USAF Unveils Fiscal 2013 Budget Proposal

The Air Force has requested $110.1 billion in its USAF-specific baseline budget proposal for Fiscal 2013 and another $14.3 billion in overseas contingency funds, according to service budget officials. When factoring the additional $29.9 billion that falls under Air Force...

DOD’s New Budget Request from the Top Down

The Defense Department's $614 billion budget request for Fiscal 2013 is some $32 billion less (with rounding) than the $646 billion Congress appropriated for the Pentagon in Fiscal 2012. Of the $614 billion, DOD seeks $272.7 billion for operation and maintenance activities ($11.2 billion less than in Fiscal 2012); $149.2 billion for military personnel ($3.9 billion less); $108.5 billion for procurement ($12.1 billion less); $69.7 billion for research, development, test, and evaluation ($2.2 billion less); $9.6 billion for military construction ($1.8 billion less); $2.6 billion for revolving and management funds ($447 million less); and $1.65 billion for family housing ($32 million less). (DOD Fiscal 2013 budget request overview; caution, large-sized file.)

Happy B-Day!

It’s budget-release day. The Obama Administration on Monday morning will submit its $614 billion defense spending request for Fiscal 2013 to Congress. The Defense Department’s embargo on publicly releasing the budget details is scheduled to lift by noon East Coast...

RPAs Here to Stay

Remotely piloted aircraft have “a permanent place in our Air Force,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. However, they won’t be capable of undertaking the whole of the tactical mission “in the near term” and probably not for 20...

Modernized Tacair Critical to Forward Presence

US fifth generation fighters are key to the United States' ability to operate in denied environments to ensure US national interests in the Pacific and those of its allies in the region, said Adm. Samuel Locklear, nominee to lead US Pacific Command. The F-22 and F-35 are "critical to our ability at this point in time to stay forward," he said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his Feb. 9 nomination hearing. "As any other nation or nations pursue anti-access, area-denial capabilities, . . . it's critical that we do a couple of things," said Locklear, when asked about advances in Chinese and Russian fighter technology, such as the J-20. They include understanding what other nations are investing in and building as well as bringing on new capabilities to address those potential threats, he said. "Any slowdown of that forces the combatant commanders to have to take additional risk in their planning as we look forward," said Locklear. He noted that the F-35 will be a "great addition" to the tactical portfolio. (Locklear's responses to advance questions.)

Establishing Rule of Law Critical to South China Sea

Dealing with the various territorial claims and disputes surrounding China and its neighbors in the South China Sea will be a persistent challenge for the United States and its security partnerships in the Pacific, Adm. Samuel Locklear told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Therefore, for US interests, it is crucial to establish a security environment in the region that allows for discussions through international law and multilateral venues, Locklear told the senators during his nomination hearing to lead US Pacific Command, succeeding Adm. Robert Willard. The proper course would be to allow a venue to reach determinations through international law, said Locklear in his Feb. 9 testimony. The United States has yet to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea treaty, leaving room for a perceived credibility gap, he noted. "If we are not a signatory, to some degree it lessens our credibility," as we work with nations of the region to resolve disputes, said Locklear, who currently commands US Naval Forces Europe and led Navy forces during 2011's Libya campaign. (Locklear's responses to advance questions.)

A Serious Proposal?

Although the Pentagon is expected to ask Congress to authorize another round of BRAC in Fiscal 2013, it’s not likely that the Fiscal 2013 defense budget proposal released on Monday will include funding for it, said Todd Harrison, a senior...

Coping with the Aussies

For the first time, Royal Australian Air Force units are participating in the annual Cope North exercise between Pacific Air Forces and the Japan Air Self Defense Force at Andersen AFB, Guam. Tri-national air combat training with F-16 aggressors from...

A Snappier Synapse

Remotely piloted aircraft are more responsive in flight thanks to a new ground data terminal installed at Air Combat Command’s RPA schoolhouse at Holloman AFB, N.M. The GDT “sends a signal to and from the ground control station and is...

Another C-5 Undergoes Major Upgrade

Lockheed Martin inducted the 11th C-5 Galaxy into its modification line for enhancement to the C-5M Super Galaxy configuration, announced the company. At its facility in Marietta, Ga., Lockheed Martin will swap the aircraft’s engines out for more efficient commercial-type...

Defense Department Updating Nutritional Standards

During a visit to Little Rock AFB, Ark., First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the Defense Department is updating its nutritional standards for the first time in 20 years. The revised standards will “include more fresh fruits and vegetables, more...