Clinton budget proposes $10 billion for Defense IT operations

The president’s fiscal 2000 budget has a $267.2 billion slice for the Defense
Department, including approximately $10 billion for information technology. The budget is
only a slight increase over this year’s.

The budget proposal earmarked $2.8 billion for the Army’s Force XXI battlefield
digitization program—a $200 million increase over this year’s budget. Force XXI
is designed to network tanks, trucks, humvees, helicopters and soldiers in the field
through the service’s so-called Tactical Internet.

“A digitally networked Army provides a fully integrated command and control
capability from the regional commander in chief to the soldier,” the Army’s
budget documents said.

The service plans on fielding the first digitized division next year and the first
digitized corps in 2004. The Army also wants to spend almost $193 million next year on
base communications, including the Defense Message System and LANs.

Likewise, the Air Force would like to spend nearly $123 million to upgrade its base
information infrastructure.

The service wants to upgrade communications at 108 Air Force bases worldwide as part of
the five-year, $1.2 billion Combat Information Transport System program.

The Air Force next year will continue its heavy investment in satellite communications.
The service requested more than $361 million in R&D funds for the Milstar System and
almost $270 million for the Global Positioning System.

The Navy wants to set aside $476.9 million next year to install asynchronous transfer
mode LANs and satellite communications terminals on ships and local and regional networks
ashore under the Information Technology for the 21st Century initiative. The IT-21 request
represents a $178 million increase over this year’s funding.

“Increased funding in fiscal year 2000 accelerates network connectivity efforts,
installing ATM LAN and SATCOM terminals to support network centric warfare capability for
deploying battle groups,” Navy budget documents said.

Among the DOD agencies, the Defense Logistics Agency appears to be the biggest loser in

The budget calls for a procurement fund of $47.5 million next year, down from $100.3
million this year. In addition, DLA’s R&D account is tagged to reach its lowest
level in three years: $37.2 million, down from $167.8 million last year.

Departmentwide basic research for systems and communications technology, however, will
remain stable if Congress approves the president’s $323 million request. And applied
research funds for command, control and communications systems would increase by more than
$45 million to $222.9 million.

DOD also is seeking $232 million for the Information Systems Security Program, $159
million for the High-Performance Computing Modernization Program and $40 million for its
work on the Next Generation Internet.  


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