Special In the Budget Too

Special operations is a rare growth area in terms of both funding and manpower in the Fiscal 2015 budget request. Joint service special operations forces are slated to grow from “60,000 troops today to 69,700,” highlighting a shift to light, rapidly deployable forces, said Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale during the budget rollout on Tuesday. Special operations budgets will likewise blossom from $6.6 billion to $7.7 billion in Fiscal 2015, added Hale. Six new-build C-130Js are earmarked for delivery this year, including four HC-130J combat rescue aircraft and two MC-130J special operations Hercules. AFSOC is now also slated for several of the MC-12W intelligence aircraft Air Combat Command is divesting to the Army, according to a March 4 release. “We will continue to preserve our core capabilities while seeking innovative solutions to balance and modernize our force,” said Air Force Special Operations Command boss Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel.