The two-year budget deal is good for the Defense Department, the Pentagon comptroller said Monday. Mike McCord, the DOD’s chief financial officer, called the deal “a hopeful sign of a return to more problem solving and less brinksmanship.” With the deal, DOD will get some “rough stability” on the topline budget, McCord said in a presentation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. “I think we were right to hold out for a deal,” he said. Still, McCord noted, the key driver of the defense budget over the past few years has been Budget Control Act caps, rather than world events. Looking beyond Fiscal 2017, the Pentagon needs to focus on balance, building the force of the future, investing in innovation, modernizing nuclear deterrence in the 2020s and 2030s, and operating in contested space and cyberspace, he said. “Secretary Carter of course is focused on getting things done today, but he’s even more so on building for tomorrow,” McCord said.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.