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Major Boost In Operations And Maintenance Funds In U.S. Defense Budget Request

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The operations and maintenance funds will receive a major boost in the president's fiscal year 2019 defense budget request as part of a strategy that stresses restoring and rebuilding America's military. 

President Donald Trump Monday released his fiscal year 2019 budget request, which calls for $686.1 billion in defense spending.

Although it is a figure near historic lows, it will reverse years of military erosion, according to Defense Department Comptroller and Chief Financial Officer David Norquist.

The base budget is set for $617 billion and the overseas contingency operations fund is set for $69 billion. Overall, the request is 3.1 percent of GDP.

The budget also calls for a 2.6 percent raise for service members. There is no raise in the budget for civilian employees.

The budget builds on the bipartisan budget act passed last week. "We are appreciative of Congress raising the caps and ending the destructive effects of sequestration-level funding," Norquist said during a news conference at the Pentagon jointly addressed by Gen. Anthony Ierardi, the Joint Staff's director of force structure, resources and assessment.

Overall, the budget calls for an increase of 25,900 military personnel by the end of fiscal year 2019.

The Army will receive $143,314,452, the Navy will get $179,065,809, the Air Force will receive $169,767,948 and DoD agencies will receive $104,925,839.

Departmentwide operations and maintenance will receive $15.3 billion more than in fiscal 2018.

Procurement gets the biggest increase of $24 billion, and research and development funds increase by $18 billion to $90.6 billion. The research and development funds will examine new technologies, making space assets more resilient, directed energy weapons and artificial intelligence.

Military personnel funds will receive $12.2 billion more.

Among the new equipment coming into the military are 77 new F-35 Lightning fighters, 60 new AH-64 Apache helicopters, 15 new KC-46 Pegasus tanker aircraft, 10 new P-8 Poseidon aircraft, and a myriad of space and cyber capabilities.

10 new ships will be added to the fleet.

The budget begins the process of modernizing the nuclear triad with $2.3 billion dedicated to the Air Force's B-21 bomber, $3.7 billion to the Columbia-class submarine and $300 million to the ground-based strategic deterrent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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