FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill Approved by Subcommittee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense today advanced its FY2019 funding bill, which makes essential investments in our military and supports programs necessary to protect U.S. national security interests.


The FY2019 Department of Defense funding bill includes $675.0 billion, which is an increase of $20.4 billion above the FY2018 enacted level.  The recommendation includes $607.1 billion in base funding and $67.9 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding in title IX of the bill.  Additionally, the bill supports the largest pay raise for our servicemembers in nearly 10 years.  The measure is expected to be considered Thursday by the full committee.


“This bill sustains U.S. force structure and improves military readiness.  It also recommends investments in future technologies needed to defend our nation in an increasingly complex and competitive national security environment,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who also chairs the Subcommittee on Defense.


“Our military must maintain its technological superiority.  I am pleased that our subcommittee has identified the resources needed to make that happen – investing in basic research, hypersonics, directed energy, missile defense, cybersecurity, and our test and evaluation infrastructure.  I appreciate the support of Vice Chairman Durbin in crafting this recommendation and urge the approval of the bill,” said Shelby.



Bill Highlights:




The FY2019 measure provides $607.1 billion in base Department of Defense funding and $67.9 billion in OCO funding.


Military Personnel and Pay – Fully funds an Active Duty end strength of 1,329,461 and a Selected Reserve end strength of 816,900 for a total strength of 2,146,361, an increase of 6,961 servicemembers over FY2018 authorized levels, and supports a military pay raise of 2.6 percent, the largest pay raise for our servicemembers in nearly 10 years.  Additionally, the bill supports increased funding above the President’s request for multiple programs including $5 million to support Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Programs; $7 million for the State Partnership Program; and $3 million to support the Advance Trauma Training Program.


Readiness – $237.2 billion in base and OCO funding for operation and maintenance accounts to improve full spectrum warfighter readiness.  The recommended funding level makes significant investments in training, maintenance, and modernization to restore near-term warfighting readiness while setting the conditions for future, sustained readiness.  The bill also supports increased funding above the President’s request for multiple programs including: $350 million for Navy facility sustainment, restoration and modernization; $350 million for Air Force weapons systems sustainment; $23 million to fund U.S. Southern Command Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (IRS) requirements; and $221 million for various Defense-wide programs such as impact aid for schools, innovative readiness training, and multiple initiatives included in S. 2987, the Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act.  Additionally, the bill fully funds the request for flight operations and force related training for Special Operations Command.

– $24.0 billion for Navy shipbuilding, including $2.3 billion in additional funding for high priority shipbuilding and industrial base programs.  In total, the bill funds the construction of 13 new ships: two Virginia class submarines; three DDG-51 destroyers; two Littoral Combat Ships; one Expeditionary Sea Base; one Expeditionary Fast Transport; two TAO Fleet Oilers; one Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ship; and one Cable Ship.  Additionally, the bill makes important investments to accelerate future shipbuilding priorities such as: $500 million in advanced procurement for an LPD Flight II amphibious transport dock; $350 million in advanced procurement for the LHA 9 amphibious assault ship; $250 million in advance procurement to purchase an additional DDG-51 in Fiscal Year 2020; and $250 million for submarine industrial base expansion to increase capacity and create multiple suppliers for critical submarine components. 


Aviation programs – $42.2 billion for the procurement of military aircraft, including an additional $3.8 billion to address high priority programs across the services, such as $1.2 billion for eight F-35 carrier variant and four F-35 short takeoff/vertical landing Joint Strike Fighters (Navy & Marine Corps); $720 million for additional AH-64E Apache Block IIIB New Build aircraft (Army); $300 million for the O/A-X Light Attack Aircraft program (Air Force); $320 million for 15 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters (Army National Guard); and $240 million for three V-22 Osprey aircraft (Navy).  In addition, the bill provides $120 million for Air Force F-35 advance procurement to increase planned procurements in Fiscal Year 2020 and $200 million for Navy and Marine Corps aviation spares and repair parts to address maintenance and readiness issues.  The bill also provides an additional $375 million to support the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System, including additional MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, support of the battlefield airborne communications node mission, radar and agile communications development, and sustainment of the legacy E-8 JSTARS fleet.


Missile Defense $10.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), including $1.2 billion to support urgent MDA unfunded priorities and emergent threats.  The additional funds include $100 million for the development of a space-based Missile Defense Tracking System (MTS) to detect conventional ballistic missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles; $85 million to continue research and development of three separate laser scaling efforts; $46 million to accelerate the development of critical technologies against hypersonic threats; and $285 million to address a USPACOM Joint Emergent Operational Need.  The bill also fully funds the President’s budget request of $500 million for Israeli Cooperative Programs.


Munitions – $18.5 billion for Missile and Ammunition programs, including $366 million in additional funding for high priority munitions programs.  The bill supports the Department’s efforts to expand industry capacity for munitions programs to meet replenishment goals and increased requirements from the National Defense Strategy.  Initiatives include an additional $125 million to expand JASSM (Air Force and Navy) and LRASM (Navy) maximum production rates and an additional $57 million for the Army’s industrial facilities to increase production capacity.


Defense Health – $34.5 billion for the Defense Health Program, which provides medical services for military personnel and their families, continues advancements in medical research, and implements the next generation of electronic health records.  This amount includes an additional $974 million for defense medical research efforts, including $330 million for the competitively awarded peer-reviewed medical research program and $202 million to advance Department of Defense medical research priorities.  The bill also recommends $70 million above the President’s request for the Medical Community of Interest [Med-COI], the IT infrastructure backbone of the new electronic health record, in order to support its further deployment.


Basic Research Investments – $2.8 billion, $529 million in additional funding not requested by the President, for basic (non-medical) research for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Department of Defense.


National Guard and Reserve Equipment – $900 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account to modernize our reserve forces and ensure full interoperability with the active duty force.  The bill also includes $120 million for Army Guard and Reserve High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Ambulances.





Test and Evaluation Infrastructure – $846 million in additional funding to increase testing range space and availability and ensure continued independent assessments of weapon system capabilities, including an additional $200 million for Army test ranges and facilities; an additional $206 million for Navy test and evaluation infrastructure; an additional $280 million for Air Force test and evaluation support; and an additional $160 million for Operational Test and Evaluation infrastructure including funds to support expanded hypersonic and directed energy testing.


Hypersonics $929 million in additional funding to support and accelerate offensive and defensive hypersonics research and prototyping efforts, including $345 million for the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s prompt global strike capability development and $300 million to support the Air Force’s hypersonic conventional strike weapon and the air-launched rapid response weapon.


Directed Energy $317 million in additional funding to further develop directed energy technology and transition these activities to both offensive and defensive capabilities in the future, including an additional $150 million for Air Force to apply directed energy technologies to airbase air defense, precision attack, and aircraft self-protection.


Microelectronics – $447 million in additional funding to ensure access to trusted microelectronics and develop manufacturing processes for next generation chips, including an additional $347 million to accelerate next generation microelectronic development efforts to reestablish U.S. primacy in assured microelectronics technology and an additional $30 million for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) electronics resurgence initiative.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) – $308 million in additional funding to accelerate the pursuit of state of the art AI systems that can be rapidly adapted to the warfighting mission needs of the Department of Defense, including an additional $150 million for the algorithmic warfare cross function team also known as Project Maven and an additional $83 million to establish the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

– $356 million in additional funding to expand and accelerate cyber research across the Department of Defense, including $117 million for Army cybersecurity research efforts and $116 million in Missile Defense Agency cybersecurity enhancements.


Space $564 million in additional funding to develop enhanced offensive and defensive space capabilities, including $100 million for advanced sensors for Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared, the successor to the Space Based Infrared System and $200 million for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) development efforts.