The Pentagon is seeking to divert $3.8 billion, mainly from its fiscal 2020 weapons procurement budget, to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall.
The plan, which came from the Department of Homeland Security in January, will be officially released by the Office of the Secretary of Defence. A list of talking points was sent across the Pentagon earlier today, noting that the money will go toward funding a 230-mile long wall. The biggest item on the list is a $650 million America-class amphibious assault ship, built by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi. F-35 joint strike fighters, C-130J cargo aircraft, MQ-9 Reaper drones and P-8 maritime surveillance planes will have less budget.
For the Navy, the Pentagon would cut two of the six F-35B STOVL aircraft added to the FY20 budget by Congress and two MV-22 Ospreys. It also seeks to eliminate funding for one of the nine P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft funded in FY20, stating that the additional aircraft is “[in] excess to the 117 aircraft required.”
In the Air Force’s budget, the Pentagon slashed funding for four of the eight C-130Js added by Congress for the Reserve and Air National Guard. The department stated that funding for those planes could be rescheduled to the fiscal year 2021 when the period of performance for the associated contract starts.
Here’s the list:
Base Budget cuts: $2.2 billion total
LHA-9 amphibious assault ship (1 ship): $650 million
Humvee & other trucks: $201M
F-35B fighters (2): $223M
V-22 Osprey tiltrotors (2): $155M
P-8A Poseidon scout aircraft/sub-hunter (1): $180M
EPF Expeditionary Fast Transport ship (1): $261M
F-35A fighter Advanced Procurement: $156M
C-130J turboprop transports (2): $196M
Light Attack Aircraft program: $180M
Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) cuts: $1.6 billion total
C-130J transports for Air National Guard (2): $169M
MQ-9 Reaper drones (8) $160M
National Guard/Reserve Equipment (unspecified): $1.3B