Armed Forces News

Staff Sgt. AJ Massa, 6th Civil Engineer Squadron, uses his phone to take a photo of an electrical box during the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warfighter Challenge at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., May 8, 2019. The Eglin AFB-based exercise provides Airmen the chance to experience EOD problem-solving scenarios and network with others in the career field to help improve the mission. Massa and his team are from MacDill AFB, Fla. (Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

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.

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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.