Department of Defense Press Briefing by Maj. Gen. Martin, Brig. Gen. Fienga and Deputy for Budget Gleason on the FY 2017 Air Force Budget Request in the Pentagon Press Briefing Room

Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget Major General James F. Martin Jr.; Air Force Deputy for Budget Carolyn M. Gleason; Brigadier General Edward A. Fienga, Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary for Programs

STAFF: You guys know that, in usual ROEs, please stick to one question, one follow-up.

Also wanted to mention that on Thursday, we'll be hosting the space budget rollout, so if you have any questions about that, let me know.

And then, on Friday, we'll have a budget analysis roundtable as well. So, any questions about that, please let me know. Those will be a little bit more in-depth discussions.

So I'll let you know when there's time for one last question, and with that, ladies and gentlemen, General Martin and Ms. Gleason.

MAJOR GENERAL JAMES F. MARTIN JR.: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Major General Jim Martin, Air Force director of budget, and this is my deputy, Ms. Carolyn Gleason, and it's our pleasure to brief you on the Air Force's 2017 budget request. Next slide.

This is what we'll cover today. We'll start with the strategic framework we use to balance capability, capacity and readiness across the full spectrum of operations.

We'll talk about the great work our airmen are doing to support the joint force. We'll discuss the impacts of operating with reduced funding levels, and the importance of adequate, predictable budgets so we can resource the Air Force we need now and in the future.

Then we'll provide highlights of FY17 budget, to include our request for overseas contingency operations, or OCO funding. We'll start with the strategic framework. Next slide.

Every year we use a very deliberate process to make every dollar count, because all five core missions listed on this slide are all critical to the joint force and our nation.

Our challenge, in an uncertain, resource-constrained budget environment, is to maintain balance across those five core missions, ensure -- ensuring we are ready today, but also ready 20 years from now.

What we've learned in the last few years the world doesn't take a break, and the demand for Air Force capabilities continues to grow. So every year, we make the necessary budget adjustments, and every year, we develop a set of guiding principles to focus limited resources.

This year's guiding principles are listed on the slide for your review. They are grounded by the Air Force's commitment to our joint partners, and will be accomplished across the total force -- active, guard and reserve.

It's also our commitment to our airmen, who continue to do amazing things in very tough conditions. It's our responsibility to give them the best training and the best equipment so they can win decisively, now and in the future.

In FY17, we met most of those objectives, but still had to make tough choices to live within the Bipartisan Budget Act limits. Next slide.

Make no mistake about it -- we are still the world's greatest Air Force because of our people. Our airmen take great pride in their service, and it's remarkable what they accomplish every day.

Together with our joint and coalition partners, airmen provide round-the-clock, global vigilance, global reach and global power in defense of our nation and our allies.

In fact, the joint force depends on Air Force capabilities, and requires air power at the beginning, the middle, and at the end of every operation.

In 2015, our airmen produced amazing results, and some of those highlights are listed on the slide, which reflect a total force effort -- active duty, guard and reserve airmen, military and civilian.

They're doing great things for our nation in very tough conditions, and the world continues to change. If you'll look on the chart, the red circles represent where we thought we would be in 2012, and the blue circles represent today's reality.

In 2012, we thought we would have an opportunity to take a knee -- to rest, train and reconstitute our forces. However, the realities in the Middle East and Europe have required a persistent presence by our airmen. Next slide.

This year, as we commemorate the 25th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, it's important to know that 25 years of continuous combat operations have taken a toll on our airmen, their readiness and the equipment they operate.

The reference to Desert Storm is important, because that's the Air Force most people know. The reality is we are not the same Air Force as we were back then -- 25 years ago, we had 134 combat-coded fighter squadrons. Today, we have 55.

Back then, we had 946,000 airmen -- military and civilians -- while today, we have a total force of approximately 664,000. Then, we had approximately 8,600 aircraft. Today, we have approximately 5,500.

Right now, the average age of our aircraft is over 27 years. In fact, 21 fleets qualify for antique license plates in the state of Virginia. And right now, our readiness is near all-time lows. All of this at a time when the world remains busy, and the demand for Air Force capabilities continue to grow.

Since August 2014, the Air Force continues to lead the response against ISIL and ISIS, and airmen are still deploying to Afghanistan. We're facing a resurgent Russia, a rising China, and North Korea remains very unpredictable.

The technology and the capability advantages the United States had 25 years ago are closing fast. Space and cyber domains are becoming more congested and contested. Advanced air defenses and radars are becoming more common. And competitors continue to invest in new technology and their own fifth-generation aircraft.

The bottom line: the capability gap is shrinking, and we must continue our efforts to reverse that. Next slide.

This chart illustrates the impact of living with reduced funding, and why predictable budgets are so important as we look to the future.

For example, in FY12, we estimated FY17 -- our FY17 requirement to be $137 billion. This year's budget request is $17 billion less than that planning number, and at BCA levels, it's $23 billion less.

We all remember -- those funding gaps that you see are highlighted in red on the chart, and what it represents is lost capacity, lost capability and reduced readiness to support the joint force.

So we all remember when sequestration hit in FY13. It imposed large, immediate cuts, which required drastic action to make it to the end of the fiscal year. We stood down flying units, we deferred aircraft maintenance and critical infrastructure, and had to furlough our civilians for six days.

After starting FY14 in a government shutdown and planning for a second year of sequestration, we are grateful for the modest short-term relief that Congress provided for fiscal years '14 and '15.

It was a good start. It allowed us the resource critical readiness components and protected our top modernization priorities -- the KC-46, F-35 and LRSB.

But it wasn't enough. We still had to make tough choices -- choices that were necessary to save the billions needed to live within the budget limits.

To pay the bill, we attempted to divest force structure. We reduced military end strength, accelerated management headquarters reductions and continued to take risk in munitions, base support facilities and much-needed military construction. And if you remember, in FY15, we sacrificed near-term readiness for future modernization.

However, soon after we submitted our FY15 budget, the world changed and the demand for Air Force capabilities increased, so in our FY16 request, we made the necessary adjustments for the Air Force that we needed, and it was our best attempt to balance near-term readiness with future modernization.

Last year, we said our FY16 budget starts the recovery for the Air Force we need. Thanks to this year's Bipartisan Budget Act, we avoided sequestration and the devastating impacts for two more years.

Again, we are grateful for the passage of this year's Bipartisan Budget Act that allows us to fund readiness components at executable levels. We're able to retain legacy force structure and triple the number of munitions compared to FY15 -- both very important to ensure we have the right level of capacity to support current operations and growing demand.

We've preserved our top modernization priorities, the KC-46, F-35 and LRSB, and further investments in nuclear, space and cyber. Most important, we stopped the downsizing and started right-sizing the total force end strength to cover key shortfalls, to include cyber, nuclear, maintenance manpower and the RPA community. Next slide

So again, our FY16 budget starts the recovery for the Air Force we need. Our FY17 budget request is consistent with that plan and builds on those efforts.

Again, you can see in the blue box, at Bipartisan Budget Act levels, we can sustain force structure to support current ops and combatant commander needs.

We'll continue to fund flying hours and weapon systems sustainment to near capacity. We'll continue our investments in ranges, simulators, advanced weapons schools, and ensure combat exercises like Red Flag and Green Flag remain strong.

We'll be able to fund munitions to capacity to support current ops and will start to rebuild inventories. We keep two of our three modernization programs on track: the KC-46 and the long-range strike bomber.

But unfortunately, we had to defer five F-35s to live within BBA limits in FY17. We remain committed to strengthening our nuclear enterprise and will continue to advance investments in space and cyber. And we'll improve the RPA enterprise with military bonuses, adding in listed pilots and funding 60 ISR combat lines. We'll continue our efforts to build the new combat rescue helicopter and we'll fund Air Force One recapitalization.

Most important, we keep our commitment to our airman. We stop the downsizing in FY16 and started restoring military end-strength in critical mission sets. Those efforts will continue in FY17.

This budget also includes a 1.6 percent pay raise for both military and civilians. Bottom line, the FY17 budget continues to recovery and gives us a larger and better equipped force. However, we still had to make choices to live within BBA limits and we worry because sequestration remains the law for FY18 and out.

Now I'd like to draw your attention to the red -- to the red box. It reflects the tough choices we had to make at BBA limits. In FY17, to live within BBA limits we fell short in three areas: modernization, infrastructure and people. Without additional funding, we'll defer five F-35s, some fourth generation aircraft modifications and delay the completion of our C-130H recapitalization effort.

We'll continue to take risk in infrastructure, an action that we've repeated since FY13 sequestration. As a result, our infrastructure will continue to suffer, impacting both readiness and quality of life, as well as driving high-replacement costs in the future. Our IT infrastructure also needs additional funding to ensure we keep pace with the new, more complex programs that reside on its backbone. As I mentioned, we'll restore active duty and strength to 317,000. However, current demands indicate more growth is necessary, so we will fill capability gaps to support combat and commanders.

Of course, as we look ahead to FY18, the Budget Control Act and sequestration remains the law. The sequestration returns in FY18 will be faced with another multi-billion-dollar shortfall to solve in one year and will be unable to plan for the capabilities we'll need in the future. To pay the bill, we'll have to consider all options such as reducing force structure, delaying even more modernization programs, shortchanging readiness accounts, delaying investments in our strategic assets such as nuclear, space, ISR and cyber.

Infrastructure would continue to suffer and we cannot avoid impacts to our people. Given current demand and changing geopolitical conditions, we must continue the recovery to support combat and commander requirements and provide our airmen the training and the equipment they need to win decisively.

Now, let's look at the details of our FY17 budget. So this is a breakout of our FY17 budget. You'll see in the -- you'll see the bar on the left represents our total Air Force budget for FY17 to include active duty, guard and reserve components.

The top block is what we refer to as non-blue, which is a portion of the Air Force budget that is not directly under our control, but managed by other departments or agencies. The remainder of the budget or the Air Force blue base-line budget is the focus for today's brief.

In brackets, you'll see the Air Force blue budget for FY17 is approximately $120.4 billion, which is roughly 23 percent of DOD's 2017 budget. Of the $120.4 billion, approximately $76 billion or 63 percent supports day-to-day operations.

Military and civilian pay make up 54 percent of day-to-day operating costs. Flying hours, weapons system sustainment, and missions executed at our major commands total 38 percent of the funding.

Facility requirements and installation support represent the remaining eight percent of the total operating costs.

The gray boxes at the bottom highlight our top procurement and largest RDT&D programs. These programs total approximately $26 billion, or about 60 percent of our investment programs.

So you can see that the largest portions of our budget are in people, readiness and modernization. So when forced to take sharp reductions, we simply can't avoid impacts in these areas.

Now, we'll look at each appropriation starting with military personnel.

The FY17 military personnel budget is 24 percent of our total request and supports a total force end-strength of 492,000. As stated in FY16, we will grow the force to address key capability gaps in the nuclear enterprise, cyber, ISR and maintenance career fields.

In FY17, the budget request continues funding for the 492,000 total force airmen, and we will continue to right-size the force. As I mentioned, current demands indicate more growth is necessary. So we will continue to assess those capability gaps, and where they exist, we will grow in end-strength to meet that demand.

To support the growing demand, we'll invest in the training pipeline by adding approximately 100 basic and tech training instructors. This will support 26,000 accessions, which is an increase of 2,100 new airmen over FY16 levels.

Increases to officer training school, the Air Force Academy and ROTC will bring in 4,800 officers in FY17. We'll also begin the implementation and integrating enlisted RPA pilots into the RQ-4 community. This budget also includes a request to offer retention incentives for a variety of career fields.

Through these actions, we can preserve capabilities in the legacy force, grow maintainers, and increase the number of RPA pilots and sensor operators. We will also continue our efforts to strengthen the nuclear enterprise and cyber operations.

The MILPERS request also includes a 1.6 percent pay raise, and we will continue to fund vital people programs in our operation and maintenance accounts shown on the next slide.

The operation and maintenance budget supports the full spectrum of operations as well as people and quality-of-life programs. For readiness, this request funds flying hours to executable levels and weapons systems sustainment to near capacity. It ensures advanced weapons schools and combat exercises like Red Flag and Green Flag are fully funded to help in our long-term effort to restore full-spectrum readiness.

We'll continue to fund readiness components, but we'll need permanent relief from BCA, increased manpower, and more time for peacetime training before readiness fully recovers. Once these conditions are met, we expect full-spectrum readiness in eight to 10 years.

This budget also supports 20 -- I'm sorry -- this budget also supports 60 RPA combat lines, while sustaining critical space programs. It also includes funding to maintain 26 cyber mission teams, supporting our effort to grow to 39 teams.

We will maintain capacity in support of today's operations by retaining and funding the A-10 and the EC-130 weapons systems. To allow more skilled maintainers to transition to the F-35 force, we will fund contract maintenance at some of our active duty training units.

This budget also takes care of our most important asset, our people, by expanding the sexual assault prevention and response program, providing childcare and youth programs, funding tuition assistance, as well as installation airmen readiness centers. We also requested a pay raise of 1.6 percent for our civilian airmen.

While the BBA funds most of our O&M programs, as mentioned on a previous slide, we continue to take risk in facilities and our IT infrastructure. Both of those need funding.

Now, we'll discuss military construction.

For our military construction, we focus on new mission bed-downs, combatant commander requirements, and we're increasing our investment in previously deferred MILCON projects for current mission ops. For the active Air Force, this includes new mission bed-downs for the KC-46, F-35 and combat rescue helicopter.

New construction for quality of life includes two dorm projects and a new fitness center. We also invested $41 million for the nuclear enterprise. For the Air Force Reserve, our request includes funding for high-priority projects, for the KC-46 and the C-17. The Air National Guard request includes funding to support the C-17, the F-22, as well as a new fire station.

Finally, the Air Force continues to fund new construction for the combatant commands to support critical mission requirements.

As we mentioned, since FY12, we have deferred a number of current mission projects. With additional funding, we could execute up to $464 million in new construction.

Next slide.

Research, development, test and evaluation is where big ideas make the leap from just an idea to the technology that we use every day. Just imagine our world without GPS. As our competitors continue to close the capability gap, we simply can't afford to let them catch up. Because of this, we increased funding by $1.6 billion from what we requested in FY16. This represents a two-year increase of $3.6 billion.

Again, our approach remains consistent with what we said last year. We continue to focus on advancing the nuclear and space enterprise, with funding for ground-based strategic defense to include ICBM guidance, propulsion, security and command and control applications. This request also funds upgrades for our B-2 bomber fleet.

We will also provide funding for the development of domestic launch systems to reduce our reliance on foreign-made rocket engines. We'll continue to invest in future capabilities and new technology, with funding for the adaptive engine and the JSTARS recap program.

Finally, we remain focused on our top recapitalization programs: the KC-46, F-35, and LRSB, as well as the combat rescue helicopter and the replacement for Air Force One.

We'll now discuss procurement.

Next slide.

Our FY17 procurement budget preserves our top modernization programs, sustains our space procurement strategy, invests in the nuclear enterprise, and funds munitions to support ongoing operations. Unfortunately in this budget, we had to sacrifice modernization for current readiness. As a result, we were forced to delay five F-35s, some fourth generation modifications, and delay completion of the recapitalization effort for the C-130H.

Delay in modernization has become a trend that allows our competitors to close the capability gap. For example, since FY12, we deferred 75 F-35s. This equates to approximately four squadrons, the capacity and capability needed for future high-end threats.

This budget does procure 43 of the 48 planned F-35s, 15 KC-46s, and 11 C-130Js, while continuing modernization efforts for our fifth and some of our fourth generation aircraft. This request also includes modernization for the F-22 and radar upgrades for the F-16.

As space becomes more contested and congested, the Air Force remains committed to advancing our capabilities to operate in this environment. We'll continue the block buys of the AEHF satellites five and six and SBIRS five and six.

This budget also supports our goal of maintaining the assured access to space with funding for five launch sources, three of which will be competitive launch opportunities.

For munitions, we remain challenged by the pace of current operations. Therefore, we fund preferred munitions to capacity to support combatant commander needs. Finally, we enhance protected communications and command and control assets listed on the chart.

The next slide shows procurement quantities by platform.

So these are the planned procurement quantities for this budget, which shows both base and OCO. Within air and space, our procurement quantities remain fairly constant. However, based on current demand, we have put emphasis on replacing or replenishing our weapons inventory. In particular, we have increased our OCO JDAM quantities by 10,000 and small diameter bombs by more than 4,000.

Next, we will discuss our FY17 OCO submission.

Our FY17 OCO budget request continues to support combatant commanders' most urgent requirements. It reflects our requirements for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the fight against ISIL and ISIS. Our OCO request also supports our allies in Europe through the European Reassurance Initiative, or ERI.

This year's OCO request is $12.3 billion and supports the efforts on the slide by funding flying hours, weapons systems sustainment, eight RPA combat lines, and the day-to-day operating expenses for six enduring locations in the CENTCOM AOR.

In addition to the munitions buys included in our baseline budget request, OCO funding is requested to replace almost 24,000 preferred munitions totaling $716 million. And lastly, this request funds MILCON airfield projects in AFRICOM and supports the E.R. Initiative by investing in critical infrastructure in Europe such as airfields, aircraft storage and munitions storage facilities.

This budget also supports our airmen with proper pay and allowances and provides the best equipment possible to win today's fight. Next slide.

So to wrap up today's briefing, here are the points I want to leave you with. This year's budget is based on strategy, a strategy that balances capability, capacity and readiness across the full spectrum of operations. Air Force priorities, as reflected in this budget, remain the same: taking care of people, striking a balance between readiness and modernization, and making every dollar count.

We are grateful for the temporary budget relief provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act, which allows us to restore endstrength, fund all readiness components and continue our top three modernization programs, but at reduced rates for the F-35. It also allows us to sustain capacity to meet combat commanders' requirements most urgent needs, and it resources strategic assets in nuclear, space and the ISR mission areas.

But even with the budget relief, uncertainty looms and BCA caps return in FY18, this at a time when the Air Force is one of the smallest, oldest and least ready fleets in our history. We've learned from the lessons of sequestration, it's time to apply those lessons, repeal the Budget Control Act and give America the Air Force it deserves, both now and in the future. Next slide.

So this is where you can find more information and the details about our budget. So thank you for your time, and now Ms. Gleason and I will take your questions. Okay, start with you.

Q: Hi, sir. Philip Schwartz with the Air Force Times. The F-22 buys were curtailed due to budget concerns, and now we're starting to see the thing happen with the F-35. What's the flexibility with the program, and, I mean, how many aircraft can actually be cut from the block buys before the Air Force starts to get worried about readiness and capability?

GEN. MARTIN: Well, the F-35 program, the program of record, is still 763.


GEN. MARTIN: Right, 1763. So this just delays that ramp to getting to 1763. And of course, as we mentioned earlier, any time that you delay that type of capability, we talked about the delay from FY12 to '16, that represented four squadrons of capability.

Q: Is cost affordability something that the Air Force needs to place more emphasis on when choosing a sixth generation fighter?

GEN. MARTIN: Yes. I mean, we're always looking at cost and how to keep those costs low, and that's a big priority for our Air Force, making every dollar count, and we have several initiatives throughout our acquisition process to make sure that we keep costs reasonable.

Q: Thank you.

GEN. MARTIN: Yes, you.

Q: Leigh Giangreco, Inside the Air Force. With J-STARS, your document alludes to an affordable strategy. What does that plan include exactly?

MS. GLEASON: So for JSTARS, we -- the program's had some struggles and we've extended the risk reduction phase of the program basically to lower overall risk. It delays EMD roughly a year, and we're going to get the program back on track.

The service cost position right now is being looked at. We'll have an addendum to that for lack of a better word. We're not going to do a new service cost position, but they are going to modify and add an addendum to the program.

Q: And -- I'm sorry, would that plan, is it going to affect your unmanned platform at all?

MS. GLEASON: That I do not know.

GEN. MARTIN: Okay, Tony.

Q: Tony Capaccio with Bloomberg News. I have two quick questions. How much did it cost to retain the A-10 through 2021, I guess it is? And two, if you match up the long -- the five-year plan for the long-range bomber between '17 and '20, it's about a $3 billion decrement, your critics are going to say, uh-oh, the program is slipping. Can you explain that and tamp down the Twitter world on this one?

MS. GLEASON: Yes, I'll take the LRSB while he's looking up the A-10. So for LSRB, the program content in that program has not changed from the last budget to this budget. All that's happened is we've had a new service cost position, new cost estimate, because we've had a competition. We've down-selected, we have a winner, we know that winner's business strategy, their technology strategy. So that's purely an update to a cost estimate that caused that delta. The program content is the same.

Q: Was that the ICE that you used when you rolled out the winner?

MS. GLEASON: Yes. Sir?

GEN. MARTIN: Okay. And to keep the A-10 through the FYDP is about $3.4 billion. That's about $900 million in FY17. Yes, ma'am.

Q: Thank you, sir. Courtney Albon with Inside the Air Force. It looks like the GPS OCX program is seeing that funding increase in FY17 and then more than $400 million over the FYDP. What's behind that plus-up and is that -- is that all related to the new service cost estimate as well?

MS. GLEASON: So the service cost estimate did come in, basically with a - with a delay. And that, of course, drives up costs. So our new - our budget does reflect that new service cost position. It's a 24-month slip to the APB, and they amended the service cost position.

The biggest risk in GPS OCX is we want to get it out there for the up-codability and the GPS satellite constellation. Right now, the Air Force is looking at contingency operations that if we have to off-ramp off of that, we can. They're run with a current -- a current control system until Block One can be fielded.

Q: So that service -- so there is a new service cost estimate now for GPS OCX.

MS. GLEASON: The budget is based on the new service cost position.

Q: (off mic)

MS. GLEASON: Across the FDYP, it's 5.6 - oh, I'm sorry. Wrong number. I don't. Let me -- ask another question. I'll look it up.

GEN. MARTIN: Yes, ma'am.

Q: (off mic) National Defense. I wanted to ask you about your observation about readiness, the challenges with readiness. You said that it would take eight to 10 years to get to full readiness. What exactly is full readiness and why does it take so long?

GEN. MARTIN: Okay. Well, when you talk full-spectrum readiness, that's ability to provide training so that we're already across the full spectrum of -- full spectrum of operations. So our challenge right now, while we continue to fund all the readiness components, our challenges are shortfalls in maintenance manpower and the time to train because of the ops tempo in the AOR.

Q: So when you - when -- the eight to 10 years, that's just a function of all the time that it takes to get all the equipment and the people. And what is the implication of an eight-to-10-year lag in full readiness?

GEN. MARTIN: Right. So again, you know, we continue to assess, you know, our ability to train and to provide that full-spectrum training, and every year, we assess how long it will take. But again, we'll have to reduce our ops tempo to get to that full-spectrum training.

MS. GLEASON: And I have your number on GPS if I may. So the OCX program is $393 million in '17. Over the FYDP, it's about $1.1 billion.

Q: Point what? 1-point what?

MS. GLEASON: $1.1 billion.

Q: Andrea Shalal, Reuters. I just wanted to ask you to go back onto the FYDP numbers for the F-35. How many exactly are you sacrificing over the FDYP for -- the number is 45?

And can you -- can you say what -- can you just maybe draw up the ramp for us, what it does to the ramp in terms of, you know -- and whether you've had any kind of thought about how quickly you'll be able to get back to that ramp?

GEN. MARTIN: So in the -- so in the F-35 program, you know, again, we delayed the ramp to 17 --


GEN. MARTIN: -- 1763 over the FYDP. Over the FYDP, we deferred 45 aircraft, which cost -- which is about $4.9 billion.

Q: And what about when you go back to the -- when you resume the ramp and --

MS. GLEASON: So we just slowed the ramp. We actually go back to -- hold on a minute. Sorry. (Laughter.)

Can somebody help me?

STAFF: You okay?

MS. GLEASON: Okay? I'm going to sit you down. Can I get a chair? It's okay. You're all right. That's what the F-35 will do to you. It's all right.

MS. GLEASON: Of course, now I have to do it without my glasses, which God only I won't be able to read, so -- you okay?

GEN. MARTIN: I'm okay.

MS. GLEASON: He told me he was going to, he kept threatening to pull a hammy. I didn't think he really meant it. (Laughter.)

So all right. F-35. Basically, we've slowed the ramp. We'll get back. Right now, we're programmed to 60 aircraft in FY21 again. So it just

Q: Can you just give year-by-year numbers so we have them?

MS. GLEASON: So FY17 is 43; FY18 is 44; FY19 and '20 are 48; and '21 is 60. And you asked about cost a little bit on F-35. That program, as you know, has three services, FMS customers and partners. And so right now, we don't expect the reduction in Air Force quantities to affect the cost of the platform.

STAFF: Over here.

MS. GLEASON: This is [Brigadier General] Ed Fienga.

Q: John Tirpak, Air Force Magazine. Given the delays in the F-35, what does this mean for SLEP in the F-15 and F-16 fleets? I don't see very much in here about that except wiring for the F-16 AESA. Can you explain what this is all about?

MS. GLEASON: So we do have F-15 SLEP in our budget. I'll let General Fienga help me with that.

GEN. FIENGA: Right. So it's an excellent question. And as General Martin was talking about that full spectrum readiness earlier, you know, so -- and the risks we had to take with the BBA to our modernization, you're absolutely right, we would have to bolster our fourth-gen aircraft. So we do have some dollars for both F-16 and F-15 service life extension sort of modernization programs here.

Now, this is an area we did have to take risk in in this budget, so we don't have robust programs, and that too is a result of the reduced amount of dollars that the BBA gave us. But you're right, we do have some dollars in there.

Q: So what do you get? Do you -- do you get the structural upgrades or the radar or --

GEN. FIENGA: Right, with the -- with the F-15, we do a couple of things. We put some structural dollars in there and we also have the F-15 EPAWS program as well. So that will make it viable in those environments against a higher-class adversary.

For the F-16, as you know, perhaps you've heard, we do fund some AESA radars in two sort of tranches. The first tranche is 24 F-16s for the National Capital Region. That's in a homeland defense sort of scenario. And then there is another tranche of AESA radars with digital radar warning receivers of 52 AESA radars. And that's to sort of put some more of those AESA radars --

STAFF: 52.

GEN. FIENGA: -- 52 throughout the fleet. And that's over the course of the FYDP. The first tranche will get in about Fiscal Year '19.


Q: -- keep them all together somehow?

GEN. FIENGA: And for the homeland defense purpose, we'll have three different sites with eight different aircraft each for a total of 24 aircraft serving that homeland defense role with the AESA radars.

Q: That's out of the 52?

STAFF: We have time for one last question. Pardon?

Q: Out of the 52?

STAFF: No, that's 24 separate and then another separate tranche of 52 AESA radars.

Q: Hi, Jennifer Hlad from Air Force Magazine. You talked about building up the RPA force, the nuclear enterprise, cyber. Are all of those going to be new members of the Air Force, or are you going to build that up, you know, maybe make some of the other enterprises a little bit smaller? Are people going to be moving around a lot, or just how are you going to do that, I guess.

GEN. FIENGA: Right. And this is -- this is an actual question we had to ask ourselves as we built this budget, right? So how are we going to get enough people to do all the things that we need to do --

MS. GLEASON: That we're being asked to do.

GEN. FIENGA: -- and that we're being asked to do and that the nation and the combatant commanders have asked us to do. So excellent question, we ask that of ourselves. And for the most part, we recognized, look, we need many more airmen than we currently have, right. And so we initially went in with a larger number, recognizing there are some validated requirements that we have for a much larger Air Force then what we're asking for, but as General Martin alluded to, in many of the areas we're sort of producing at our max executable rate. So even though we wanted more airmen for Fiscal Year '17, we can only get so many airmen through the training pipelines.

And so what we do first is we put more instructors at places like BMT, the basic military training, and we put more instructors at the RPA units so they can then get more students through those classes and open those pipelines so we can get those up operators out to those specific locations where they would conduct that operation.

So in this case, for '17, it's more airmen in the case of RPAs and cyber, but in other cases like the aircraft maintenance, over the course of the FYDP as we draw down certain aircraft, we'll take those maintainers and move them onto the next F-35 or other sort of situations. So we're re-purposing in that particular instance.

STAFF: All right. That's all our time. I really appreciate your patience. Please e-mail me and I'll take all the other questions for follow-up.