With missile threats dominating the headlines, missile defense, modernization and posture continue to anchor strategic funding for the United States in recent budget requests.
Citing recent geopolitical and missile operations by Russia, China and North Korea, Rob Soofer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, alerted Congress to a Pentagon comprehensive Nuclear Posture Review that is expected to be completed by the end of this calendar year during his testimony earlier this month before the House Armed Services Strategic Force Subcommittee on the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2018.
That review comes at a time of renewed interest for strategic missile operations.Frank Klotz, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) told lawmakers at the same hearing, “Our [fiscal] 2018 budget request … accounts for the significant tempo of operations at NNSA that in many ways has reached a level unseen since the Cold War.
The request, he notes, “adds more than $3 billion across the Future Years Defense Plan relative to the previous years’ request to continue improving the health of the DoD nuclear enterprise.” It includes funding to repair and replace infrastructure at national laboratories and production plants and improves workspace for the scientific, engineering and professional workforce, he says.
The request includes; $10.2 billion for weapons activity appropriation, a 10.8 percent increase over 2017; $1.8 billion for defense nuclear nonproliferation, about the same as the previous year’s’ about $1.5 billion or a 4.2 percent increase over 2017, for the Naval reactors program; and $418 million for federal salaries and expenses, or an 8.1 percent compared to 2017…