In addition to addressing threats posed by Russia, China and elsewhere, the highest-ranking Air Force and Space Force civilians and officers told lawmakers that their budget requests for fiscal year 2021 would address significant personnel issues.
The $173.7 billion request includes $156.3 for the Air Force and $17.4 billion for the Space Force – a 3-percent increase over 2021 spending levels. Its approval would help “rid our ranks of any corrosive elements and injustices that degrade our ability to provide a lethal, ready force,” Air Force Secretary John P. Roth told members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees during hearings held June 16 and 17.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond joined Roth at the hearings.
The budget request includes funding to address sexual assault, suicide, and the “disparate treatment of airmen and guardians,” to include $6 million for diversity and inclusion initiatives such as training and recruiting scholarships.