Air Force Official
Air Force Official: Budget
Request Repositions Force
Air Force News Service.
Washington D.C. – (AFNS)
– March 5, 2014 – The Air Force’s fiscal year 2015 budget request repositions
the force to focus on future challenges and opportunities, while continuing to
recover readiness lost during sequestration in fiscal 2013, the service’s budget
director said yesterday at a Pentagon news conference.
Air Force Budget Director Maj. Gen. James F. Martin Jr.
briefs reporters on the Air Force's fiscal year 2015 budget request at the
Pentagon, March 4, 2014
“Throughout every step of the process we worked hard to make
every dollar count so we could protect the minimum capabilities for today’s
warfighting efforts, while also investing in capabilities needed to defeat
potential threats in the future,”
Maj. Gen. James F. Martin Jr. said.
The Air Force is requesting a topline budget of $109.3
billion in funding the Air Force controls, known as “Blue” funds. The budget
request supports a total force end strength of 483,000 personnel and protects
the Air Force’s top recapitalization priorities: the KC-46A Pegasus, F-35A
Lightning II and the Long Range Strike Bomber.
It divests the U-2 surveillance aircraft in favor of the
Global Hawk in support of the service’s intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance mission in fiscal 2016, and divests the single-mission A-10
Thunderbolt II in favor of multirole fighters that can better survive in
contested environments, Martin said.
The Air Force’s fiscal 2015 budget request also includes an
additional $7 billion request in the Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative
to fund additional aircraft modifications, facility repairs, training range
improvements and modernization items. Martin said if the Air Force receives the
funding, it also will accelerate recapitalization efforts by buying two
additional F-35A’s, 12 MQ-9 Reapers and 10 AC/MC/HC-130s.
The budget request meets funding levels laid out in the
Bipartisan Budget Act, but for fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2019, the president’s
plan calls for an Air Force budget $34 billion above the sequestration levels.
“The Bipartisan Budget Act has provided some relief and allowed us to begin the
road to readiness recovery,” Martin said. “But under sequestration, we would
again have to take drastic actions resulting in an Air Force that is less ready,
less capable, less viable and unable to fully execute defense strategy. That’s
why we are seeking this additional funding above the sequestration level.”
If the service is forced to return to sequestration-level
funding in fiscal 2016, the Air Force would retire the entire KC-10 Extender
tanker and Global Hawk Block 40 fleets and buy fewer F-35A’s, Martin said.
“We believe strongly that sequestration-level spending will
compromise our security,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said. “By making
these tough choices today, we will set ourselves on a path that we will be the
most ready and modernized Air Force in the world, albeit a smaller one. But we
need to remain very lethal against any of the potential adversaries that we
U.S. Air Force Fiscal 2015 Budget Request
Special Report: Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal