Armed Forces News

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Service members and civilian personnel would receive a 4.6-percent increase in basic pay on Jan. 1, under the Biden administration’s proposed $773 billion defense-spending bill for fiscal year 2023 (Oct. 1, 2022-Sept. 30, 2023).

Other personnel-related proposals include:

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· Fee assistance, new construction and sustainment for child-care facilities.

· A new Basic Needs Allowance, directed toward military families that need hep meeting inflation-related increases in housing and subsistence costs.

· Implementation of recommendations made by the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, at a cost of $479 million.

· Establishment of new talent-management initiatives, aimed at improving racial and gender diversity during the military career life cycle.

· Improving the Defense Department’s ability to detect, root out and stop extremism within the ranks, to be funded at $34 million.

· $1 billion for establishment of a new Red Hill Recovery Fund, to quickly mitigate health, environmental and national security needs at the Hawaii facility and the Defense Department in general. Red Hill is the site of significantly contaminated water used to supply the base, its personnel and military families with safe and potable drinking water.

· $12.2 billion for construction and family housing, with $2 billion for family housing and another $1.3 billion for medical and quality-of-life facilities.

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In total, the proposed 2023 budget represents an approximate increase of 8.1 percent over what Congress authorized for fiscal year 2022. Health care would be funded at $55.8 billion, while family support – to include commissaries, DoD Education Activity (DoDEA), youth programs, and MWR (morale, welfare and recreation) would receive $9.2 billion.

Another $56.5 billion would fund air-power programs such as the F-35, F-15EX, B-21 Raider, KC-46 tanker, and other manned and unmanned systems.

The Navy would receive $40.8 billion, to build nine battle force fleet ships. The figure also includes incremental funding for the construction of two new Ford-class aircraft carriers and two Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines.

Both the Army and Marine Corps would receive $12.6 billion to modernize combat equipment. Included are the armored multipurpose vehicles, amphibious combat vehicle, and the optionally manned fighting vehicle.

The nuclear triad would be upgraded. The $34.4 billion request would be used to bolster weapons and the nuclear command, control and communications system.

Another $7.2 billion would fund hypersonic weapons that are scheduled to be fielded son. Navy ships would receive the weapons sometime in 2025, a hypersonic missile battery would enter service sometime in fiscal year 2023, and hypersonic cruise missiles would join the inventory by fiscal 2027.

Cyberspace activities would be funded at $11.2 billion. Related projects include increasing the number of Cyber Mission Force Teams to five and putting the Zero Trust Architecture plan in to operation.

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Space operations would be funded at $27.6 billion. Initiatives include hardening satellite communications, improving detection of missile launches and global positioning satellites.

Each service would receive funding to enhance its capabilities to conduct campaigning – the concept of ensuring that international competitors’ efforts to undermine U.S. interests are thwarted. The $134.7 billion request would provide $29.4 billion to the Army, $47.4 billion to the Navy, $35.5 billion to the Air Force, $4.1 billion to the Marine Corps, and $3 billion to the Space Force. U.S Special Operations Command would receive $9.7 billion, with “other joint requirements” garnering the remaining $5.6 billion.

Several platforms – including some Navy cruisers, littoral combat ships and a landing dock, would be retired. Likewise, the Air Force would retire some A-10, E-3 Sentry, E-8 JSTARS, KC-135 and C-130H aircraft.

End strength for the total force would remain roughly unchanged at 2,122,900 active and reserve component personnel. End strength for the active-duty Army would be set at 998,500, a decline of about 3,000 from 2022 levels. The Army National Guard and Reserve would be set at 336,000 and 189,500 soldiers respectively.

The active-duty Navy’s strength would be set at 404,000, a reduction of roughly 3,000 from 2022 levels. Navy Reserve strength is set at 57,700.

The active-duty Marine Corps would rise to 210,000, up from 209,606 in 2022. Marine reserve strength is set at 33,000.

Air Force and Space Force combined strength would remain unchanged at 510,400.