WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first budget proposal from President Biden is out for the next fiscal year and it includes $715 billion for the Department of Defense, keeping funding for national security high.
The first look only includes top-line spending numbers. A more detailed budget is expected later this Spring.
In the request, the Biden administration outlines key areas of funding focus, including deterring China, supporting research and development, optimizing Navy shipbuilding, focusing on climate resilience, and supporting military families.
The shipbuilding budget is likely to have a big impact on Hampton Roads.
The budget request says “The discretionary request proposes executable and responsible investments in the U.S. Navy fleet. In addition, the discretionary request continues the recapitalization of the Nation’s strategic ballistic missile submarine fleet, and invests in remotely operated and autonomous systems and the next generation attack submarine program.”
The focus on submarines is of particular importance for Newport News Shipbuilding, one of two locations where Virginia-class submarines are currently built, as well as the upcoming Columbia-class.
During a briefing earlier this month, Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby reiterated that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is especially focused on shipbuilding and repair.
“The Secretary believes that our Navy remains the most powerful Navy in the world, and under his leadership, he wants it to stay that way, and that means -- and you've heard the Secretary talk about this, that that means making sure that in the maritime domain our Navy has a proper mix of capabilities across the spectrum to defend this country at sea, on the sea and under the sea,” Kirby said.
The remotely operated and autonomous systems mentioned in the budget request follow the path the Navy and Marine Corps are already on with incorporating those systems. The services released a framework for making them integral to warfighting earlier this year.