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The Pentagon is asking for a $705 billion budget. Here is what it wants to spend that money on
As the Pentagon unveils its latest wish list, listen and you can hear the entire defense industry singing, "Hey big spender, spend a little time with me."
The Defense Department is asking for a total of $705.4 billion for fiscal 2021, slightly less than the $713 billion that Congress appropriated to the U.S. military for this fiscal year. President Donald Trump's entire national security budget request for next fiscal year is $740 billion.
- U.S. service members and Defense Department civilians would receive a 3% pay raise under the proposed budget, compared with the 3.1% raise in the current fiscal year. "If Congress approves a proposed 3.0 % increase in military basic pay, the basic pay for an E-3 under two years of service would increase by $735 per year," said Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell. "The basic pay for an E-4 with over three years of service would increase by $902 per year. The basic pay for an E-5 with over four years of service would increase by $1,041 per year."
- About $69 billion of the proposed defense spending would be part of the Pentagon's Overseas Contingency Operations budget, but only $20.5 billion would fund "direct war requirements." Another $32.5 billion would pay for overseas bases and other "enduring costs" once combat operations end, and $16 billion would fund "OCO for base requirements," an ill-defined category that has allowed the Pentagon to get around budget caps in previous years.
- The proposed budget does not include "emergency funding" for border wall construction and to repair damage to bases from natural disasters. Congress approved $8 billion in emergency funding for this fiscal year.
- The Marine Corps is expected to cut its active-duty end strength from 186,200 to 184,100. "The institutional changes and divestment decisions are based on a long-term view and on where we want the Marine Corps to be within the next five to fifteen years," Navy Department budget documents say.
- The Army is expected to finally evaluate prototypes of the the Next Generation Squad Weapon and field the Integrated Visual Augmentation System in fiscal 2021.
- The Navy plans to buy one Virginia Class submarine and two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. That is one less submarine and one less destroyer than the service had planned to buy, budget documents show. The Navy wants to have a total of 355 ships by 2030.
- The Air Force wants to buy 12 F-15EX fighters as it retires its older F-15C and F-15D fighters and makes "targeted reductions" to its fleet of B-1 bombers and MQ-9 Reapers, budget documents say. Meanwhile, the Air Force wants to modernize the A-10 fleet so it can keep flying missions.
- The Pentagon also wants to transfer $15.4 billion from the Air Force to the newly created Space Force. Of that money, nearly $10 billion would fund personnel costs. Another $1 billion would go toward building the Space Force's headquarters and field centers, which are expected to accommodate roughly 1,800 personnel by the end of fiscal 2021.
- For the nuclear triad, the Defense Department' budget request includes $1.5 billion to develop new intercontinental ballistic missiles to replace the Minuteman III nuclear missiles and another $2.3 billion on new early warning satellites.
Task & Purpose reporter Haley Britzky contributed to this story.
Some Fort Bragg paratroopers who left for the Middle East on a no-notice deployment last month came home Thursday.
About 3,500 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were sent to Kuwait beginning Jan. 1 as tensions were rising in the region. The first soldiers were in the air within 18 hours of being told to go.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Large cargo ships, small fishing boats and other watercraft sail safely past Naval Station Norfolk every day, but there's always a possibility that terrorists could use any one of them to attack the world's largest naval base.
While Navy security keeps a close eye on every vessel that passes, there's an inherent risk for the sailors aboard small patrol boats who are tasked with helping keep aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers on base safe from waterborne attacks.
So the Navy experimented Wednesday to test whether an unmanned vessel could stop a small boat threatening the base from the Elizabeth River.
Nancy Turner's modern version of keeping a candle in the window while her soldier son is away is a string of electric lights on the front porch that burn red, white and blue.
But where Turner sees patriotism and support for the troops, her Garner homeowners association sees a covenant violation and a potential $50-per-day fine.
Turner was surprised to receive a threatening email last week after an employee from Sentry Management, which manages the Sheldon Place HOA, spotted the illegal illumination during a neighborhood patrol.
"I honestly had no idea it would be a problem," Turner said.
The HOA did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent as a message through its Facebook page.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."