President Obama has unveiled his budget for the 2016 fiscal year. Included in this $US4 trillion budget is the Pentagon’s proposed budget of $US585 billion for the coming year.
The Pentagon’s funding proposal includes a $US534.3 billion base budget that could be capped at $US500 billion due to sequestration, with an additional $US50.9 billion in additional war funding for Afghanistan and counterterrorism operations.
The Pentagon’s proposed budget for 2016 represents a 6% increase in purchasing power from the previous year, in after-inflation dollars.
Here are a number of highlights of the Pentagon’s proposed budget, according to Jeremy Herb and Austin Wright of Politico.
Naval vessel procurement
The 2016 budget dedicates $US107.7 billion to the procurement of new hardware. Of that, the Navy will spend $US11.6 billion in a nine-ship procurement package.
This package includes three Littoral Combat Ships, two Virginia-class attack submarines, two destroyers, an oiler, and an amphibious transport ship.
The multi-billion dollar F-35 program looms large in the proposed 2016 budget.
The Pentagon will request the procurement of an additional 57 F-35 fighter jets at a cost of $US10.6 billion.
Air Force programs
Aside from the F-35, the Pentagon is requesting additional funding for its KC-46A tanker program, the development of a next-generation long-range bomber, and the procurement of additional MQ-9 Reaper drones.
All together, these programs would have a price tag slightly over $US5 billion.
Increased services budgets
The Pentagon’s budget includes an increase in the base budgets of the military services. The proposal for 2016 would see the Air Force’s budget increase $US16 billion to $US152.9 billion, the Navy’s budget would increase $US11.8 to $US161 billion, and the Army’s budget would increase $US7 billion to $US126.5 billion.
Continuing the fight against terrorism
The 2016 budget contains funding to continue operations against terrorist networks around the world. The budget includes $US5.3 billion for the continuation of Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS in the forms of surveillance, airstrikes, and the training of Iraqi and Syrian forces.
The Department of Defence would also receive $US2.1 billion to facilitate partner building exercises and carry out joint operations against terrorist networks around the world.
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