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FY11 budget includes $400 million for re-enlistment bonuses

By C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Feb. 02, 2010) -- The Army revealed its Fiscal Year 2011 budgets Feb. 1, including $143 billion to fund training and sustainment of the total force, and an additional $102 billion to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During a budget briefing at the Pentagon, Lt. Gen. Edgar E. Stanton III, the Army's military deputy for budget, detailed the overall rationale behind items in the Army's portion of the Department of Defense's FY11 budget requests that will go forward to President Barack Obama. That rationale included the Army's budget priorities.

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"The Army leaders have focused on caring for our people -- that's our Soldiers, our families and our civilians," Stanton said. "We focus on training and equipping Soldiers and units for the current fight and then we revitalize our people -- the entire gamut of people, Soldiers and civilians -- for whatever the next development might be."

Stanton said priorities for the FY11 base budget also include continuing with both the transformation and the modernization of the Army.

The Army presented three budgets: a $143-billion base budget, which supports the Army's mission to train and equip Soldiers; a $102-billion overseas contingency operations budget, meant to sustain and support ongoing operations; and a $20-billion supplemental budget, meant to augment last year's budget.

The FY11 budget includes some $59 billion toward military personnel -- 41 percent of the total base budget request. That request includes a 1.4-percent military pay raise, a 3.9-percent increase in housing allowances and a 3.4-percent increase in subsistence allowances. Also included were some $400 million for supplemental re-enlistment bonuses.

The base budget for military personnel that will go forward to the president supports an active-duty end strength of 547,400, an Army National Guard end strength of 358,200, and an Army Reserve end strength of 205,000. The overseas contingency operations budget also funds a temporary end-strength increase of 22,000 Soldiers.

For Army operations and maintenance, the FY11 base budget includes $43.9 billion. That includes recruiting and training the all-volunteer force and funding programs such as the Army Family Covenant and Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. The O&M budget also funds increases in training programs, combat training centers and the depot maintenance program.

The FY11 budget includes funding for procurement and modernization -- more than $21 billion -- for purchase of aircraft, missiles, ammunition, weapons and tracked vehicles.

In FY11, for instance, the budget includes $1.3 billion for 48 UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters and 24 HH-60M Black Hawk medical helicopters. The budget also provides $1.1 billion for transition of CH-47 Chinooks from "D" models to "F" models.

The Army also plans to add to its unmanned-aerial-systems fleet, including about $459 million for the addition of 26 MQ-1 Sky Warrior Extended Range Multi-Purpose Unmanned Aerial Systems.

In FY11, the Army will cease to purchase new Humvee vehicles, as the service has met its purchase goals for the vehicle.

"We have reached the Army acquisition objective for Humvees -- we're there sooner than we expected for two reasons," Stanton said. "One is we have fewer losses and washouts in Iraq. Also with the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, all-terrain vehicle and other MRAP variants that have been procured and made available to the Army, we have less uses for the humvee. We envision the humvee to be an enduring part of the Army fleet."

Stanton said the humvee production line will remain open for others to purchase.

The $20-billion supplemental request for FY10 that was forwarded to the president includes $1.7 billion for military personnel, and also supports two new Army combat aviation brigades.

Stanton said the exact way those CABs will get aircraft is still being determined.

"There is procurement of aircraft here -- how we will end up distributing the aircraft between the twelfth CAB and the thirteenth CAB and other Army competing requirements for aircraft support has yet to be determined," Stanton said.

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