Defense Department is pushing Congress for approval to transfer $ 4.3 billion of previously allocated money to new accounts to pay for COVID-19 emergency requirements and meet preparedness needs and payment.
The request comes after the military spent more than expected on the southwest border and on coronavirus relief and protection, according to documents obtained by Federal News Network and signed by DoD Comptroller Michael McCord on June 16.
About half of the money would go to the Air Force. Almost $ 1 billion of the proposed Air Force funds would go to operations and maintenance. For example, $ 128 million would be used for the safe movement of personnel to meet COVID-19 requirements. These funds would account for social distancing and pay for increased cleaning of facilities. About $ 200 million would be spent on personnel costs for child care, youth programs and other moral, social and recreational activities through 2021.
“Additional funding is needed to avoid time off or reductions in hours of up to 19,000 employees across DoD,” the document said. “Many employees are family members of our military serving around the world and their paychecks are critical to the financial security of our military families. Accounts continue to be affected by declining demand, COVID-19 closures, reduced hours of operation, or other social distancing measures that cut income-generating activities. “
All departments want to fund new research or procurement programs with money. The military wants to move around $ 66.5 million to run a program led by the Secretary of Defense to centralize R&D efforts around combating threats from small drones.
The Navy is asking for $ 41 million to pay for increases in the support costs of the moored training ship 711, which is being converted at the Norfolk shipyard in Virginia. Moored devices are nuclear submarines that are used to train future nuclear personnel.
“The cost increases resulted from the conversion work taking longer than expected due to labor shortages associated with COVID-19, avoidance of learning costs expected from the conversion previous moored training vessel 701 not occurring, unscheduled work performed during the conversion due to poorer than expected equipment conditions for the fleet unit to enter a conversion readiness, ”the report reads. document.
The Space Force is asking $ 5 million for Wideband Gapfiller satellites for 2024 and the Air Force is hoping to get $ 35 million to fund microelectronics supplies.
Other requests allow the military to fund its regular functions after spending money on other missions. The military, in one case, is asking for $ 147 million to restore funding used for the DoD’s southwest border support mission.
“The Army needs this funding to meet the training and readiness requirements of units. The costs of the border support mission include, but are not limited to, travel, transportation, supplies, aviation support, life support and equipment, ”the document said. “Without restored funding, there will be direct impacts on the home station, decisive action training and operational requirements. The restored funds will ensure the training of Army formations to achieve a sustainable level of readiness. Funding for the cost of sustaining and sustaining soldiers in 2021 cannot be deferred to 2022, as the cost supports the 2021 missions. ”
The Navy said it needed about $ 117 million to pay for the mobilization of Reservists from the Marine Reserve Surge Maintenance to increase the days lost at four public shipyards in order to maintain vessel maintenance in the delays during the pandemic.
For the DoD as a whole, the department is requesting more than $ 650 million for the Defense Health Program for the ongoing COVID response, which includes personal protective equipment, vaccine distribution and medical supplies.
About $ 20 million will be used to renovate the White House situation room with updated security and technology. The last renovation dates from 2006.
To pay for the reprogramming, the DoD is sprinkling cuts and savings across all departments and the Pentagon.
The military takes $ 22 million from its Holistic Health and Fitness program, for example. Other funds are due to production delays with sub-contractors on certain programs, ammunition surpluses and delays in permanent station changes.
The Navy is offering up to $ 1 billion of its funds, some of which comes from savings on aircraft purchases and the cancellation of things like the Virginia-class submarine acoustic superiority program.
The Air Force proposes to move around $ 2 billion. Some of these funds come from minor construction postponements, changes in the purchase of aircraft and changes in the strategy for purchasing spare parts.