2014 Budget

DOD budget includes boosts for cyber, future priorities

dollar question

Despite months of talk about drastic cost-cutting, the Defense Department's budget for fiscal 2014 may not look much smaller than last year's – or the previous few years, for that matter. However, Pentagon officials on April 10 insisted the administration's requested budget reflects changing and stark realities facing the military.

The fiscal 2014 DOD base budget provides $526.6 billion, and close to $90 billion in overseas contingency operations, or wartime funding. The base budget includes roughly $130 billion for the Army, $156 billion for the Navy, $144 billion for the Air Force and $97 billion for defense-wide activities.

The base budget is a decrease of nearly $4 billion, less than 1 percent, from last year's budget.

"As I discussed last week, the cost of infrastructure and overhead, acquisition and personnel compensation must be addressed in order to put the Defense Department budget on a sustainable path," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said at a Pentagon press conference. "The request being presented today takes important steps in these areas."

According to a summary of the DOD budget proposal, the principal objectives for fiscal 2014 are to "act as good stewards of public funds, implement and deepen program alignment to the new defense strategy, create a force that is ready across a spectrum of missions and keep people central to our plans."

Within those goals are savings and efficiencies -- $34 billion worth in the 2014 budget across the future years' defense plan. The budget also asks for another round of Base Realignment and Closure in 2015, which would cost $2.4 billion over the next five years "but would eventually save substantial sums."

While the budget ignores spending cuts and caps that were mandated by 2011's Budget Control Act, it includes forward-looking investments for the post-Afghanistan military.

"The budget continues to pursue strategic priorities that reflect our nation's renewed commitment to our historical role in the Asia-Pacific region," officials wrote in budget documents posted to the White House's website. "It also targets resources toward other strategic priorities such as increasing our ability to effectively navigate the security challenges and opportunities of cyberspace, continuing to focus on funding on research and development and combatting terrorism."

Cyber, science and technology spotlighted

DOD's budget allocates nearly $5 billion to cyberspace operations – up from less than $4 billion last year – in addition to $10 billion for space and $2.5 billion for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies. It also includes close to $66 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation; $12 billion for science and technology; and $3 billion for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a nearly 2 percent increase over fiscal 2012.

The Pentagon budget boosts cybersecurity with initiatives for cyber forces and U.S. Cyber Command, as well as information-sharing through the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Five, designed to connect cybersecurity centers and other cyber analytics electronically and in real time.

Other areas of cyber focus emphasized in the budget:

• Construction of the Joint Operations Center for USCYBERCOM at Ft. Meade, Md., scheduled to begin in 2014 and last through 2017;
• Development of tools to automate vulnerability detection on classified networks;
• Funding for commercial software for data monitoring of defense networks that will identify and isolate suspect files for analysis;
• Support for defensive cyberspace operations providing information assurance and cyber security to the defense networks at all levels;
• Enhancement of cyberspace range capabilities by increasing capacity, improving analysis, and mainstreaming and sustaining capabilities of the National Cyber Range developed by DARPA under the oversight of the DDOD's Test Resource Management Center.

In some cases, such as cybersecurity research, investment grew by as much as triple over fiscal 2012, according to budget documents.

Mining DOD buying for savings

Beyond cyber, acquisition reform also was highlighted as a priority.

Reforms to acquisition through the Better Buying Power initiative, originally launched by now-Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, are supported in the budget. Documents note that the program has helped DOD institute best practices, "including applying lessons learned, expanding strategic sourcing, establishing acquisition professional reviews and instituting peer reviews to ensure effective competition."

"Today's constrained funding environment makes it even more important that DOD find effective means to increase its purchasing power for goods and services," officials wrote. "New BBP initiatives address current fiscal realities, including enforcing affordability caps, measuring cost performance and aligning contractor profitability with acquisition goals."

In the press conference, Hagel noted some acquisition programs already have been shuttered, and hinted that could continue as the hunt for savings and acquisition reforms endure.

"Over the last four years, the department has canceled or curtailed more than 30 major acquisition programs...rebalancing our portfolio towards platforms better suited to 21st century security challenges, and making new investments in areas like cyber and advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities," Hagel said.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

The 2015 Federal 100

Meet 100 women and men who are doing great things in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image (by venimo): e-learning concept image, digital content and online webinar icons.

    Can MOOCs make the grade for federal training?

    Massive open online courses can offer specialized IT instruction on a flexible schedule and on the cheap. That may not always mesh with government's preference for structure and certification, however.

  • Shutterstock image (by edel): graduation cap and diploma.

    Cybersecurity: 6 schools with the right stuff

    The federal government craves more cybersecurity professionals. These six schools are helping meet that demand.

  • Rick Holgate

    Holgate to depart ATF

    Former ACT president will take a job with Gartner, follow his spouse to Vienna, Austria.

  • Are VA techies slacking off on Yammer?

    A new IG report cites security and productivity concerns associated with employees' use of the popular online collaboration tool.

  • Shutterstock image: digital fingerprint, cyber crime.

    Exclusive: The OPM breach details you haven't seen

    An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data, and the government's step-by-step response.

  • Stephen Warren

    Deputy CIO Warren exits VA

    The onetime acting CIO at Veterans Affairs will be taking over CIO duties at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare.

    DOD awards massive health records contract

    Leidos, Accenture and Cerner pull off an unexpected win of the multi-billion-dollar Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract, beating out the presumptive health-records leader.

  • Sweating the OPM data breach -- Illustration by Dragutin Cvijanovic

    Sweating the stolen data

    Millions of background-check records were compromised, OPM now says. Here's the jaw-dropping range of personal data that was exposed.

  • FCW magazine

    Let's talk about Alliant 2

    The General Services Administration is going to great lengths to gather feedback on its IT services GWAC. Will it make for a better acquisition vehicle?

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above