The Pentagon will seek additional funds to pay for continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it is still finalizing its request, spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Wednesday. Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord told Bloomberg earlier this week that the Defense Department is seeking permission from the White House to submit a $6 billion “budget amendment” to cover costs not anticipated in the budget request, including the slower withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the intensifying fight against ISIS, and new systems to defend against enemy drones. But on Wednesday, Davis said the DOD is still refining the numbers and “nothing is final until it’s final.” He said the Pentagon and Obama Administration have been working on the proposed budget amendment for some time now and will provide the request to Congress later this month. But “the ultimate goal here is to pass a budget for the federal government in its entirety and do that quickly, we hope,” he said. Lawmakers have yet to pass a Fiscal 2017 defense spending bill, and Air Force leaders have repeatedly warned a long-term continuing resolution would break, delay, or otherwise cut into numerous programs.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.