Navy 2021 budget shows IT, cyber adjustments

U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Joshua J. Wahl 

The Navy’s information technology budget seems to be trending downward and that could be a good thing.

In its $207 billion 2021 budget request, the Navy asked for slightly less money for its Information Systems Security Program, which protects Navy’s national security systems and joint cyber systems, including telecommunications and cybersecurity systems, and their data.

The $157.5 million request is $9 million less than fiscal 2020 and, according to budget justification documents, is due to realigning the Counter Insider Threat Capability to a cloud-based, software-only solution and lowering the procurement of SHARKCAGE a global, federated Defensive Cyberspace Operations enclave. The CITC is the Navy’s implementation of the National Insider Threat Policy mandate to deter and detect threats from within the Navy’s networks.

Computer Network Defense, an afloat capability also under IPPS and in place until systems migrate to the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services, got a $1.2 million increase.

The Navy also notes a major procurement decrease thanks to realignment with C4ISR equipment -- $25.8 million in 2020 to $6.7 million in 2021, according to justification books. Those funds were largely realigned to cyberspace activities, a new “cyber pure” line item that covers the Joint Regional Security Stack program, the Deployable Mission Support Systems, and Information Operations Condition. That request is $16.5 million in 2021 and projects a $86.6 million cost in 2022. Those funds are projected to increase to $89.6 million in 2025.

On the personnel front, the Navy is looking to increase its cyber workforce by 10 percent to 1,726. The Marine Corps also wants to spend $200 million on cyberspace activities.

Information warfare is also a key investment with about $2.5 billion out of a total $5.8 billion going to those command and control systems for major programs, $606 million for electronic warfare systems, and $1.6 billion for cyber, according to Navy budget overview documents.

Other enterprise IT funds, which cover modernizing tactical voice and video communications and the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command IW platform, also took a dip. The Navy requested $42.6 million for 2021 and said that was reduced $6 million to account for “the availability of prior year execution balances,” according to justification documents.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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