Sep 25, 2018
Defense Drumbeat

“…nine years of partisan politics, stopgap spending measures, and kicking the can down the road, have eroded our strength and encouraged our enemies.  Members of the House now have the opportunity — indeed the obligation — to support our troops by approving the same bill next week.  We have no duty that is more important than keeping faith with our troops."

-Chairman Mac Thornberry

America's Military Today:

  • Over the past 8 years we have reduced the size of the Army, Guard, and Reserve by as much as 120,000 Soldiers and eliminated 15 brigade combat teams.
  • 9 of 58 Brigade Combat Teams are "ready to fight tonight.” This number has nearly doubled since Congress began reinvesting in military readiness.
  • Funding to upgrade outdated Army equipment has been cut in half during the last several years.

What the Appropriations Bill will do: Invest $22.9 billion to get our troops ready to deploy, including:

  • $3.0 billion to repair Army equipment
  • $5.1 billion to recruit additional Soldiers
  • $14.8 billion to replace or upgrade current equipment

America's Military Today:

  • Our Air Force is smaller than it has ever been, far smaller than it needs to be to meet challenges from Russia and China.
  • The average age of Air Force aircraft is over 27 years old. The Air Force is 2,000 pilots short.  The pilots we do have are flying fewer hours than their predecessors in the 1970s when the service was considered "hollow."
  • Less than half of the Navy's aircraft are mission capable.
  • Half of Marine Corps aviation units lack the minimum number of ready basic aircraft.

What the Appropriations Bill will do: Invest $45.3 billion to get our planes back in the air, including:

  • $11.1 billion to repair or upgrade old aircraft
  • $31.9 billion to replace aircraft too old or broken to repair
  • $2.3 billion to recruit and train more airmen and aircraft mechanics

America's Military Today:

  • Serious readiness shortfalls, including insufficient time or resources to train Sailors or maintain ships, contributed a number of accidents- including the fatal collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain.
  • In some cases, Sailors have been working over 100 hours a week to keep up with training requirements and current operations.
  • Navy ships and submarines remain in port unable to sail and perform their mission due to critical maintenance that cannot be conducted due to budget cuts.

What the Appropriations Bill will do: Invest $38.2 billion to get our ships back to sea, including:

  • $12.1 billion to repair the ships we have
  • $24.1 billion to add new ships to the fleet
  • $2.0 billion to recruit and train our Sailors

America's Military Today:

  • To fund other priorities with constrained budgets, the services have been diverting funds from facilities maintenance, a risky gamble that has accelerated the failure rate of our infrastructure.
  • Estimates of the number of facilities that now meet the Pentagon's definition of "failing" have doubled in recent years.
  • Our Armed Forces are struggling with crumbling and mold-ridden barracks, hangars that have been condemned, air traffic control facilities and runways in disrepair, collapsed ceilings and contaminated water.
  • The backlog of deferred maintenance on facilities has increased from $2 billion in 1978 to $100 billion today.

What the Appropriations Bill will do: Invest $11.8 billion to repair and sustain infrastructure including barracks, hangars, roads, runways, and hospitals.

  • $11.8 billion to sustain, repair, and upgrade military infrastructure

    ***Based on FY19 appropriation Funding Levels***
115th Congress