By Tony Bertuca
The White House is requesting an additional $5 billion in overseas contingency funding in fiscal year 2015 to support its expanded campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, with $1.6 billion to support the U.S. mission to train and equip Iraqi and Kurdish forces, according to government documents.
The initial OCO request made in June sought $58.6 billion, but new additions sought by the Pentagon would bring OCO to $63.6 billion for fiscal year 2015. The White House is also requesting an additional $520 million for the State Department.
New Defense Department procurement highlights from the $5 billion supplemental request include an additional $54 million to restock the Navy’s Raytheon-made Tomahawk and Maverick missiles; $55 million to purchase small, tactical unmanned aerial vehicles for the Navy; $49 million for the Air Force’s Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munition and general-purpose bombs; $21.3 million for Lockheed Martin’s Hellfire missiles and Boeing’s Small Diameter Bombs, also for the Air Force; and $51 million in Army counterintelligence electronics.
The new request also seeks an additional $931 million for Air Force operations and maintenance funding; $779.6 million for Army O&M; $122.6 million for the Navy; and $464 million for defense-wide O&M.
The Air Force would also see a $544 million increase for “classified purposes.”
“The approach to counter ISIL has evolved with emerging requirements identified subsequent to the June OCO amendment, and therefore not previously requested,” according to a November 10 letter to Congress signed by President Obama. “These amendments include the additional funding necessary to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.”
The White House request sent to Congress notes that the United States does not expect to pay the entire bill, noting that all U.S. support is contingent on Iraqi contributions.
“Key principles of the [Iraqi Train and Equip Fund] are that (1) the Government of Iraq is in the lead and will share the cost burden, (2) U.S. assistance levels are limited and are focused on bridging the most critical near-term capabilities consistent with the campaign plan, and (3) coalition participation and support will be actively sought for both personnel and financial support,” according to the White House.
However, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters last week that he would not characterize Iraq’s pending contribution to Operation Inherent Resolve as “the bulk.”
Meanwhile, the request notes that the Iraqi government will be required to pay for “items such as cost of site operations, life support of its forces, and other costs; coalition partners will contribute personnel and support for this effort.”