March Madness: DoD Budget Request Unveiled for FY15
The President of the United States unveiled Tuesday his $495.6 billion Defense Department budget request for fiscal year 2015. Overall, the president’s request includes more than $23.4 billion in base funding for National Guard personnel, operation and maintenance and military construction accounts. This represents a $1.8 billion decrease from the fiscal 2014 request.
In addition to cuts to National Guard accounts, the budget request calls for the divestiture of several major Army Guard and Air Guard platforms.
Below are significant highlights of the DoD request as they relate to the National Guard.
Army National Guard
- End strength for FY15: 350,200, down 4,000 from FY14
- Transfer of all ARNG AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the active component
- Divestiture of all ARNG OH-58 Kiowa Warrior Scout Helicopters
- ARNG military construction account funded at $127 million, a more than 50 percent reduction from the FY14 appropriation
- Procurement of 25 UH-60 Model M Black Hawks
Air National Guard
- End strength for FY15: 105,000, down 400 from FY14
- Divestiture of all A-10 Thunderbolt IIs over five years
- No funding for C-130 avionics modernization
- $739.1 million in procurement funds for F-15 modifications (across all components)
- Reduction of C-130H aircraft inventory to 318
- Provides for a JSTARS and Combat Rescue Helicopter recapitalization plan
The Air Force plans to remove nearly 500 aircraft over the next five years to make room for top procurement priorities and sustainment of multi-year contracts
If sequestration caps are not overturned for fiscal 2016, the Air Force forecasts it will retire an additional 80 aircraft, to include the KC-10, delay modernization efforts and scale back top recapitalization programs for the KC-46 tanker, F-35 and Long-Range Bomber.
Personnel Benefits and Compensation
- A 1 percent across-the-board pay increase for service members for FY15-17, followed by an increase to 1.5 percent in FY18 and 1.8 percent in FY19
- A 6 percent reduction in basic allowance for housing across all services. Service members will see no immediate decrease in payment as the reductions will take place over several years
- Elimination of commissary subsidies for most domestic bases, resulting in a 20 percent price rise
- Consolidation of TRICARE Prime, Standard and Extra plans. A participation fee would be implemented, increases co-pays for pharmaceuticals and catastrophic caps (excludes active duty personnel, medically retired and survivors of service members who died on active duty)
Most personnel and compensation changes are scheduled to take effect over the course of several years. Many of these decisions may take place after the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission reveals its findings next year.
As highlighted by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the months leading up to the budget release, compensation and entitlements reform remains a major priority for the Defense Department and all options remain on the table.
Additional information on detailed ARNG and ANG force structure changes, funding for the National Guard State Partnership and Counterdrug programs are expected to be released on Monday. All end strength changes will take effect Oct. 1.
For detailed analysis of the fiscal 2015 DoD budget request, click here.
Stay tuned to the NGAUS website for additional analysis and commentary as more information becomes available.