Monday, April 23, 2018
Military News

Trump seeks 11 percent SOCom budget increase

President Donald Trumpís proposed military budget includes a nearly 11 percent spending increase for U.S. Special Operations Command headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base.

The measure, if approved by Congress, would bump up the commandís budget by 10.9 percent, from a total of $12.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2018 to $13.6 billion, according to Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty, a SOCom spokesman. The proposed budget includes a $9.1 billion base and an additional $4.6 billion in war funding.

SOCom is responsible for fielding trained and equipped Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Green Berets, Delta Force, Marine Raiders and Air Force commandos while providing billions of dollars a year in special operations-specific good and services.

One of the largest proposed increases is in SOComís procurement budget, which would jump nearly 40 percent to $3.1 billion.

The request, however, would see a 6.5 percent decrease in the amount of money spent on research, development, testing and evaluation, to $602 million. The Presidentís proposal also calls for a 45 percent cut in military construction, to $357 million.

In itís rollout of the proposed $686 billion Defense Department budget, Pentagon officials say it allows SOCom to focus on "delivering innovative, low-cost, small footprint solutions" to "achieve the nationís current and future security objectives."

In addition to providing forces for the use of commanders like Army Gen. Joseph Votel of U.S. Central Command, also headquartered at MacDill, SOCom is responsible for coordinating actions against violent extremist organizations and countering weapons of mass destruction.

While SOComís overall readiness is healthy, according to the budget document, there have been concerns. The commandís efforts to sustain counterterrorism, including training, advising and assisting missions, and a crisis response capability, have reduced efforts to modernize the force.

The FY 2019 budget request will allow Special Operations Forces to "improve its technological superiority and revitalize essential recapitalization and modernization programs," according to the budget document introduced Monday.

Another long-standing concern for SOCom has been an unyielding demand for commandos, which has lead to a great strain on the force of nearly 70,000.

To deal with that, the Pentagon is working to maintain a healthier deployment rate, including recruiting and retaining highly skilled personnel to assist.

The proposed budget also continues the commandís investment in several critical mission areas ó intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, precision strike and specialized air mobility, largely in the form of new model C-130 gunships and transports and CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

Contact Howard Altman at [email protected] or (813) 225-3112. Follow @haltman.

Comments
US veteran who survived blast receives penis transplant

US veteran who survived blast receives penis transplant

WASHINGTON ó A Baltimore hospital says a wounded U.S. veteran has received the worldís most extensive penis transplant. Doctors at Johns Hopkins University say the transplant included the scrotum and part of the abdominal wall. They say the patient h...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Howard Altman: Tampa company analyzed strike on Syrian facilities

Howard Altman: Tampa company analyzed strike on Syrian facilities

After President Donald Trump announced the U.S., France and England had carried out attacks on three Syrian chemical weapons centers, a Tampa company began its own analysis of the bomb damage.The analysis, by geospatial intelligence firm Radiant Solu...
Published: 04/20/18
Howard Altman: Air Force turns to original Phillie Phanatic to develop mascot

Howard Altman: Air Force turns to original Phillie Phanatic to develop mascot

Air Mobility Command, the Air Force headquarters overseeing MacDill Air Force Base, wants to develop its own mascot to help interest children in a career with the flying branch. And they are turning to the original Phillie Phanatic, David Raymond, fo...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18
Trump says U.S. to decide on response to Ďatrociousí Syria chemical attack in 24 to 48 hours

Trump says U.S. to decide on response to Ďatrociousí Syria chemical attack in 24 to 48 hours

Washington PostWASHINGTON ó President Donald Trump said Monday that his administration would be making "major decisions" about its response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria within the next 24 to 48 hours, decrying the action as "atrocious" and...
Published: 04/09/18

North Korea tells US that Kim Jong Un ready to discuss nukes

Associated PressWASHINGTON ó North Koreaís government has communicated with the United States to say that leader Kim Jong Un is ready to discuss his nuclear weapons program with President Donald Trump, officials said Sunday, increasing the likelihood...
Published: 04/08/18
Air Force pilot killed in Iraq helicopter crash honored at Tampa funeral

Air Force pilot killed in Iraq helicopter crash honored at Tampa funeral

TAMPA ó Air Force Capt. Andreas OíKeeffe was the kind of guy who lived to help others, which is why he was in the co-pilot seat aboard an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter when it took off March 15 from a base in western Iraq.A graduate of Tampa Bay Technic...
Updated one month ago

4 Marines killed in helicopter crash in California

LOS ANGELES ó Four Marines were killed when their helicopter crashed while they were practicing desert landings in Southern California, the Miramar air station in San Diego said Wednesday. The Marines took off from a ground-combat center in the city ...
Updated one month ago
Howard Altman: Syrian pullout creates concerns

Howard Altman: Syrian pullout creates concerns

Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace on Tuesday, Army Gen. Joseph Votel did not sound like a guy who was planning on pulling American forces out of Syria."We are in Syria to fight ISIS," Votel said about the Sunni jihadi group. "That is our missio...
Updated one month ago
Haley VA director personally presents clinic plans to Sun City Center

Haley VA director personally presents clinic plans to Sun City Center

SUN CITY CENTER ó Blanche Sullivan was undeniably impressed.Joe Battle, director of the James A. Haley Veteransí Hospital and Clinics, took time out of his busy schedule to drive to Sun City Center and personally facilitate the March 30 town hall mee...
Updated one month ago
International commandos to show off capabilities in Tampa again in May

International commandos to show off capabilities in Tampa again in May

Be afraid Mayor Buckhorn.Be very afraid.The bad guys might be after you again.You know the ones. They show up every other year in Tampa and capture you, only to see you rescued by a cadre of international commandos swooping in on helicopters, inflata...
Updated one month ago