Earlier this week, Congress finally reached an agreement on the contentious fiscal 2017 budget. The $1.16 trillion omnibus spending bill allocates $598.5 billion in discretionary funding to the Department of Defense.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis commented on the omnibus bill in a statement released by the DoD, saying that “[He] is pleased that the Congress has secured a $21 billion increase in funding for our defense. This is an important step toward rebuilding military readiness at a time when we are confronting serious security challenges throughout the globe. These additional funds will accelerate the campaign to defeat ISIS, support ongoing operations in Afghanistan, and address critical budget shortfalls. Everything from new missiles and ammunition to facility upgrades to new aircraft are being funded by this bill.”
Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, provided some details on how the $598.5 billion discretionary DoD budget will be spent in a press briefing published on May 1st. Mulvaney stated that “$9 billion to address immediate war-fighting readiness requirements, $2.5 billion for munitions, war consumables and spare parts; $1.4 billion to modify existing deployable weapons systems.”
Mulvaney also expressed the DoD’s desire to acquire more MV-22 helicopters, Apache attack helicopters, and “any materials that may be required to rebuild the military.”
It’s safe to say that FY 2017 will be replete with defense-related opportunities, especially given Mulvaney and Mattis’ comments on specific products and services that the DoD is interested in obtaining. Armament manufacturers, infrastructure and facility construction firms, and aircraft builders will have plenty of attention focused on them, and more importantly, plenty of opportunities to work with the federal government.
The drastic increase in DoD funding will likely lead to a flurry of acquisition activity from the federal government. James MacStravic, the Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) will be at the forefront of this activity. Mr. MacStravic is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to acquisition; research and engineering; developmental testing; contract administration; logistics and material readiness; installations and environment; operational energy; chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons; the acquisition workforce; and the defense industrial base.
MacStravic is spearheading the efforts to increase the DoD’s buying power and improving the performance of the defense acquisition enterprise. With the increased DoD budget for FY 2017, we’re likely going to see a sharp uptick in DoD acquisitions, which in turn will put Mr. MacStravic in the limelight.
THIS WEEK’S TOP GOVCON STORIES