WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has submitted its reprogramming request to Congress, with roughly $2.6 billion in funding shifts targeted.
In broad strokes, the reprogramming features the following pots of money:
- $1.174 billion in fiscal 2016 appropriations
- $54.8 million in fiscal 2016 Ooverseas Ccontingency operation (OCO) fund
- $583 million from the Defense Working Capitol Fund towards Ooperations and Mmaintenance requirements
- $155 million among various fiscal 2015 appropriations
- $499 million in fiscal 2015 OCO funding
- $128 million among various fiscal 2014 appropriations
Inside the fiscal 2016 increases, the Army gets a boost of $267 million. Included in that is $21 million in funding for testing and procurement on the Hellfire Longbow L7A missile and $1 million for the an engineering study for the Enhanced Heavy Equipment Transporter System (E-HETS), but the majority of the funding goes to support for the service's Long Haul Communications program.
That funding has to come from somewhere, and for the Army, it's primarily by dropping $207.5 million from personnel costs. Much of that savings comes from lower-than-budgeted Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) average costs.
As with the Army, the Navy found significant savings on personnel this year, freeing up $85.3 million. The Navy also freed up $40 million for F-18 funding due to a delay in the FY 2016 contract award for Infrared Search and Track (IRST) low rate initial production 2 (LRIP 2) contracts.
The US Air Force gained $273 million, including $10 million to support the aging UH-1N helicopter fleets, $7 million to support maintainenance at ICBM sites, and $6 million for the Space Mission Forces initiative, which seeks to improve the training and organization of airmen focused on the space domain. It also requests $10 million in a new start effort to procure the PGU-48/B weapon for the F-35A joint strike fighter, a sign that the long-delayed jet is close to going operational. The Air Force expects that funding stream to include $4 million each in its fiscal 2018 and 2019 budget requests.
Roughly $54 million is being sought to increase research and development efforts for the Air Force, including $23.9 million to keep the Air Force's next-generation fighter program, referred to as "Next Generation Air Dominance" by the service, on schedule to support a 2017 milestone.
The funding is needed to keep "identifying and/or eliminating candidate technologies early in the analysis process to ensure more effective use of planned air superiority investment, and to ensure the Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) incorporates an accurate capability picture. If funds are not received, [Next-Generation Air Dominance] activities will not be able to remain on schedule to support the FY 2017 [Material Development Decision]," according to the reprogramming note.
For the Air Force, the reprogramming shifts around $86 million in delayed aircraft procurement and maintenance, largely due to overperforming systems not needing as much work as expected.
Roughly $3 million was saved because of delays to the Guardian Angel Air-Deployable Rescue Vehicles (GAARV) program, due to "suitability issues found during testing. The fielding decision has been pushed to the 4th quarter of FY 2017 to allow time to resolve these issues."
Intriguingly, the reprograming includes a plus up of $9.2 million for procurement on a classified Air Force program. Another $9 million are reprogramed under the research and development heading. The Navy also shifted $20 million from a classified program marked as "LINK PLUMERIA."
Christopher P. Cavas in Washington contributed to this report.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.