by Travis Sharp
With members of Congress eager to leave town for the campaign trail, and Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 starting on October 1, Congress slapped together a consolidated appropriations package that includes several appropriations bills and a continuing resolution (known as a ‘CR’) all rolled into one. A CR is designed to fund programs at the previous fiscal year’s levels, usually on a temporary basis, in order to keep the government running. The CR in the consolidated package will fund government operations from October 1, 2008 until March 6, 2009, at which point Congress will have to appropriate more money to keep government programs running through the remainder of FY2009.
The consolidated package includes defense appropriations for FY2009. The package provides $487.7 billion in total defense funding, $4 billion less than the administration’s request but 6.2 percent above the FY2008 funding level. The package does not appropriate any funding for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A FY2009 “bridge” supplemental war funding package of $68.5 billion was already appropriated by Congress in May-June 2008.
The House of Representatives passed the consolidated appropriations package on September 24, 2008. The Senate is expected to pass it in the days ahead.
Increase in Military Basic Pay – Funds a 3.9 percent across-the-board pay raise for military personnel, 0.5 percent higher than the administration’s request.
Personnel End Strengths – The bill includes the Defense Department’s requested active duty personnel increases of 7,000 for the Army (to 532,400) and 5,000 for the Marine Corps (to 194,000). The Navy would decrease by 4,821 (to 325,300) while the Air Force would decrease by 12,792 (to 316,771) rather than by the 12,963 requested.
Compensation for Stop Loss – Provides $72 million in unrequested funding for a new program that pays soldiers $500 for every month their term of service is involuntarily extended in 2009.
Future Combat Systems – Provides $3.6 billion in total funding for Future Combat Systems, $26 million above the administration’s request. The increased funding in intended to speed development of FCS unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles. Language in the bill indicates support for the Army’s recently announced plan to change the near-term focus of FCS by fielding available capabilities to Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, which are in high demand in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deferring the fielding of these technologies to Heavy Brigade Combat Teams, which were originally slated to receive the initial FCS spin outs.
Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) “Nunn-Lugar” – Appropriates $434 million, $20 million above the administration’s request, for the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) or “Nunn-Lugar” program, which secures vulnerable fissile material in Russia and states of the former Soviet Union.
Air Force Tanker (KC-X) – In the wake of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates terminating the solicitation for the KC-135 tanker replacement program on September 10, 2008, the bill transfers $61.7 million originally slated for the KC-X to the so-called “Tanker Replacement Fund.” The bill also provides $62.5 million in Air Force O&M funds for modest upgrades to KC-135s to ensure the continued reliability of the aging fleet.
Prompt Global Strike – Reduces the administration request from $117.6 million to $74.6 million, a cut of $43 million. Prompt Global Strike is an initiative to place conventional warheads atop missiles traditionally used for nuclear warheads. The bill language says the reduction was taken from the alternative re-entry system.
Focus on Near-Term Missile Defense Programs – Lamenting the fact that funding for near-term missile defense programs must be sacrificed each year “to pay for the development of futuristic missile defense programs,” the bill cuts: $70 million from Multiple Kill Vehicles (to $285 million); $16 million from the Airborne Laser; $10 million from the Space Test Bed; and $30 million from the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) follow-on program. As a consolation prize for these cuts, the bill provides $5 million for a study on space-based interceptors. Reflecting its preference for near-term capabilities, the bill provides an additional $120 million for Ground-Based Missile Defense (GMD), AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), and Theater High Area Altitude Defense (THAAD).
European Missile Defense – The bill provides $467 million for missile defense in Europe. The $467 million total is broken down as follows: $363.3 million for the development and testing of the two-stage interceptors and interceptor site planned for Poland; $76.8 million for the European Midcourse Radar (EMR) planned for the Czech Republic; and $27.1 million for the European Global Engagement Manager and U.S. Communications for the sites. The bill does not provide any funding for the European Based Forward Radar (AN-TPY-2) since a location has not been selected yet for the site.
Pattern of Missile Defense Agency Problems – The bill states: “As one of the largest research, development, test and evaluation programs in the Department of Defense, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has established a pattern of cost, schedule and performance problems. Tests were delayed or cancelled in fiscal years 2006, 2007 and 2008 and it is not unreasonable to assume that some of the tests planned for fiscal year 2009 will likely slip into subsequent fiscal years.”
Total Funding (Budget Function 050 excluding war funding)
Administration request: $491.7 billion
Consolidated package: $487.7 billion
Administration request: $114.9 billion
Consolidated package: $114.4 billion
Operations & Maintenance
Administration request: $154.8 billion
Consolidated package: $152.9 billion
Administration request: $102.1 billion
Consolidated package: $101.1 billion
Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation (RDT&E)
Administration request: $79.6 billion
Consolidated package: $80.5 billion
Revolving and Management Funds
Administration request: $3.5 billion
Consolidated package: $3.2 billion
Defense Health Program
Administration request: $24.8 billion
Consolidated package: $25.8 billion
DOD Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (“Nunn-Lugar”)
Administration request: $414 million
Consolidated package: $434 million
MAJOR WEAPONS SYSTEMS
BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE (Missile Defense Agency only)
Administration request: $8.9 billion
Consolidated package: $8.7 billion
F/A-22 “Raptor” Fighter
Administration request: $3.1 billion for 20 aircraft
Consolidated package: $3.4 billion for 20 aircraft (includes $523 million for advance procurement of another 20 aircraft if the next administration decides to buy more)
Joint Strike Fighter
Administration request: $6.3 billion for 16 aircraft
Consolidated package: $6.3 billion for 14 aircraft (includes $430 million in unrequested funding for alternate engine development)
F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” Fighter
Administration request: $1.9 billion for 23 aircraft
Consolidated package: $1.9 billion for 23 aircraft
NOTE: The bill language predicts a shortfall in the Navy’s strike fighter inventory of at least 69 aircraft in the future. The bill states: “To ensure that the Navy has sufficient aircraft for the fleet, the Navy is encouraged to budget for a third multi-year procurement of Super Hornet aircraft beginning in fiscal year 2010. In addition, cost reduction measures which will yield future savings for this program should be explored.”
EA-18G Radar Jamming Aircraft
Administration request: $1.6 billion for 22 aircraft
Consolidated package: $1.6 billion for 22 aircraft
V-22 “Osprey” Tilt-rotor
Administration request: $2.2 billion for 30 Navy aircraft, $423 million for 6 Air Force aircraft, $2.6 billion total
Consolidated package: $2.2 billion for 30 Navy aircraft, $423 million for 6 Air Force aircraft, $2.6 billion total
C-130J Transport Aircraft
Administration request: $96 million in advance procurement
Consolidated package: $25 million in procurement plus $96 million in advance procurement, $121 million total
C-17 Globemaster Transport Aircraft
Administration request: $367.6 million in multiyear procurement
Consolidated package: $318.8 million in multiyear procurement (cut due to excess engine spares requirement)
DDG-1000 “Zumwalt” Destroyer [DD(x)]
Administration request: $2.6 billion for 1 ship
Consolidated package: $1.5 billion for 1 ship (cut due to split funding of third ship)
NOTE: The bill includes $200 million in advance procurement for the DDG-51 if DOD and the next president decide to truncate the DDG-1000 class acquisition program in favor of a return to DDG-51 class destroyers.
Carrier Replacement Program (CVN-21)
Administration request: $3.9 billion
Consolidated package: $3.9 billion
LPD-17 “San Antonio” Amphibious Assault Ship
Administration request: $103.2 million for 0 ships
Consolidated package: $1.1 billion for 1 ship (increase for split funding of tenth ship)
NOTE: Bill language states that “The Navy is directed to budget for the remaining funding requirement in fiscal year 2010.”
LHA Replacement Vessel (LHA-R)
Administration request: No funds requested
Consolidated package: $178.3 million
SSN-774 “Virginia” Class Submarine
Administration request: $3.4 billion for 1 ship
Consolidated package: $3.5 billion for 1 ship
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
Administration request: $920 million for 2 ships
Consolidated package: $1.0 billion for 2 ships
Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle (IAV)
Administration request: $1.2 billion for 119 vehicles
Consolidated package: $951 million for 119 vehicles (cut due to delay in mobile gun system)
Future Combat Systems
Administration request: $3.2 billion R&D, $331 million procurement, $3.5 billion total
Consolidated package: $3.4 billion R&D, $222 million procurement, $3.6 billion total (procurement funding cut due to delay of hardware spin out until FY2010)
Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter
Administration request: $438.8 million for 28 copters
Consolidated package: $241.6 million for 15 copters (cut due to integration and production delays)
UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters
Administration request: $1.1 billion for 63 copters
Consolidated package: $1.1 billion for 63 copters
HMMWV High Mobility Vehicle
Administration request: $946.7 million
Consolidated package: $836 million
Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles
Administration request: $944.7 million
Consolidated package: $444.7 million (cut due to funding already being provided in FY2008 war supplemental and production backlog)
Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles
Administration request: $923.3 million
Consolidated package: $924.1 million
KEY POLICY PROVISIONS
Ban on Pentagon Propaganda – Stipulates that no funds may be used for publicity or propaganda purposes not authorized by Congress. This language is in response to the landmark New York Times article revealing that the Pentagon operated a coordinated plan to advance favorable media messages through the use of retired military analysts ostensibly hired to present objective, independent analysis to the American public. A similar amendment passed as part of the FY2009 House Defense Authorization bill.
Prohibition on Military Training for Human Rights Violators – Prohibits the use of funds to support the training of members of foreign security forces who have engaged in gross violations of human rights.
No Permanent Bases in Iraq – Prohibits the use of funds to establish any permanent military installation or base in Iraq.
Incentives for Downblending Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) – States as U.S. policy that, if Russia agrees to additional HEU downblending after completion of the Russian HEU Agreement, Russia should be permitted to import 4 kilograms of Lowly Enriched Uranium (LEU) per calendar year for every 1 kilogram of HEU that was downblended in the preceding calendar year.
House Appropriations Committee Summary of 2009 Defense Appropriations (September 23, 2008)
Senate Appropriations Committee Summary of 2009 Defense Appropriations (September 23, 2008)
House Explanatory Statement on the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations (CR) Act of 2009 (September 23, 2008)