Department of the Air Force senior leaders testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense regarding the Fiscal Year 2023 Air and Space Forces budget at the Dirksen Senate Office Building May 17.
The $194 billion budget request presented by Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., aims to modernize the services to counter strategic competitors around the globe.
“Our budget submission provides a balance between the capabilities we need today and investments in the transformation required to address emerging threats,” Kendall said. “Our Fiscal Year ‘23 budget represents a significant early step in the transformation of the Air and Space Forces to the capabilities needed to provide an enduring advantage.”
Budgeting to meet future needs was a high priority amongst the service chiefs, with the U.S. Space Force requesting more than $24 billion. The largest share of the USSF budget is earmarked for research and development, test and evaluation, and funding for the Space Development Agency, which is included in the budget request for the first time this year.
Raymond discussed the pivot to a more resilient and mission-capable ‘missile warning and tracking’ force design. “In contrast to legacy approaches, this architecture will be built to survive and degrade gracefully under attack, help manage escalation, and be rapidly reconstituted,” Raymond said.
The service chiefs also highlighted the importance of continuing to work closely with Congress, the joint force, allies and partners.
“The only way our Air Force and nation will be successful is if we collaborate,” Brown said. “We are beginning to see the success of our collaboration. However, continuing resolutions can easily erode our success.”
Speaking on the Air Force’s role in the recently updated National Defense Strategy, Brown also stressed the importance the service will play.
“The operational imperatives in the National Defense Strategy are in alignment with what our nation demands of our Air Force,” Brown said. “The Air Force we are building is critical to integrated deterrence, campaigning and enduring advantages.”
The Department of the Air Force FY 2023 budget request is approximately $194 billion, a $20.2 billion or 11.7% increase from the FY 2022 request. The U.S. Air Force budget of $169.5 billion is a $13.2 billion increase over the ’22 request, and the U.S. Space Force budget of $24.5 billion is a $7.1 billion increase.