HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force’s proposed $169 billion budget focuses on ‘great power competition,’ readiness, establishing Space Force

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The Department of the Air Force released a $169 billion budget proposal Feb. 10, which for the first time includes funding for the newly created U.S. Space Force while also focusing funds to help both services modernize, address threats from Russia and China, and sustain readiness.

The spending plan for fiscal year 2021 carries a $900 million increase from the previous year. But unlike 2020, funding for 2021 is apportioned differently, with $153.6 billion directed to the Air Force and $15.4 billion for the Space Force.

“Our fiscal year ‘21 budget proposal helps drive irreversible momentum as we implement the National Defense Strategy,” said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett. “The strategic advantages the Air Force and the Space Force bring to our nation are vital. This budget allows us to meet today’s national security challenges while taking important steps toward the Air and Space Forces we need in 2030.”

The 2018 National Defense Strategy is an overarching blueprint for the entire U.S. military for defending the nation and its interests. At the heart of the Department of the Air Force’s strategy for winning future conflicts is creating a resilient battle network that connects ships, ground forces, planes and satellites to fight together at speeds far surpassing any adversary. This budget provides funds for a rapid experimentation, prototyping and development effort supporting the overall Joint Staff-led initiative to connect every sensor and shooter in land, sea, air, space and cyber.

The budget proposal calls for increased investments in space as well as ensuring sufficient combat power to respond decisively to any attack against the U.S. or allies. The budget proposal also addresses what the service calls “logistics under attack,” ensuring equipment, personnel and supplies are available when and where they are needed to sustain high-tempo actions in combat operations.

Specifically, the budget calls for spending $5.8 billion to purchase 48 F-35A Lightning II aircraft. It provides $3 billion to purchase 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers and $1.4 billion for 12 F-15EX fighters.

Research and development will grow by $1.5 billion for the Air Force to a total of $26.9 billion, which includes increased investment in the burgeoning battle network – the Advanced Battle Management System – development and capability demonstrations connecting the joint force. Funding for research and development in the Space Force will grow to $10.3 billion from $9.8 billion in fiscal year 2020.

The budget carries $2.8 billion for continued development of the B-21 Raider, the next generation long-range bomber, and $1.5 billion for upgrading and modernizing the ground-based nuclear force. That figure is nearly $1 billion greater than the previous fiscal year, underscoring the priority attached to modernizing the aging ground-based nuclear deterrent.

“This budget moves us forward toward meeting the missions required under the National Defense Strategy while also providing room to innovate and build for the future,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “That’s the sweet spot we always want to hit. Like every budget, we didn’t get everything we put on the table, but we got a lot and the reason is our story resonated in terms of the force that we know we need to build to win.”

In order to strike a balance between the capabilities needed to fight today and the capabilities that the two services require for the future, the 2021 spending plan anticipates retiring some planes to free up funding for critical new equipment. The list includes 13 KC-135 Stratotankers and 16 KC-10 Extenders; 24 C-130H Hercules, 17 B-1 Lancers and 24 RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 20/30 aircraft.

The Space Force portion of the budget reflects a continuing shift to address the challenges and threats posed by potential adversaries.

“Space is now a contested domain which is why it is an imperative that we train and equip our forces to ensure freedom of action in space across all phases of conflict,” said Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond. “This budget provides the resources we need to meet those requirements and to deliver vital space capabilities to our joint and coalition forces.”

Reflecting the importance of space, the budget funds the National Security Space Launch program to ensure access to space and achieve independence from relying on launch vehicles from non-allies.

It also funds, at $2.3 billion, rapid development of Next-Gen Overhead Persistent Infrared Space and Ground systems to provide strategic missile warning.

Threaded throughout the entire budget document is a focus on people and readiness.

Funding to pay for flying hours increases in fiscal year 2021 to $6.6 billion. The budget envisions an increase in the Department’s force of active duty, Guard and Reserve by 1,500 personnel. That would bring the uniformed force to 512,100.

Since April 2018, the Air Force has increased overall readiness by 16% and increased readiness for frontline units, known as pacing squadrons, by 35%.

In response to challenges with military privatized family housing, the budget provides money to hire 218 additional on-site base housing managers to monitor project owner actions, provide quality assurance and advocacy.

The fiscal 2021 proposal also provides funds to expand resiliency resources and fund programs that promote a culture of dignity and respect, including $51 million for the True North initiative, which embeds mental health professionals, physiologists, physical therapists and religious support teams within high-risk groups of a wing.

While Department of the Air Force officials say the 2021 budget request is the result of rigorous analysis and a series of “tough but necessary choices,” it represents only the starting point for the budget process.

The proposal now goes to Congress for its consideration and what is likely to be months of deliberation, debate and revisions. Under the typical schedule, the budget for the new fiscal year must be approved and signed into law by the president by Oct. 1, 2020, when the new fiscal year begins.

Engage

Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @147thAttackWing led an Air Force Security Forces Center beta test for a virtual platform that will streamline visito…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Teammates - sharing some more upcoming uniform changes that we were able to get after. Read about them here: https://t…
Twitter
.@HQUSAFEAFAF conducted a Combined, Joint All-Domain Command and Control demonstration around the Baltic Sea. Parti… https://t.co/9610SD4u0x
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Get ready--the final days of the @usairforce uniform transition to OCPs are upon us! Say farewell 👋 to the ABUs, as Airmen wil…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr discusses the first and second Racial Disparity Reviews. #AccelerateChange #vAWS2021https://t.co/oxWPNynxJY
Twitter
Join us in celebrating #WomensHistoryMonth. We honor the lineage of women who've served in the #AirForce since it's… https://t.co/JDgrsrCQVc
Twitter
.@cmsaf_official at #vAWS2021 on career success and #Airmen development. Read more at https://t.co/9UvbNa7IRH https://t.co/ZtRj9ohmwS
Twitter
RT @TODAYshow: .@SavannahGuthrie speaks with Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, the nation’s highest-ranking woman in uniform, about her inspiring…
Twitter
Check out the latest Air Force #WeekinPhotos! Which is your favorite? #AirPower https://t.co/NanLlsrf18 https://t.co/rAQ9FAx5zp
Twitter
RT @Creech_AFB: The 25th Attack Group began flying the first active-duty operated U.S. Air Forces in Europe MQ-9 Reaper sorties in Romania…
Twitter
As #AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth comes to a close, we continue to recognize to our trailblazers! #Trailblazershttps://t.co/zRiFYHYsgu
Twitter
Tuskegee Airman describes service, time as POW The pilot who fought Germans in WWII, was shot down, captured and s… https://t.co/z3jRqTjVqf
Twitter
#AccelerateChange "Those just can't be buzzwords" - @cmsaf_official https://t.co/7QhFgrmTRk
Twitter
MSgt Justin Bauer won #SparkTank2021! To address a shortage of C-130 wheels, he designed a heating element to fit t… https://t.co/6rrknyBj2h
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: To commemorate #BlackHistoryMonth, 33 aviators made #TeamJSTARS history as the first all-African American flight crew to…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,330,391
Follow Us