skip to main content

Pentagon budget 2023: Army proposes cuts to weapons accounts, force size

The US Army is requesting USD177.5 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal year (FY) 2023, a slight increase over this year's enacted figure, but with plans to cut the size of the active-duty force and weapons procurement accounts.

On 28 March the White House submitted its annual budget request to Congress, and it included USD773 billion to fund the Department of Defense next year, USD30.7 billion less then approved for FY 2022.

For the army's part, the service is requesting USD3.9 billion more than it received in 2022 but is proposing several cuts including reducing the size of the total force from just over 1 million soldiers, down to 998,500. Plans call for maintaining the size of the Army National Guard and Reserve but cutting 12,000 soldiers from the active-duty force for a total of 473,000 soldiers.

“We proactively made a decision to temporarily reduce our end strength,” Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo said during a press conference. “I would just want to emphasize that this is not a budget driven decision. It's about maintaining high quality of our talent and our recruiting, and we will look to build back up our end strength over the course of the” next five years.

This budget request also includes reductions to the army's weapons accounts with plans to spend USD21.3 billion to procure new weapons (USD1.5 billion less than it is approved to spend this year) and USD13.7 billion for research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) activities (USD800 million less than this year).

More specifically, the army wants to reduce its planned aviation buy next year by approximately USD500 million, mainly via “one time” funding reductions to the MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system, UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook programmes, service budget chief Major General Mark Bennett explained.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...