This bill would provide $575.7 billion in funding the Dept. of Defense (DOD) to spend in fiscal year 2017. The base DOD budget would be set at $517.1 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $3 billion more than the previous fiscal year and $587 million less than the president’s budget request. A total of $58.6 billion would be set aside for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), about $16 billion of which would be used to meet needs within the base Pentagon budget. The following is a breakdown of the areas of the military that would be receiving funding from this very, very long bill:
Operations and Maintenance
$209.2 billion — including $179.3 billion for base requirements and $30 billion for OCO/GWOT requirements — would be set aside for operations and maintenance. Funding for base requirements is $8 billion above the president’s request and $11.8 billion more than the year prior. In general, this funding supports readiness programs to prepare American troops for combat and peacetime missions, including flight time and battle training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations.
Military Personnel and Pay
$132.6 billion would provide for 1,310,615 active-duty troops and 826,200 Guard and reserve troops. Of the total, $130.4 billion would go to base requirements and the remaining $2.2 billion to OCO/GWOT funding. This legislation would deny the troop reductions requested by the White House and add 28,715 active forces and 25,000 reserves above the administration’s request. The authorized 2.1 percent pay raise for the military would be fully-funded, instead of 1.6 percent as requested by the president.
Equipment and Procurement
A total of $120.8 billion would be spent purchasing and upgrading equipment, of which $9.4 billion would go toward OCO/GWOT requirements. This funding exceeds the president’s budget request by $9.6 billion, and would be $644 million more than provided to the DOD in the previous fiscal year. In general, this section supports the readiness of the military by providing for needed platforms, weapons and other equipment needed to train and maintain the force while conducting successful operations.
Research and Development
$70.8 billion would be used for research, development, testing, and evaluation of new defense technologies — $334 million of which would be to fulfill OCO/GWOT requirements. This total represents a $664 million increase from fiscal year 2016.
Among the defense projects funded by this section are the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the new Air Force bomber program, the Ohio-class submarine replacement, a next-generation JSTARS aircraft, the MQ-4 Triton drone, Stryker lethality, cooperative programs with Israel and other programs.
Overseas Contingency Operations / Global War on Terrorism
A total of $58.6 billion would be made available in OCO/GWOT funding, that would generally be spent on operations in the field to fight ongoing threats. This money would be spent on funding personnel requirements, operational needs, replacing equipment destroyed in combat, making combat vehicles safer, maintenance facilities, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets. Additionally, some support to U.S. allies such as Israel, Ukraine, and Jordan is funded under this section.
$43 billion would support OCO/GWOT operations through April 2017, funding that would allow the U.S. to sustain its current troop levels in Afghanistan rather than drawdown requested by the Obama administration.
Defense Health and Military Family Programs
$34 billion would be set aside for the Defense Health Program to provide care for troops, military families, and retirees. This section would receive $559 million more than it was allotted in the president’s budget request, and $1.7 billion more than provided in the previous fiscal year.
This bill would reject the Obama administration’s proposed troop reductions, and instead provide funding for the following increases in troop levels:
5,000 additional active-duty Army;
8,000 Army National Guard;
7,000 Army Reserves;
1,000 active-duty Marines.
This legislation would save money compared to the president’s budget request including:
$1.95 billion from rescinding unused prior-year funding;
$1.5 billion from lower-than-expected fuel costs;
$573 million due to favorable economic conditions, such as beneficial exchange rates for materials that are imported.