The Obama Administration seeks a baseline budget of $119.6 billion for the Air Force in Fiscal 2011, plus $20.8 billion to fund the service’s share of fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This $140.4 billion request represents two percent real growth over the enacted appropriations for Air Force-specific activities in this fiscal year, said USAF budget officials. Some 63 percent of the baseline request covers the service’s day-to-day operations ($45.8 billion for operations and maintenance and $29.3 billion for military personnel), while 20 percent ($24.2 billion) goes towards procurement, 15 percent ($18.2 billion) for research and development, and two percent ($2.2 billion) for military construction. The combined baseline/war spending proposal seeks 97 manned and 52 unmanned aircraft. The baseline request buys two satellites and supports development of the KC-X tanker, new utility helicopter, and future long-range strike capabilities. It supports an active duty force of 332,200. Continue
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.