Navy, Marine Corps Request Modest $1.7B in ‘Unfunded Priorities List’ to Congress

An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye assigned to the Tigertails of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 taxis across the flight deck during flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on Oct. 15, 2015. US Navy Photo The Navy and Marine Corps requested just $1.7 billion in additional spending in their Fiscal Year 2019 unfunded priorities lists, an annual list to Congress of projects not covered by the formal budget request – a fraction of last year’s combined $8.2 billion in requests from the two services.

The Navy’s $1.5-billion request calls for a modest increase in armaments, accelerating the purchase of two Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning radar aircraft, and several initiatives that would speed development in cyber warfare and networked warfare through the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) system.

Comparatively, the Navy’s $5.3-billion FY 2018 list called for 20 new aircraft, a range of amphibious landing craft and additional weapons and munitions.

The Marines have an even more modest request of $235 million, strictly for military construction projects that would include a new mess hall at Camp Pendleton, Calif., a welding shop in Albany, Ga. and a cryogenics facility in Beaufort, S.C.

The Navy attributed the lower sum of unfunded priorities to the higher top line in the formal budget request, after lawmakers recently passed a two-year budget deal that gives more certainty – and more money than previously allowed under the Budget Control Act – to the annual defense appropriations process.

“The Navy appreciates the hard work of Congress to enact the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that significantly increases DoD and Navy spending levels for both FY2018 and FY2019,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Chatmas told USNI News today.
“This has resulted in a lower level of critical unfunded priorities in FY19. The FY19 unfunded priorities list represents additional opportunities to accelerate readiness recovery and increase lethality.”

In recent years, and particularly in aviation spending, lawmakers have proven willing to find room in the budget for items in the Unfunded Priorities List. The Navy has been able to buy dozens of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in particular thanks to lawmakers’ interest in adding in items from this annual supplemental request. Navy

An E-2D Hawkeye and a C-2A Greyhound assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 fly over USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) on Oct. 17, 2016 .US Navy Photo The largest line item in the Navy’s $1.5-billion list is $340 million for the acquisition of two Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes, to bring the FY 2019 total to six aircraft. The Navy also requested $176 million for public shipyard investment and $121 million for upgrades to a San Diego graving dock to accommodate Arleigh Burke-class DDG-51 guided-missile destroyers.

The service also asked for $30 million to buy 10 additional Lockheed Marked-built Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs) and for $12 million to buy 48 Boeing Harpoon Block II+ anti-ship missiles.

The Navy requested $46 million for 48 Raytheon AIM 9-X Block II Sidewinder anti-air missiles that will increase the buy from 192 to […]