Army Receives Budget for Fiscal Year 2004

By Aaron Westbrook

President George W. Bush has signed the National Defense Authorization Act, providing $401 billion for DoD in fiscal year 2004, including $93.3 billion for the Army.

This year's Army budget is an increase of $2.3 billion from last year, and that does not include funds from the $87.5 billion Defense supplemental appropriations for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan reconstruction passed by Congress earlier this month.

The Army's $93.3 billion in the Authorization Act will include an increase in troop strength by 2,400 for an overall authorized Army end-strength of 482,400 troops.

The budget also provides $35 million for establishment of the fifth and sixth Stryker Brigade Combat Teams. The first two SBCTs were formed at Fort Lewis, Wash. The first SBCT — 3rd Brigade 2nd Infantry Division — deployed to Iraq this month. The second SBCT — 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division — is now training at Fort Lewis. The 172nd Infantry Brigade at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Polk, La., were scheduled to be the next two SBCTs. The 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii and a brigade of the 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard, were scheduled to be the fifth and sixth.

About $37.4 billion will be going to the Army's military personnel, which will include an average pay raise of 4.15 percent.

The Army will be receiving $2 billion for aircraft, with the Comanche helicopter estimated to receive $1.1 billion of it. About $1.5 billion was authorized for missiles, almost $2 billion for weapons and tracked combat vehicles, and $1.4 billion for ammunition.

The Army will have $31.2 billion for operations and maintenance expenses for this year.

Congress passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act Oct. 31, waiting only for the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act - signed by the president this morning — to put the DOD budget into affect.