, testing and evaluation budget request is the largest in history, at $106.6 billion.
The request for hyper-sonics would be an increase of 23 percent over last year, while a 7.8 percent rise is sought for artificial intelligence.
Much of the budget request goes toward modernization.
In the air, the budget request seeks $3 billion for 15 KC-46 Pegasus tankers to replace aging Eisenhower-era KC-135 Stratotankers and KC-10 Extenders. The request also provides $11.4 billion for 79 F-35 Lightning II variants.
On the sea, the budget request would fund a new Virginia-class submarine at $4.7 billion and two DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers at $3.5 billion.
On the land, the Army and Marine Corps would receive 4,247 joint light tactical vehicles at $1.4 billion, as well as $1.5 billion for modifications and upgrades to 89 M-1 Abrams tanks.
The FY 2021 budget contains the Department’s largest RDT&E budget in its history ($106.6 billion) and is focused on the development of crucial emerging technologies.
The budget requests for $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations.
The Pentagon said that The FY 2021 President’s budget request of $705.4B shows very small growth of 0.1 percent, when compared to the FY 2020. “Given this flattened funding level, the Department made numerous hard choices to ensure that resources are directed toward the Department’s highest priorities,” it added.
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