Trump seeks $30B more in fiscal 2017 to rebuild military, fight ISIS
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Trump seeks $30B more in fiscal 2017 to rebuild military
WASHINGTON -- In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan Thursday, President
Donald J. Trump asked for another $30 billion for the Defense Department in
this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, to rebuild the armed forces and accelerate
the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The fiscal 2017 budget amendment provides $24.9 billion in base funds for
urgent warfighting readiness needs and to begin a sustained effort to rebuild
the armed forces, according to the president's letter.

"The request seeks to address critical budget shortfalls in personnel, training,
maintenance, equipment, munitions, modernization and infrastructure
investment. It represents a critical first step in investing in a larger, more ready
and more capable military force," Trump wrote.

The request includes $5.1 billion in overseas contingency operations funds so
the department can accelerate the campaign to defeat ISIS and support
Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan, he said, noting that the request
would enable DOD to pursue a comprehensive strategy to end the threat ISIS
poses to the United States.

CONTINUING RESOLUTION

At the Pentagon Thursday afternoon, senior defense officials briefed reporters
on the on the fiscal 2017 budget amendment. The speakers were John P. Roth,
performing the duties of undersecretary of defense (comptroller), and Army Lt.
Gen. Anthony R. Ierardi, director of force structure, resources and assessment
on the Joint Staff.

"Our request to Congress is that they pass a full-year defense appropriations
bill," and that the bill includes the additional $30 billion, Roth said. "We are
now approaching the end of our sixth month under a continuing resolution,"
he added, "one of the longest periods that we have ever been under a
continuing resolution."

Under a continuing resolution, the department has to operate under a fiscal
2016 mandate, creating a large mismatch between operations funds and
procurement funds, Roth explained. The department can't spend procurement
dollars because there's a restriction on new starts and on increasing production,
he said, "but we have crying needs in terms of training, readiness, maintenance
... and in the operation and maintenance account."

The continuing resolution expires April 28, "so before then, we would want a
full appropriation and, of course, a full appropriation with this additional $30
billion," he said.

THE NEXT CHALLENGE

Roth said much of the money in the fiscal 2017 request is funding for operations
and maintenance.

"We're asking for additional equipment maintenance funding, additional
facilities maintenance, spare parts, additional training events, peacetime flying
hours, ship operations, munitions and those kinds of things," he told reporters.
"This is the essence of what keeps this department running on a day-to-day
basis. "It keeps us up and allows us to get ready for whatever the next
challenge is."

The officials said full support from Congress is key to improving warfighter
readiness, providing the most capable modern force, and increasing the 2011
Budget Control Act funding cap for defense.

See also
2017 Military Budget
Trump seeks $30B more in fiscal 2017 to rebuild military
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