President Joe Biden’s Fiscal Year 2025 Defense Budget request was delivered to the US Congress late afternoon March 11. 

The document’s funding topline is $849.8 billion for the Defense Department.  

Depending on your political leanings, it may be a bit premature either pop the champagne cork or vigorously complain about the budget – either in whole or in parts. The budget request will soon start its byzantine journey through the US congressional process during an increasingly partisan election year, with many competing interests and agendas emerging almost daily.     

Representative simulation and training highlights from the administration’s budget are contained in this article.  


Training in the Air, Space and Cyber Domains 

The budget looks to expand, or attempts to hold the line on, US aviation training capacity. In one instance, the Air Force’s Research, Development, Test and Evaluation budget requests about $225 million for Combat Training Ranges, compared to the approximate $153 million spent, in total, in FY24. The administration’s Air Force RDT&E budget also requests about $40 million for Specialized Undergraduate Flight Training, compared to $41.464 million funded in FY24. There was an uptick in the request for service RDT&E funding for USAF Live, Virtual, Constructive Operational Training – about $29.8 million as opposed to $25.1 million spent in 24. 

Out in cyberspace, an attention-getter is the administration request under Defense-Wide RDT&E to further develop the US military cyber training environment, specifying about $158 million for the line compared to $115 million for the FY24 budget.  

The FY25 budget request looks favorably on further strengthening Space Force training. In one case, $65.3 million is requested for improvements to Operational Test and Training Infrastructure.


An Army Highlight

For the Army, the budget request supports three Transformation initiatives including Army Cross-Functional Teams. A CFT relevant to MS&T is the Synthetic Training Environment.   


Training to Support Deterrence Initiatives

A separate funding document was dedicated to the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. The administration is requesting about $3.0 billion to allow US forces in the Indo-Pacific to exercise to maintain effectiveness with their allies and partners in the region. One representative investment in the US Navy’s $267.1 million share of the total request is for a Pacific Multi-Domain Training Experimentation Capability.   

A companion, dedicated European Deterrence Initiative funding document seeks similar investments to support and strengthen US force capacity in Europe. One funding line requests $187.8 million for theatre exercise and training support. Specific attention in this broad funding category will enable US forces to maintain their vigorous level of participation with NATO forces throughout the area of responsibility in all warfare domains. 


Reserve Components

The president’s budget request also seeks to fund the reserve and Guard to be mission-ready members of the Joint Force, in part, through training investments. In one case, the Army National Guard will again conduct two Combat Training Center rotations at two major training sites (National Training Center and Joint Readiness Training Center). The ARNG will also conduct three Exportable Combat Training Capability events in Georgia, Virginia, and Mississippi.


Attention on the Budget Process

Numerous forces are coming to play as the FY 25 DoD budget request winds its way across Capitol Hill. MS&T will provide highlights of these training readiness developments beginning this month when defense leaders start to deliver their FY25 statements to US Senate and US House committees.  

The entire budget may be viewed here.

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