Army Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno testified before the House Armed Services Committee on the President’s 2013 budget request for the U.S. Army. The overall army budget request of $184.6 billion is down from 2012, but includes a 1.7 % pay increase for soldiers and a housing assistance increase of 3.9%. The total Defense Department budget request is $525.4 billion, a 1% decrease from 2012. Army Chief of Staff Odierno warned against additional cuts to the budget through the sequestration process saying it would “fundamentally change the way the army does business.”
The $184.6 billion request is divided into a base budget of about $134.6 billion and a budget of about $50 billion for overseas contingency operations, such as the war in Afghanistan. The total budget is about $18 billion less than the Army received in 2012.
Among the cuts are eight program cancellations, including the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance System aircraft, the base-funded Humvee recap program, the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles program, the Mounted Soldier system program and the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System. The Army predicts the cancelled programs will save about $5 billion over five years.
The DOD budget request includes a plan to shrink the Army by 72,000 troops, or 6.8%, by 2017 and, like the other services, the Army plans to slow or terminate some large planned purchases.
One area seeing an increase in the 2013 budget is research, development testing and evaluation. The Army is requesting $8.9 billion and $640 million of that will go to the ground combat vehicle.
They continue to focus on aircraft modernization, requesting about $6.3 billion for aircraft procurement. This includes $1.4 billion for the Chinook, $1.2 billion for the Black Hawk, and $1.2 billion for Apache procurement.
Despite cuts soldiers will receive a pay increase of 1.7 percent , as well as allowance increases of 3.9 percent for housing and 3.4 percent for subsistence.