WASHINGTON — The Navy and Marine Corps’ budget would grow by more than $11 billion next year, the most of any of the military services, under the Biden administration’s new $842 billion defense spending plan, according to budget documents from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
The Navy and Marine Corps’ budget would increase from the $244.7 billion Congress enacted for fiscal 2023 to nearly $256 billion in the next fiscal year. The new money would fund improvements to shipyards, submarines and upgrades to the fleet to make ships more lethal and survivable.
“The budget proposes executable and responsible investments in the U.S. Navy fleet,” the White House said in a budget overview document released last week. “The budget also continues the recapitalization of the nation’s strategic ballistic missile submarine fleet while investing in the submarine industrial base.”
While the White House announced the Defense Department’s overall request March 9, the Pentagon is not slated to reveal details of its budget, including specifics on programs, procurement or research and development, until Monday. However, supplemental documents posted online by OMB and reviewed by Defense News offer an early look at some of those plans.
In a message to Congress accompanying the administration’s request last week, Biden emphasized the budget’s focus on developing deeper partnerships with U.S. allies and maintaining military advantage over China.
The budget “outlines crucial investments to out-compete China globally and to continue support for Ukraine in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression,” he wrote.
According to the OMB documents, the Navy’s proposed budget increase includes about $27 billion for Navy research and development efforts and a combined $77 billion for Navy and Marine Corps procurement. While the documents don’t offer programmatic details, a White House overview document highlights continued investment in “recapitalization and optimization” of Navy shipyards to meet future maintenance requirements for submarines and carriers.
The Air Force and Space Force’s funding would increase from a combined $249.7 billion to $259.4 billion, and the Army’s budget would remain relatively flat at more than $185 billion.
The Air Force’s budget request includes “pass-through” funding for other agencies the service doesn’t control. It also proposes more than $30 billion for the Space Force — a 13% increase from Congress’s fiscal 2023 appropriations.
The Air Force request would fund “procurement of a mix of highly capable crewed aircraft while continuing to modernize the fielded fighter bomber, mobility and training aircraft,” the White House overview notes, adding the budget includes a focus on space resilience.
Nearly $16 billion of the Army’s fiscal 2024 budget request would go toward research and develop projects and about $23 billion would pay for procurement. That funding would support “a modern and ready Army” as well as continued investments in the service’s Multi-Domain Task Force and long-range strike capabilities.
“The budget modernizes and expands the production capacity of the industrial base to ensure the Army can meet strategic demands for critical munitions,” the overview states.
Courtney Albon is C4ISRNET’s space and emerging technology reporter. She has covered the U.S. military since 2012, with a focus on the Air Force and Space Force. She has reported on some of the Defense Department’s most significant acquisition, budget and policy challenges.