Here’s what is in the President’s proposed 2020 defense budget

Posted at 1:33 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 19:30:18-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The President's spending plan for the military is coming into focus with the release of the fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

The 2020 proposal sent to Congress calls for $750 billion for national security, which includes $718.3 billion for the Department of Defense. That represents a 5 percent increase over the 2019 level.

The budget proposal includes a 3.1 percent military pay raise, which would be the largest in a decade.

Military leaders say the budget also includes provisions for maintaining lethality in the face of growing threats from Russia and China.

"With the largest research and development request in 70 years, this strategy-driven budget makes necessary investments in next-generation technology, space, missiles, and cyber capabilities. The operations and capabilities supported by this budget will strongly position the US military for great power competition for decades to come," Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said in a statement.

The budget proposal includes funding for the establishment of the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces. It would be the first new service in the Department of Defense in 70 years to "defend America's national interests in the fourth domain of warfare," according to the budget proposal.

For the Navy, the budget includes $34.7 billion for ship building, which would be the largest budget request in 20 years for that.

It does call for the early retirement of the Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier. You can read more about that decision here.

It includes $2.2 billion for a Columbia class submarine and $10.2 billion for three Virginia Class Submarines, which are built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Electric Boat in Connecticut under a partnership agreement.

There is also funding for a FFG(X) Frigate for the Navy, as well as three DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyers.

On the aviation side, the 2020 defense budget proposal includes $11.2 billion for 78 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

There's also $2.3 billion for 24 F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets for the Navy.

Cyber warfare gets significant funding in the 2020 proposal, including money to reduce risk of attack to Department of Defense networks, and billions for cyberspace operations.

Unmanned systems are also significantly funded in the budget proposal, including $447 million for the Navy to purchase two large unmanned surface vehicles.

Congressman Rob Wittman, a Republican who represents Virginia's 1st District, released this statement about the Navy's FY2020 budget request:

"There is currently an increase in reliance on our maritime system; our seas are more stressed, used, and contested than ever before. Our adversaries, specifically Russia and China, are building up their maritime capabilities, and in the Era of Great Power Competition, we must invest in what the Navy has defined as its priorities: to be bigger, better, and more ready.

The President’s defense budget provides the appropriate top-line necessary to combat increasingly complex threats from our adversaries. This blueprint includes multiple provisions I have advocated for as a senior member of HASC; most notedly, the inclusion of full funding for the procurement of a third attack submarine in FY2020. This accelerated build schedule underscores the importance of these vessels for the Navy and is a step towards meeting the needs of our combatant commanders. "