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Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on the President’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget
“The FY 2024 budget is the most strategy-driven request we’ve ever produced from the Department of Defense. And as our National Defense Strategy makes clear, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is our pacing challenge. This budget seeks to meet this critical challenge today, tomorrow, and into the future by providing the resources today to continue to implement our National Defense Strategy and keep our nation safe while delivering a combat credible Joint Force that is the most lethal, resilient, agile, and responsive in the world.
As the PRC races to modernize its military, this budget will sharpen our edge by making critical investments across all timeframes, theaters, and domains. Among numerous important actions that bolster our combat credibility in the short term, this budget makes the Department’s largest-ever investments in readiness and procurement – and our largest investment in research and development.
To sustain our military advantage over China, it makes major investments in integrated air and missile defenses and operational energy efficiency, as well as in our air dominance, our maritime dominance, and in munitions, including hypersonics. This budget includes the largest ever request for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which we are using to invest in advanced capabilities, new operational concepts, and more resilient force posture in the Indo-Pacific region. It also enables groundbreaking posture initiatives in Guam, Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Japan, and Australia.
We are also investing in resiliency in key parts of the defense supply chain to ensure stability in the industrial base’s ability to produce what the Joint Force needs. That includes working closely with Congress to secure multi-year procurement authorities—and allow us to meet the needs of tomorrow. And this year’s budget also increases funding to continue modernizing all three legs of our nuclear triad to maintain a safe, secure, and effective strategic deterrent against advanced and persistent threats around the world.
The United States has the strongest military in the world because we have the best team in the world. And we owe it to the brave men and women who serve to take care of our people and their families. So this budget includes the largest military and civilian pay raise in decades, and it builds on progress we’ve already made to make life a little easier by lowering every day costs, including by reducing the cost of goods in the commissary and making childcare more accessible and affordable.
As the Secretary of Defense, my priority will always be to ensure that our forces are ready and resilient, and that our military remains the world’s preeminent fighting force, today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. I look forward to working with Congress to support the President’s request.”
On March 9, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration submitted to Congress a proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Budget request of $842 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD), an increase of $26 billion over FY 2023 levels and $100 billion more than FY 2022. The FY 2024 Defense Budget is driven by strategy and provides us with the capabilities and investments to advance the Secretary’s three key priorities: defending the nation, taking care of our people, and succeeding through teamwork.
To achieve these priorities, this budget request links strategy to resources to continue executing our 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS), which aligns with the President’s National Security Strategy. These guiding documents determine the vision and direction of the Department of Defense in what the President has called the “decisive decade.” The NDS outlines the Department’s defense and security priorities:
- Defending the homeland, paced to the growing multi-domain threat posed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
- Deterring strategic attacks against the United States, our allies, and our partners.
- Deterring aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary – prioritizing the PRC challenge in the Indo-Pacific region, then the Russia challenge in Europe.
- Building a resilient joint force and defense ecosystem.
The NDS positions the U.S. military to meet growing threats through integrated deterrence, campaigning, and taking actions that build enduring advantages. The FY 2024 DoD budget request of $842 billion enables the Department to successfully advance these defense and security goals by purposefully aligning resources to best position our warfighters, allies, and partners for success.
The FY 2024 President’s Budget allows the DoD to invest in capabilities that will ensure we maintain a ready, lethal, and combat-credible joint force with a laser focus on China as the Department’s pacing challenge and addressing the acute threat posed by Russia. The budget makes critical investments to revitalize the defense industrial base, drive innovation, and take care of our people. The FY 2024 budget request once again includes a record investment in research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) of $145 billion. This budget also funds $170 billion for procurement, the largest in history. Combined, these investments will ensure combat-credible forces across all domains.
Secretary Austin has called deterrence the “cornerstone of defense.” In FY 2024, the DoD supports the concept of Integrated Deterrence by ensuring combat-credible forces and a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent. Investments across all domains include:
- $61.1 billion for air power to continue developing, modernizing, and procuring lethal air forces, including a focus on fighters, including F-22, F-35, F-15EX; the B-21 bomber, mobility aircraft, including KC-46A; specialized support aircraft; and unmanned aircraft systems.
- $48.1 billion for sea power including new construction of nine battle force fleet ships and continued funding for the incremental construction of Ford class nuclear powered aircraft carriers and Columbia ballistic missile submarines.
- $13.9 billion for land power supporting modernization of Army and Marine Corps combat equipment: Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, Amphibious Combat Vehicle, and Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle.
- $37.7 billion for Nuclear Enterprise Modernization, including:
- Continued development and procurement of the B-21 program – $5.3 billion.
- Production of the second Columbia ballistic missile submarine – $6.2 billion.
- First year advance procurement funding for the LGM-35A Sentinel program.
- Development efforts supporting nuclear command, control, and communications systems.
- $29.8 billion to enhance Missile Defeat and Defense, including:
- Development of the Next Generation Interceptor for Ground-Based Midcourse Defense, and extending the service life of the current interceptor fleet.
- Increased investments in regional missile defense network with Patriot Missiles, a Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, additional Short-Range Air Defense Battalions, and hypersonic weaponry and defenses.
- Development of a resilient overhead persistent infrared capability in low earth orbit and medium earth orbit, and continuing to field the Next Generation Polar program.
- Integration of the THAAD Battery capability into the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System planning process, and continuing development of the eighth THAAD Battery.
- Advanced innovation technologies and demonstrations, including those involving cyber operations and hypersonic strike capabilities.
- Defense of Guam against the missile threat from China – $1.5 billion.
- $11.0 billion to deliver a mix of highly lethal precision weapons. Investments include:
- Continued development, testing, and procurement of hypersonic missiles and other long-range fires.
- Extensive hypersonic prototyping efforts.
- Procurement of 24 hypersonic missiles.
- Maximizing Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, and Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile, and Standard Missile 6 capacity through multi-year procurements.
- $33.3 billion in vital space capabilities, resilient architectures, and enhanced space command and control. Investments include:
- Development of new proliferated resilient missile warning / missile tracking architectures, Next-Gen Overhead Persistent Infrared space and associated ground architectures – $5.0 billion.
- Position, navigation, and timing for GPS III Follow-On satellite support and Next-Generation Operational Control System development – $1.3 billion.
- 15 launch vehicles and launch range upgrades – $3.0 billion.
- Protected Tactical, Wideband, and Narrowband robust secure/survivable/jam-resistant capabilities, and Space Development Agency proliferated Low Earth Orbit Transport Layer development – $4.7 billion.
The budget prioritizes ongoing force readiness, ensuring the urgent competing demands of the present are carefully balanced with preparing for the future. The Department’s FY 2024 budget continues to prioritize joint force readiness, investing $146.0 billion to strategically build and maintain warfighting forces and capabilities. Investments to fund a high level of force readiness include:
- Army readiness – $28.8 billion.
- Navy readiness – $52.8 billion.
- Marine Corps readiness – $4.4 billion.
- Air Force readiness – $39.9 billion.
- Space Force readiness – $3.3 billion.
- U.S. Special Operations Command readiness – $9.7 billion.
- Joint Capabilities – $7.1 billion.
The FY 2024 budget includes $9.1 billion in support of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI), a 40 percent increase from FY 2023. The effort includes resilient and distributed air basing, new missile warning and tracking architecture, construction to enable enhanced posture, funding for defense of Guam and Hawaii, and multinational information sharing, training, and experimentation.
In Europe, the FY 2024 budget allows the Department to continue to counter Russian aggression against NATO allies and partners. Investments include:
- European Deterrence Initiative – $3.6 billion.
- NATO Military Contribution – $601.0 million.
- NATO Security Investment Program – $293.0 million.
- Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative – $300.0 million.
Building Enduring Advantages
As highlighted in both the NSS and NDS, the Department’s people are its most valuable asset. The DoD aims to support its all-volunteer military and civilian workforce by focusing on economic stabilization and supporting families. Investments to Take Care of People include:
- 5.2 percent pay increase for military and civilian personnel, the highest pay raise in over 20 years for our military and over 40 years for our civilians.
- $193.0 million to ease military moves, through enhancements for lodging expenses and dislocation allowances.
- Over $212.0 million in additional funding for commissaries to ensure our service members have food savings of over 25 percent compared to the local marketplace.
- $33.0 million to standardize a 50 percent childcare employee discount for the first child of our child development program direct-care workers.
- $90.4 million to expand full-day pre-kindergarten at DoD Education Activity schools for eligible dependents.
- $1.9 billion to support family housing to provide safe and quality residences to service members and their families.
- $209 million to provide full spectrum support for suicide prevention, including counseling services for at-risk Service members as well as efforts to reduce stigma and barriers to “seeking help.”
- Currently assessing over 120 recommendations made by the Suicide Prevention & Response Independent Review Committee
- The Department is investing in Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, including $637 million for the continued implementation of the 82 recommendations made by the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military as approved and funding for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Education and Training Center of Excellence.
The FY 2024 budget continues the DoD’s progress to modernize and innovate, including $145.0 billion in RDT&E, a 4.0 percent increase over the FY 2023 enacted level. Investments include:
- Science and Technology – $17.8 billion.
- Artificial Intelligence – $1.8 billion.
- Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve – $687.0 million.
- Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) – $1.4 billion to transform warfighting capability by delivering information advantage at the speed of relevance across all domains and partners.
- Office of Strategic Capital, established to enable the Department to attract and scale private capital in our most critical technologies – $115.0 million.
The FY 2024 budget request includes $30.6 billion for munitions, an increase of $5.8 billion above last year’s request, for both conventional ammunition and Precision Guided Munitions, including:
- Ammunition – $5.6 billion.
- Tactical Missiles – $17.3 billion.
- Strategic Missiles – $7.3 billion.
- Technology Development – $600.0 million.
- Munitions Industrial Base over $1.0 billion.
This budget leverages unprecedented use of multi-year procurement (MYP) authorities provided by Congress to deliver critical munitions affordably, while bolstering our inventories and providing a more predictable demand signal to the industry. This strategy will facilitate industrial production efficiencies because the industry would be incentivized to organize in a more cost-effective manner. MYPs in the FY 2024 budget request include:
- Naval Strike Missile.
- RIM-174 Standard Missile.
- Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile.
- Long Range Anti-Ship Missile.
- Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range.
The FY 2024 budget request invests $5.1 billion to increase resilience of military bases and the critical capabilities housed there against threats like extreme weather and cyber-attacks. Also, the budget invests in improving the fuel efficiency of DoD operational platforms, enhancing capability, mitigating logistics risk, and making our forces more agile, and survivable in this complex and changing environment. Some investments include:
- $3.7 billion for Installation Resilience and Adaptation, including cyber-secure microgrids with backup power and battery storage, and electrical transmission and distribution improvements.
- $271 million for Army to modernize next-generation combat vehicles with silent watch and mobility, increased operational duration and more on-board electrical power.
- $84 million for prototyping new platforms like blended wing body aircraft that targets a 30% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency to increase range and payload.
Continuing to build on prior investments, the FY 2024 budget includes $19.2 billion for Facilities Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization and $16.7 billion in Construction and Family Housing programs supporting our people, enhancing deterrence, and improving critical operational infrastructure. Investments include:
- Facilities that support readiness improvements – $4.6 billion.
- Projects advancing the European Deterrence Initiative, Pacific Deterrence Initiative, and the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program – $2.4 billion.
- Critical naval infrastructure improvements through the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program – $2.3 billion.
- Family housing – $1.9 billion.
- Construction of quality-of-life and medical facilities – $1.5 billion.
The Department is committed to acting as responsible stewards of taxpayer funds. In October 2022, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks established and initiated implementation of the Defense Management Performance Improvement (PI) Framework to define, identify, track and report on measures critical to realize the DoD’s Strategic Management Plan. These efforts enable the Department to modernize capabilities and better meet NDS priorities. Key areas of the PI include:
- Enabling Future Capabilities Transition – Strategically divesting vulnerable platforms and systems that can no longer be affordably modernized or maintained to enable the transition to a more modern and capable force.
- Continuous Process Improvements – Enhancing management practices, streamlining processes, and adjusting systems within the Components’ organizational levels.
- Reforms – Larger-scale and time-bounded efforts designed to remediate structural and/or process gaps within the DoD’s existing business model.
- Transformation – Altering the DoD’s business model—often through reorganization, the creation of new entities/capabilities, and innovative management practices—to fundamentally improve how the Department functions and delivers services.
The FY 2024 Defense Budget will help position the Department to best support its people and Allies through this “decisive decade” and ensure the United States is prepared to meet the challenges of today, tomorrow and into the future.
The entire budget proposal and additional materials are available at: https://www.defense.gov/cj
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