STAFF: Today's briefing will be 40 minutes long, with a Q&A session. Please state your name and affiliation, and I ask that you ask one question and a follow-up question until everyone's had an opportunity ask a question. And when we have time for one last question, I'll also let you know.
So it is my pleasure to introduce General Martin.
MAJOR GENERAL JAMES MARTIN: All right, well thank you.
Thanks, everybody for being here. I know it's a long afternoon, so hopefully my brief will answer most of your questions.
So as said, I'm Major General Jim Martin, the Air Force director of budget, and it's my pleasure to brief you on the Air Force's 2016 president's budget.
Over the next 25 minutes this is what we'll cover today. We'll start with the Air Force strategic framework and the guiding principles we used to build our FY '16 budget. We'll recap the impacts of sequestration and operating at reduced budget levels since 2012.
Then we'll look at the details of the FY '16 budget to include our request for overseas contingency operations or OCO funding.
Simply put, our FY '16 budget was built to support the defense strategy, and the most urgent combat and commander requirements. It's a request that's based on necessity, what we need for today's readiness in a long-term strategic framework, the capabilities we'll need in the future. It also allows us to begin the recovery from three years of operating at reduced funding levels.
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: This strategic framework is contained in the three documents that you see on the slide. These documents define who are as airmen, what we do and where we intend to go in the next 30 years. This strategic framework, along with the secretary's top three priorities, are the foundation for the FY16 budget. Next slide.
Along with the strategic framework, we use the guiding principles listed on the chart in an effort to balance resources across our five core missions. As always, our active Guard and reserve team use a deliberate process, and together, we worked hard to fund what the Air Force needs to be ready today and what we'll need in the future to stay ahead of potential high-end threats. The end result is a budget which supports the defense strategy, meets combatant commander requirements and expectations and is anchored to a 30-year plan. Next slide.
As you can see on this slide, our Air Force is fully engaged in operations around the world. In fact, demand for Air Force capabilities continues to grow. We all should be very proud of our airmen and the service they provide to our nation. In 2014, we flew almost 20,000 close air support and more than 35,000 ISR missions. Airmen launched 25 space missions, flew more than 109,000 mobility and tanker sorties and off-loaded over 172 million gallons of fuel to joint and coalition forces and our medical evacuation crews airlifted over 6,000 wounded warriors and civilians out of harm's way.
Each of these missions included active duty, Guard and reserve airmen. It was a true total force effort. Our airmen, both military and civilians, take great pride in their service and it's truly remarkable what they accomplish every day. However, we have a total force that is under strain. The Air Force is smaller, we're busier than ever and our aircraft are the oldest they've ever been.
Since last year, world conditions have changed, and the demands for airpower have increased. So we made changes to our FY16 budget request, changes that put our airmen in the best position to get the job done for our combatant commanders. However, this can only be accomplished if sequestration is repealed and our budget request is supported. Next slide.
Before we discuss FY16, I wanted to highlight the impacts of budget -- of living with budget reductions since 2012. You'll notice on the chart, in FY12, our FY16 planning number was over $10 billion higher than this year's budget request and it was $20 billion above estimated BCA funding levels. What's happened since FY12 is lost opportunity and reduced capability for our Air Force and joint partners. We all remember when sequestration hit in 2013. It imposed large immediate cuts which required drastic action to make it until the end of the fiscal year. Our readiness was severely impacted, we stood down one-third of flying units for three months. Pilots lost critical flying time needed for full spectrum readiness. Depot maintenance requirements were deferred, causing months of backlog, which decreased aircraft availability.
Critical training for nearly all career fields was deferred. Our infrastructure suffered as we limited funding for emergency repairs only, which impacted operations across all five core missions and the total force. And worst of all, we had to furlough most of our 180,000 civilian airmen for six days.
After starting FY14 in a government shutdown and planning for a second year of sequestration, we are certainly grateful for the modest short-term budget relief that Congress provided for FY14 and 15. It started the process of readiness recovery. It was a great start, but it wasn't enough.
Under the Bipartisan Budget Act, we still had to make choices, choices that were necessary to save billions needed to live within budget limitations. For example, last year, we had to take near-term risk to maintain some balance between readiness today and future modernization, so we attempted to divest and reduce fleets over time to save billions and re-invest in capabilities we need for the future. We started to draw down our military force, we deferred investments in new technologies. Modernization of our aging aircraft took a back seat in priority. And lastly, infrastructure continued to suffer.
We accepted risk in facility repairs and delayed important construction projects, which pushed the bow wave of unfunded projects to over $12 billions. These effects are being felt across the total force. For these reasons, we believe sequestration needs to be repealed so we can start the recovery from reduced funding levels.
Our FY 16 budget request allows that to happen. Next slide.
Now, you may remember a similar chart from last year's brief, and our message is fairly consistent. This chart shows what we can do at PB levels, versus what might happen if sequestration or BCA funding caps remain.
Let me draw your attention to the blue and red lines. The blue lines represent the Air Force's FY '16 PB request. The red line represents the estimated BCA levels. What's in between is potential lost capability.
As you can see in the blue box, at FY '16 PB levels, we can restore capacity to meet the most urgent needs of our combatant commanders. This includes rephasing the U-2s for more ISR capability and E-3s for more command and control.
We can restore five J-STARS aircraft, 17 F-15Cs to the Air National Guard and 24 F-15Cs at Lakenheath.
At PB levels, we can maintain flying hours at maximum executable levels and fund weapon system sustainment at capacity, to keep us on the path to readiness recovery.
We can preserve our top three modernization programs, the KC-46, F-35, and long-range strike bomber, which provide capabilities we'll need against future high-end threats.
We can continue to strengthen the nuclear enterprise. We can increase investments in space, cyber, ISR and preferred munitions.
We'll be able to address a portion of the $12 billion infrastructure bow waves. And at PB levels, we can stop the downsizing of our force and begin -- and begin right sizing to meet the strategy.
Bottom line, the FY '16 PB request can start the recovery for the Air Force we need, an Air Force that supports the defense strategy and provides capabilities combatant commanders need now and in the future.
But even at PB levels, we still had to make tough choices. We'll resubmit the request to phase-out the A-10 fleet by FY -- by 2019, to focus available funding and manpower on multi-role platforms that can perform close air support and survive in a high-end threat.
If sequestration or reduced BCA funding levels continue in FY '16, more tough choices will be required, making it impossible to meet the operational requirements of the defense strategy.
As I mentioned, the red box indicates what could happen at BCA funding levels and what's potentially at stake. The Air Force could be forced to reduce ISR capacity by 10 CAPs which is equal to the medium altitude ISR capability supporting operations in Syria and Iraq.
We will also divest the U-2 fleet, which reduces high-altitude ISR capacity by 50 percent.
We will retire the RQ4 Block 40 aircraft, which will reduce CENTCOM and PACOM intelligence collection on ground moving targets by 6,000 hours per year. This comes at a time when more ISR capacity is being requested, not less.
The KC-10 fleet will also be divested, or could also be divested, which means airpower could be late to the fight, sustaining operations would be difficult, and we lose capacity to transport people and equipment to where they are needed, especially in the Pacific.
So the bottom line, in places where we have no or fewer boots on the ground, we'll need more eyes in the sky and jets in the air.
The majority of our tactical airlift and tanker fleet reside in the Guard and Reserve. So under BCA level funding, they could absorb large flying hour cuts, further diminishing combat readiness and capacity.
We'd be forced to reduce funding in programs that support full- spectrum readiness, flying hours, weapons system sustainment, ranges, simulators, and high-end training, such as combat flag exercises.
We will have to reduce investments in capability we need -- capabilities we need to defeat future high-end threats. We'll reduce F-35 procurement by 14 aircraft as well as new technologies such as the adaptive engine.
As I mentioned, today's Air Force is the oldest, busiest and smallest it's ever been. We had the -- we had the fewest number of airmen and aircraft since our creation in 1947. and the average age of our aircraft is almost 27 years.
We simply can't afford to get smaller, as our airmen, who have volunteered to serve, continue to go into harm's way. They need to be fully trained, equipped and ready. Our airmen deserve that, and our nation expects it.
Now, let's look at the details of the '16 budget.
This is a breakout of our FY '16 budget request. You see the bar on the left represents our total Air Force budget, to include active, guard and reserve components. The top block is what we refer to as non-blue, which is the portion of the Air Force budget that is not directly under our control, but managed by other departments or agencies.
The remainder of the budget, or the Air Force blue budget, is the focus for today's brief.
In the bracketed area, you'll see the Air Force blue budget for FY '16 is $122.2 billion or roughly 23 percent of DOD's 2016 budget. Of the $122.2 billion, the Air Force blue budget, approximately $77 billion or 63 percent support day-to-day operations.
These requirements include military and civilian pay, which make up approximately 52 percent of day-to-day operating costs. Flying hours, weapons systems sustainment, and MAJCOM capability funding is approximately 40 percent. Facility requirements and installation support represent the remaining 8 percent of the total operating cost.
The gray boxes at the bottom highlight our top procurement and largest RDT&E programs. These programs total approximately $26 billion or about 60 percent of our investment accounts.
So hopefully, you can see the largest portions of our budget are in people, readiness and future capability. So when forced to take large and sharp budget reductions, we simply can't avoid impacts in these areas.
Now, we'll look at each appropriation, starting with military personnel. Next slide.
The military personnel budget is 24 percent of our request and supports a total end strength of 492,000 airmen. As I mentioned earlier, continued readiness challenges and extreme high OPSTEMPO have made it clear that our FY '15 end strength was too low. As an Air Force, as I've said, we have never been smaller, but we are busier than ever.
Airmen have told us they don't have enough people to do the mission. We listened, and that's why Secretary James and General Welsh have made it clear enough is enough; people remain our number one priority.
So as you can see on this chart, our FY '16 budget request makes an upward adjustment to alleviate some stress on the force. The increase also allows us to make adjustments for force structure and strengthen the nuclear enterprise. It also provides incentive pay for some RPA pilots and increases in the number of cyber teams.
The MILPERS request also supports a 1.3 percent pay raise for our airmen and continues to support vital people programs. However, sequestration could drive the total force end strength down another 10,000 airmen. Further reductions would leave us with a team that has an incomplete roster, that is too small to meet a demanding schedule, and allows little time to practice and provides no down time. Our airmen deserve better than that.
Now, let's move on to the operation and maintenance account.
The FY '16 O&M budget continues the path to readiness recovery. While the Bipartisan Budget Act helped stop the decline in readiness levels, readiness is not a short-term fix and it will take years to fully rebuild. To continue on that path to readiness recovery, we have funded all the necessary readiness components. This includes flying hours and WSS to capacity, and investing in ranges, simulators, and critical skills training such as combat flag exercises and advanced weapons schools.
The increase allows us to ramp up to support 60 steady-state ISR caps. It supports vital space programs, establishes 39 cyber teams, and strengthens the nuclear enterprise by adding funding for ICBM, B- 2, B-52 sustainment and modernization programs.
It also helps fix our aging infrastructure by funding facility sustainment at 80 percent, and continues the commitment to our airmen by funding support services such as the sexual assault prevention and response program, child care facilities, fitness centers, food services, educational benefits for both military and civilian members, along with a 1.3 percent pay raise for our civilian employees.
However, at BCA levels, progress toward readiness recovery will stop. BCA levels will reduce weapons system sustainment by 1.2 billion, potentially impacting over 2,000 jobs at our depots. We will have to reduce flying time by more than 41,000 hours, so critical training will be lost, we'll be forced to potentially cut advanced weapon schools and combat flag exercises. We'll drop facility sustainment funding to 74 percent, and efforts to sustain infrastructure across all five core missions will be challenged, to include the nuclear enterprise. Now we'll move onto RDT&E. Next slide.
Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation is where big ideas make the leap from just an idea to technology we use every day. This appropriation directly supports the Air Force's vision of world's greatest Air Force powered by airmen, fueled by innovation. Innovation is at the core of our identity. GPS is a great example of this.
Because of this, we've increased funding by two billion from FY15 levels to start the recovery in this appropriation. This year, we focus on new and emerging technologies while continuing the modernization and recapitalization of our tanker, fighter and bomber fleets.
Strengthening the nuclear enterprise remains the Air Force's number one mission priority. The budget supports the effort by modernizing the Minuteman III ICBM program, accelerating the long- range standoff weapon by two years and restoring funding to the -- to the B-2 Defense Management System Direct Attack Capability.
Assured access to space is paramount, and this budget begins development to provide two competitive launch providers with the objective of eliminating reliance on a foreign-made rocket engine.
While maintaining readiness for the current environment, we must also invest in innovation and recapitalization to defeat future threats. For example, this budget request investing in adaptive engine technology that will increase performance and revolutionize engine fuel consumption.
This budget restructures the J-STAR's recapitalization program, providing critical command and control with enhanced ISR capabilities on a modern fuel efficient aircraft. We will continue design and development of the KC-46, F-35 long-range strike bomber and combat rescue helicopter programs.
This budget will also allow us to begin recapitalization efforts for Air Force One. However, at BCA levels, potential actions that we may have to take would be reducing funding or cutting programs such as the adaptive engine technology, Global Hawk Block 30 sensor enhancements, B-2 DMS and Minuteman III command and control modernization. All these programs could be at risk. Next slide.
Our FY16 procurement budget preserves the production ramps for our top modernization programs, sustains our space procurement strategy and restores our munitions levels. As you can see, this is an increase from FY15 to 16. This is mainly due to increased quantities for KC-46 tankers, F-35 and C-130J aircraft. We also buy 29 additional MQ-9s for increased ISR demands. Additionally, this budget maintains the multi-year procurement plan for the C-130J, with 27 aircraft purchased in FY16. For the space mission, we sustain our efficient space procurement strategy for the block buys of AEHF Satellites 5 and 6, SBIRS GEO 5 and 6, and we will fund SBIRS modernization -- and we will fund modernization of SBIRS mobile ground units -- mobile ground command and control units. We will fund five EELV launch services and purchase one GPS satellite.
Finally, this budget also allows us to significantly increase funding for munitions based on forecasted demand and current ops tempo. However, if our budget is limited to BCA levels, we could potentially cut 14 F-35s and munition inventories will not be replenished to the necessary levels.
The next slide will show our procurement quantities by platform. These are our planned procurement quantities for the budget. It shows both base and OCO quantities and potential BCA impacts.
We'll now discuss MILCON. Next slide.
As I mentioned earlier, new construction has been put on the back burner over the last three years due to reduced funding levels. This request allows us to recover and invest in critical projects -- projects to strengthen the nuclear enterprise, support new mission beddowns, continue combatant commander support, and enhance quality of life.
This request funds three nuclear enterprise projects for weapon storage and two alert facilities. It also funds a basic military training dorm and three permanent party dorms.
To support the KC-46 and the F-35 beddowns, we request funding for several projects, such as maintenance, munitions, and flight simulator facilities.
For the Air Force Reserve, there is funding to construct high-priority projects outlined on the slide.
For the Air National Guard, this request includes funding to support cyber, ISR and RPA beddowns, all critical for total force operations.
Finally, the Air Force continues to fund construction for the combatant commands to support high-priority missions.
However, at BCA levels, we will continue to take risk for military construction, and could be forced to cut approximately 50 percent of our projects.
On the next slide, I'll provide a brief summary of our FY '16 OCO submission.
Our FY '16 OCO budget funds capabilities that are in high demand and provides funding for operating locations in the CENTCOM AOR. These locations allow us to conduct air operations, provide critical command and control, deliver persistent ISR, and support our joint partners with airlift and air-refueling capabilities.
This year, we're submitting an OCO budget request totaling $10.7 billion. $9.2 -- 9.2 billion, or 86 percent of the OCO budget, is for operation and maintenance requirements for day-to-day operations.
The request also supports our deployed airmen, after Guard and Reserve, with proper pay and allowances.
Additionally, our OCO investment request supports ISR platforms, munitions, and other emergent and capability requirements.
This brings us to the -- to the end of our briefing. Again, I want to emphasize, the Air Force's FY '16 president’s budget is built on strategy and the most urgent needs of our combatant commanders. But as sequestration returns in '16, it halts readiness and renders us unable to execute the defense strategy.
More tough choices will be required. And it will force us to choose between a ready force today or a capable force tomorrow. And the bottom line is, we'll need both for the joint force to be successful.
So, support of this PB request -- what it does for us -- it keeps us on a path to full-spectrum readiness and it allows us to invest in future capabilities. It's a first step in a down payment, if you will, on the Air Force our airmen deserve, the capabilities our joint team needs, and the security our nation expects.
That concludes my brief. I'm happy to answer questions.
Q: Thank you. You have said that if sequestration continues, the Air Force would have to cut 10,000 airmen. Now, given how Congress works, you may not get an appropriations until December. Would these cuts have to be made in fiscal '16 or fiscal '17?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, I'm just saying, you know, based on the current estimates right now, that's one potential action that could happen. But the chief and the secretary have made it clear that we don't need to -- that 315,000 is really our red line. And so, we would look at other options. But just given the numbers, that's a potential impact.
Q: And have you already identified what type of airmen might have to be let go?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: No. In fact, you know, we said that we're stop -- we're stopping the downsizing. In fact, there are no more involuntary separation programs scheduled for FY '15. And, again, our budget -- that's why support of this budget request is important, so that we can eliminate some stress on the force, that we can make sure we're adding back money for the force structure that we have, as well as some billets that support and strengthen the nuclear enterprise, as well as new missions such as the cyber teams.
Q: And one last question. In order to save personnel, would you consider buying fewer F-35s?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, you know, when you get into a BCA funding level discussion -- what I've shown you here today is a list of potential actions that we would have to take. And again, these actions -- this list of actions are required to try to save $10 billion in one year. So we would look at all the different options as we go forward, and that's something that we would work with OSD and also Congress before we made final actions.
Q: General, James Drew from Inside the Air Force. So you've once again proposed getting rid of the Compass Call fleet. Is this the Air Force really backing out of the electronic warfare mission, or is this something that, you know, Congress just won't tolerate and will fund you for?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: No. This is -- this is -- again, even at the PB levels, we had to make tough choices, and that's why we're divesting some of this fleet, because we have to -- we still have, you know, budget levels to live within. Again, if you go back to the chart that showed what our '16 position was in FY12, you know, even at the PB level, we're still $10 billion below, and so we need to divest some fleets so that we can re-invest in capabilities that we need for the future.
Q: Sorry, I just had a follow-on. And the same thing with the -- with getting rid of the Block 40s and different things at the sequester level. What analysis did you do to figure out that that was the best place to cut should you have to meet those budget control levels?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well again, it was -- the analysis was really based on what we need to be ready today, the capabilities that are in high demand for our combatant commanders and the capabilities that we'll need in the future. That's really what we did our analysis on. Amy?
Q: General, Amy Butler with Aviation Week. So the budget request notes that there are two launches -- and I think you noted as well -- that have been set aside for competition.
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Right.
Q: Can you tell us which launches those are and if those might go away with sequestration at that stage? And also, are these new launches that are being put out for competition, or was it always assumed that these would be competitive launches?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, you know, I think we said last year we had two competitive launches available for '15. In FY16, there's five launches, three of which will be competitive. And then in '17 --
Q: Three will be competitive?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Three will be competitive. And then in FY16, I think it's three to four. Decisions on what payloads go on those launches are still pretty decisional, but when that contract is awarded, then that announcement will be made.
Q: And because you're assuming that you will have a new entrant, the rationale for this new entrant has been that it will decrease the cost of launch substantially through competition. So how much less were you able to budget for EELVs or launches because you have this competition?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, you know, we've said all along, you know, competition is a good thing, it's a good thing for our Air Force, it's a good thing for our nation, because it gives us a better product and it does drive down cost when competitors know there's someone else competing for the -- for the same workload.
So last year when we awarded our EELV contract -- it's hard to say with a Southern accent and a cold -- but we think that that was one of the reasons why we saw significant savings.
Q: Well -- but is it possible for us to get a number of how much you expect to save over the FYDP because of these competitive --
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well I don't think we've truly defined what that number is, but again, part of our acquisition strategy for just about everything that we're doing is to try to have more competition because again, it gives us a better product, potentially better capability and it's good for the Air Force, it's good for the nation, it's good for the industrial base. Tom?
Q: A couple of questions. One, the comptroller today said his charts indicate that the Air Force has got the lion's share of the boost in 2016; $16 billion was added to the Air Force budget versus the Army and the Navy.
Can you give a sense of what areas the $16 billion was distributed to? Who were the winners in your accounts for these?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, I'll just give you -- in broad terms, I would tell you, you know, Air Force capabilities, like I said, are in high demand right now. You know, increased ISR capabilities. There's initiatives to increase, space capabilities, strengthening our nuclear enterprise is something we're putting a lot of investment in.
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: And again, like I said, this Air Force demand -- or Air Force capabilities are in high demand right now.
Q: How much of that 16 billion would be jeopardized by sequestration? Certainly not all of it, but --
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Right.
Q: -- is there a sense you have?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, I think if you go back to the -- across the FYDP chart -- and Tony, you weren't here when we talked about that, but if I get them to pull that chart up --
Q: I can read it in here --
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: OK. Right. Well, you know, again, I think, you know, with our priorities to enhance space capabilities, strengthen the nuclear enterprise, maintain readiness, you know, maintain some capability for the future, what we would do in any BCA funny scenario is try to balance that risk across all five core mission sets. OK. And to make sure that we're meeting the requirements that our president expects and our combatant commanders require.
Q: My understanding is that all 14 of the launches from 2018 to 2020 would be competed. Is that accurate?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Right, that's correct.
Q: Sir, Aaron Mehta with Defense News. Can you say if there's any sort of priority in terms of the options on the table if the BCA levels aren't raised? And you've got a whole bunch of different options there. Are there ones you're saying "this is going to be the first to go, this is the next tier, this is the next tier?"
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, you know, right now BCA or sequestration is the law. So, what we try to do is we try to build a president's budget that supports the defense strategy. But knowing that sequestration is the law, we've tried to -- to highlight what potentially could be at risk.
But again, before we made any final decisions, we'd have to know what the actual BCA funding levels were. Then we would go back and we'd look across all five core mission sets and make sure that we're meeting the most urgent requirements that -- that are expected out of the Air Force, and then we would, like I said, work this with OSD. Of course, congressional feedback is part of that process as well.
Q: So there's nothing that's the first to go. It's not KC-10 is the first to go, or U-2 is the first to go.
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Right. Again, we would go back and take a look at that, and again, try to balance risk across all mission sets.
Q: One follow up, then.
Just, so we've talked a lot about the A-10 over the last year --
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Right.
Q: -- and Congress has consistently blocked your retiring that. We'll talk about other things being retired, Congress has blocked that. Congress also hasn't necessarily raised levels, and there doesn't seem to be much emphasis or thought that it's going to happen this year.
So, is it -- is this a realistic budget request? Is this saying -- this is a lot of "it would be nice to have," but is it realistic to ask Congress this?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: No, again, this is a P.B. request. It's built on strategy. And again, we used a very deliberate process across the total force to make sure that we're meeting those capabilities that our combatant commanders need now, but we also need to look ahead in the future.
And I call it not only being ready today, but what do we need to be ready, you know 10 years from now.
So, I think this P.B. request is what we need, again, to support the defense strategy. And it's still $10 billion less than what we were planning for just -- just a few years ago.
Q: Two questions.
Courtney Albon from Inside the Air Force.
First, there's been a lot of analysis in the last few years about the Air Force's force mix between the components. How does this budget reflect in various mission areas and platforms the recommendations that have come from that analysis?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Yeah.
And you're talking about the -- the results of the -- the study that came out?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Right.
Well, I would tell you that -- in every budget process that I've been a part of, and I've been up here four of the past five years, it is a total force budget. We have our active guard and reserve personnel in the room when we build these budgets, and it's all based on capability.
And we try. In everything that we do, we try to leverage the unique capabilities of our guard and reserve. I mentioned to you before that much of our tactical airlift and air refueling capabilities exist in the guard and reserve, and we continue to look at that.
I think the study recommended 40 -- had 42 recommendations. And I think we agree with 41. Our chief is -- is -- has commissioned a group to try to study those and to see how quickly we can implement those recommendations, and I think that study is -- or that -- that action is about 80 percent complete. And so we're moving out as fast as we can, again, to leverage those unique capabilities that our -- our guard and reserve components can give to us.
Q: The other question I had, and this may a little bit in the weeds a little bit, but there's a chart in the back of the budget overview book that lists like airframe by airframe, the number of aircraft in FY '15, and FY '16, and it reflects a -- almost like a 40 aircraft drop from FY '15 to FY '16 in the C-17 area. What -- am I reading that right, and what does -- what does that --
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: I don't have the numbers right in front of me, so let me take that one for the record and get back to you. I know we had a couple corrections on that chart that you're referring to.
Q: Tara Copp with the Washington Examiner. One of the things that you didn't mention during your briefing presentation was the sixth generation fighter. If you could describe any details about the program, particularly a line item for it, we haven't seen anything.
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Right, well here's what I will tell you about the sixth- generation aircraft, it's a concept, okay, not a platform that's in our budget, and that's kind of the theme that we're trying to get back to in our S&T budget, is to look at that next generation or that next capability that we need to stay ahead of our potential adversaries. So it's a concept, and there's money scattered throughout the budget, but we can certainly go back and try to give you a number for that.
Q: (inaudible) follow-up?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: You want to follow up? Okay.
Q: Where is that money scattered?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: It's in our RDT&E budget.
Q: Roger (inaudible) of Air Force Times.
Last year when the Air Force mentioned they started to push to retire the A-10, there was a plan that came out for all of the units when they get follow-on missions of 15, 16 and 130s. If this is approved, would it be the same schedule, same airframe for the same units?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: It's very similar to what we proposed last year. All right.
Q: Okay, so it would be the same schedule over --
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Yes.
Q: Okay, and what is different this year? What -- is there any change that would -- because some lawmakers have come out and said they're going to block it right away; they've vowed to stop it. Is there a change in communication? Is there -- what is different this year that will give it a chance?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, I think -- I don't think anything's different from a standpoint of our proposal. Again, it's phasing out the A-10s, you know -- we don't actually phase them out until 2019, But again, it's going over and explaining why saving $4.2 billion, what we can do with that savings, because we really need to invest in those multi-role platforms could -- that can not only do CAS, but can also survive in a high-end fight.
And I think you remember from last year that we said over 80 percent of course close air support mission is done by other platforms.
I mean, certainly we all love the A-10, but you know, we have a transition plan to remove that aircraft in 2019, and we think it's a good plan, and we have a good plan on how to re-invest that savings into capabilities that can perform close air support.
Q: You said 4.2? I thought last year was 3.5 -- has that number changed?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, when you consider there's a wing replacement in there as well. When you add in that number, you get up to about 4.1, 4.2 billion.
Q: Over what time period?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: It's across the FYDP. By FY '19.
Q: (inaudible) saved that -- saved them (inaudible)?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Right, when the A-10s are completely divested in FY '19, then that's when we would achieve the savings over time.
Let me go in the back there. Yes, ma'am?
Q: Amy McCullough, Air Force Magazine
There's a line item in here for EELV. What is that? Is that the funding for the new entrance in the (inaudible)?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: That's for. No, that's for -- you'll remember last year we broke out the EELV funding; instead of one line, we broke it out into two different lines, and that's what that reflects.
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: And there's information -- you can find that information in our justification books, if you access the QR code that we've provided.
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Martin.
Q: Another question.
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Okay. I have to go back here. He hasn't had an opportunity yet.
Q: Hey, sir. I'm Brian Bradley, Nuclear Security and Deterrence Monitor.
You mentioned that at the BCA levels the force might have to consider whether to cut back on Minuteman III command and control modernization, and several officials have recently said the importance -- how important it was to revamp the command and control for Minuteman III command and control centers, while also emphasizing the central role that that will have in the follow-on Minuteman III system, the GBSD.
So I was wondering if you might be able to comment on, you know, if the force is required toen. James F. Martin Jr.
February 2, 2015
Department of Defense Briefing by cut back on modernization of the current Minuteman III command and control centers, any possible impacts that could have on GBSD development?
MAJ. GEN. MARTIN: Well, I'll tell you what, let me take that one for the record, because I can give you details on what we have funded in our program, because you know, we've -- we have increased our investments in the nuclear enterprise overall, and so there's a lot of money that's in there for Minuteman III sustainment, as well as the Force Improvement Program, the recapitalization of the Minuteman III.
So rather than trying to quote you a number, let me get back to you on that one.