Budget Provides Black Hawks, More to Guard

NGAUS Washington Report
March 27, 2018

The fiscal 2018 budget signed into law Friday provides 20 new UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for the Army National Guard, eight more than in the original budget request. The budget funds a total of 56 of the helicopters with $1.1 billion.

That’s one of the highlights of the budget report prepared by the NGAUS legislative staff and now available on the NGAUS website here. The budget comes several months late following five continuing resolutions and a shutdown of the federal government. President Donald Trump signed the budget Friday after initially threatening to veto it.

The defense budget of $655.1 billion is $62.1 billion above the fiscal 2017 budget. It includes a 2.4 percent military pay raise that was effective Jan. 1.

The budget includes more than $405 million for recapitalization of the JSTARS program that the Air Force wants to end. The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System mission is flown only by the 116th Air Control Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard. Congress wants the defense secretary to describe the Pentagon’s plan to replace the E-8C JSTARS fleet as it begins work on the fiscal 2019 budget.

The National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account receives $1.3 billion, with $429 million designated for the Army Guard and the same amount for the Air Guard.

Army Guard military construction receives $220 million, including funding for designated projects in eight states. The Air Guard receives $171 million for MILCON, including designated funding for projects in 11 states.

Other Guard highlights in the budget are:

  • $220 million for modernization of Army Guard Humvees;
  • $12 million for Army Guard Cyber Protection Teams;
  • $639.7 million for new C-130J aircraft for the Air Force, including six designated for the Air Guard;
  • $236.4 million for the Counterdrug Program and $25 million for counterdrug training centers;
  • $30 million for the Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program;
  • $12.9 million for the Defense Department STARBASE program, and;
  • $8 million for the State Partnership Program.

The budget also includes items that will likely benefit the Guard, but include no specific allocations. These include:

  • $951.4 million for 30 AH-64E Apache helicopters;
  • $695.4 million to modernize AH-64D Apaches into AH-64E;
  • $439 million for CH-47 Chinook helicopters for the Army;
  • $103 million for the A-10 Thunderbolt wing-replacement program;
  • $144 million for C-130H modernization;
  • $209.8 million for full-spectrum electronic warfare survivability systems for the F-15 Eagle;
  • $10 million for infrared search and track for the F-15; and
  • $40 million for active electronically scanned-array radars for the F-16 Viper.