DOD gets good marks overall

The Bush administration is asking for $379.3 billion for the Defense Department in fiscal 2003 — about a 13 percent increase — with more money for unmanned vehicles, intelligent communications systems, and research and development.

A senior DOD official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Bush administration's proposal includes $27 billion for the war on terrorism. The money will primarily be used for force protection, counterterrorism and intelligence.

The budget proposal, scheduled to be delivered to Congress Feb. 4, includes $5.5 billion for "superior command, control and communications infrastructure that moves a high volume of warfighting information" and $826 million to develop a system to provide secure communications for warfighters.

The budget also allocates $1 billion for unmanned vehicles, from surveillance planes to underwater systems mainly used for mine detection.

The budget seeks $9.9 billion for science and technology research and development, which represents about 2.7 percent of the overall DOD budget, close to DOD's stated goal of 3 percent.

DOD's budget for research, development, test and evaluation (RDTE) totals $53.9 billion, a 10 percent increase over 2002 funding.

The Army is slated to receive slightly less money this year. That is because its RDTE program, the overall Army transformation initiative, is already under way and is "rolling along," the DOD official said. "It's a matter of continuing something good."

About the Authors

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine,, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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