The Defense Department on Monday forwarded a $585.3 billion budget for Fiscal 2016 to Congress, of which $50.9 billion is funding for overseas contingency operations. At a Pentagon press briefing, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said the budget leaves “no margin for error or strategic surprise,” and if Congress won’t enact it largely unchanged—including force structure reductions and base closings to make the rest of the bills affordable—the national defense strategy would have to change. Adm. Sandy Winnefeld, Joint Chiefs vice chairman, sitting beside Work, said reductions—especially reinstatement of sequester caps or unfunded mandates, coupled with a worsening world security situation, would make it “dicey” to continue to meet all of DOD’s commitments. The base budget is $38.2 billion higher than the recently enacted Fiscal 2015 budget, and Work said the White House acceded to these increases because modernization had been deferred in recent years. The OCO budget is 21 percent lower than the Fiscal 2015 number and Work said the goal is to get away from using OCO to fund other activities by 2020. Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord said many of the force structure changes rejected by Congress last year—like the Air Force’s retirement of the A-10—have been re-proposed with some modifications, because “we think they’re the right proposals, and we’re sticking with them.” (Work-Winnefeld transcript) ?(See DOD Fiscal 2016 budget release)
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Additional Fiscal 2016 budget documents are available at the Pentagon comptroller’s website.?