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Trump military budget proposal aims to increase readiness
by Stephen Carlson
(UPI) May 24, 2017

President Donald Trump's 2018 federal budget proposal includes a $52.7 billion increase in funds for the military over his administration's 2017 request.

Trump is requesting $574.5 billion for the Department of Defense for 2018, in addition to another $64.6 billion requested for overseas contingency operations. The planned budget would increase the size of the U.S. military by 56,000 if it passed by Congress.

The additional funding is meant for readiness, procurement of new systems, and overseas operations and deployments, Department of Defense officials said of the proposal.

"The intent is for the 2018 budget request is to be the next step in rebuilding the U.S. armed force," John P. Roth, acting comptroller at the Department of Defense, said in a press release.

The number of total active duty members is set at 1,314,000, with the Army remaining at 476,000, while Navy strength would increase by 1,408 to 327,000, the Marine Corps would grow by 574 to 185,000 and the Air Force would grow 3,975 to 325,100. Reserve forces would also grow by 2,085 to a strength of 815,900, bringing the total size of the military to 2,129,900.

Expected pay rises are 2.1% for military and 1.9% for civilian personnel. The largest portion of the proposed bill will be directed towards maintenance and operational expenditures in the amount of $223.3 billion.

Personnel costs come to $141.6 billion with procurement expectations set at $115 billion. Research and engineering and military construction spending would be $82.7 billion and $11.9 billion respectively.

Officials have claimed the Budget Control Act of 2011 has had a serious impact on military readiness, and the current budget is meant to make up for long-term shortfalls in training, maintenance, procurement, and overall readiness.

It includes 19 Army unit training rotations along with 61 Apache attack helicopters and 41 Blackhawk utility helicopter. It accounts for increased flight time for Naval aviation. The Marine Corps would also receive increased funding for procurement, modernization and training.

Special Operations Command would be awarded a funding boost, with the bill paying for 70 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters at a cost of $10.8 billion. The budget also provides $5.5 billion for Navy procurement of 2 Virginia-class submarines, $4 billion for two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, $1.2 billion for a Littoral Combat Ship, and $4.6 billion the Ford-class carrier program.

The budget also includes funding for 2,275 joint light tactical vehicles and plans for additional base closures by 2021.

India approves new defence policy to boost local companies
New Delhi (AFP) May 24, 2017
India's cabinet on Wednesday approved a long-awaited policy to boost local manufacturing of high-tech defence equipment and cut down reliance on expensive imports. Under the new Strategic Partnership model, the government will pick Indian companies to tie up with foreign organisations to manufacture fighter jets, armoured vehicles, helicopters and submarines locally. Prime Minister Naren ... read more

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