The Air Force is preparing for a new wave of spending on aircraft procurement, IT modernization, and Space Force, according to a briefing by Bloomberg Government analysts held Sept. 18 in National Harbor, Md.
The briefing took place less than 24 hours after the publication of a memo written by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson outlining a new force structure that called for more than a dozen new aircraft squadrons. It also provided a first glimpse at Space Force, though one sharply at odds with the concept described by Vice President Mike Pence in August.
The event featured Bloomberg Government senior defense analyst Robert Levinson, senior budget analyst Cameron Leuthy, and federal market analyst Chris Cornillie.
Key takeaways from the discussion included:
- The Air Force’s fiscal 2019 budget request of $194 billion represents a 6 percent increase above 2018 levels
- The Air Force leads all military services in RDT&E spending — $40.5 billion in fiscal 2019
- The IT budget is expected to peak in fiscal 2019 at $8.5 billion, with the Air Force boosting spending on command and control while cutting spending on infrastructure
- Key questions surrounding Space Force — What will its relationship with the Air Force and NASA be? Will it need new contract vehicles? What other supporting expenditures are needed? — have yet to be answered
Watch the replay: