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Obama proposes $526.6B defense budget

April 10, 2013 at 1:52 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama's 2014 budget would provide $526.6 billion for U.S. Defense Department's base funding, down $3.9 billion from the amount enacted in 2012.

"The budget continues to pursue strategic priorities that reflect our nation's renewed commitment to our historical role in the Asia-Pacific region," the document, released Wednesday, said. "It also targets resources toward other strategic priorities such as increasing our ability to effectively navigate the security challenges and opportunities of cyberspace, continuing to focus funding on research and development and combating terrorism."

The Overseas Contingency Operations funds will still support the "incremental costs" of operations in Afghanistan as well as other activities that primarily support Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq.

Because final decisions have not been made about the pace of the drawdown of U.S. combat troops in Afghanistan, the budget includes a "placeholder" for the Overseas Contingency Operations for 2014 that is equivalent to the amount provided in the Obama's 2013 Budget.

"The administration continues to propose a multiyear cap that limits government-wide OCO funding to $450 billion over the 2013 to 2021 period," the document said.

Obama's budget would include $176.2 billion for operations, training and supporting activities for military personnel.

It requests authorization for another round of base realignment and closures in 2015, noting the actual closing of any facilities would involve a multiyear process that wouldn't begin before 2016.

The budget request calls for expanding cyber forces led by the U.S. Cyber Command and increasing funding for cybersecurity information-sharing.

It budget provides $166.8 billion to develop and buy weapons, including $8.4 billion for the F-35 Lightning II (the Joint Strike Fighter) aircraft program and $5.4 billion for the Virginia class submarine.

In keeping with the administration's commitment to reducing the number and role of nuclear weapons, and to support goals of the Nuclear Posture Review as the United States and Russia implement the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the budget proposed $12 billion for strategic offensive forces, $600 million less than the 2012 enacted level.

Funding of $8.5 billion is included to ensure "consistent and effective" programs and services for service members and their families.

The budget provides $49.4 billion for the Pentagon's Unified Medical Budget that supports the military health system.

For calendar year 2014, the budget provides a 1 percent increase to basic pay, a 4.2 percent increase in its basic housing allowance and 3.4 percent increase in its basic subsistence allowance.

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