House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday detailed a bipartisan two-year budget compromise that places more money in the Defense Department’s base budget, rather than padding the overseas contingency operations fund, and provides more certainty for budgeters and planners. Speaking to members of the House Republican Caucus, Boehner said the agreement adjusts overall spending caps by $80 billion for two years, including $50 billion in Fiscal 2016 and $30 billion in Fiscal 2017. The overall discretionary budget would be $1.067 trillion in Fiscal 2016 and $1.07? trillion in Fiscal 2017, he added. For defense, the Fiscal 2016 discretionary budget would be $548.1 billion, a $25 billion increase over Budget Control Act caps, Boehner told Republicans. “This measure would strengthen our national security, and would bring greater certainty to the Pentagon and our troops who are fighting in harm’s way,” said Boehner. “This will allow … the department to plan and execute critical functions related to readiness of our military, including training, which is a key priority of mine, and I know for many of you.” The leaders of 12 defense associations, including the Air Force Association, sent a letter to House and Senate leaders on Oct. 26 urging them to pass a budget deal that lifts sequester caps and avoids another long-term continuing resolution, which would be devastating to military readiness. The House will vote on the measure on Wednesday. (White House statement on budget agreement.)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.