By Rear Adm. Brian “Lex” Luther
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget

Today the Department of the Navy (DON) submitted our FY18 budget request of $171.5 billion to Congress.

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The DON budget submission takes steps toward restoring Navy readiness, and positioning DON to compete and win against increasingly dynamic, high-tech and aggressive global threats. It follows years of budget shortfalls that have chipped away at our afloat and ashore readiness, and have placed greater demands on our personnel.

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The Navy is now at a turning point, and the FY18 budget submission reflects the redoubling of our commitment to our Sailors and Marines, and to the security of the American people. We can no longer afford to allow readiness to continue to diminish – we must restore the fleet, and innovate – operationally and technologically – in order to compete and win.

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Global competition has increased exponentially in recent years, the pace of change has accelerated, unprecedented challenges have emerged across all domains, and yet our fleet has shrunk, and deployments have gotten longer. We are being threatened in ways we could only imagine a few years ago, and to meet these threats, we must invest in intelligent and targeted ways. We must be present globally – to deter threats presented by Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and ISIS – we must protect our cyber networks at home and abroad, and we must defend the global shipping lanes that are the lifeblood of our economy that enables our military strength.

In a challenging fiscal environment, this budget provides the investment required to deter aggression, fight and win our nation’s wars, project power into critical regions quickly, enable freedom of action in all domains, maintain combat readiness and improve our warfighting advantages.

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A brief summary of the FY18 DON budget request follows here:

  • The request includes $54.6 billion (base) request for operations and maintenance, funding one hundred percent of projected ship depot maintenance and requesting the maximum executable amount for aviation depot maintenance and the flight hour program.
  • The submission includes a $49.5 billion (base) procurement budget that would buy eight new ships including one Ford-class aircraft carrier, two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, two Virginia-class submarines and one littoral combat ship, as well as 91 aircraft.
  • The request fully funds the critical Columbia-class Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) program, and invests in high-tech systems including unmanned, cyber and directed energy weapons.
  • The budget supports our personnel by funding career-development initiatives and providing a 2.1 percent pay increase, in addition to developing and procuring the most cutting-edge platforms and weapons available, positioning service members and DON for success. It also continues to invest in the Tours with Industry Program, the Fleet Scholar Program and Sailor 2025.

Overall, this budget reflects the deliberate and thoughtful decisions we have made in an effort to restore readiness. We are not simply filling gaps, we are working toward a wholeness that will enable modernization and growth in the future.

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For more information on the FY18 DON Presidential Budget submission, please visit http://www.secnav.navy.mil/fmc/fmb/Pages/Fiscal-Year-2018.aspx.