Michael Cisek | Senior Associate at AeroDynamic Advisory
Earlier this year, most questions regarding US military sustainment centered around the new released budget. The White House roll out of the proposed 2021 fiscal year budget showed that while Congress is assured to amend certain line items, there will at least be a temporary leveling of defense spending. Now the focus is how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect military spending, readiness, and future investment.
The White House proposed budget of $705 billion was slightly less than last year’s appropriated $713 billion, while the top line number of $740 billion is still less when taking inflation into account. In 2020, the US military is expected to generate over $51 billion in MRO demand, half driven by field maintenance activities. Now, as the services each vie for funding, they face hard decisions on aircraft retirements and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities.
Balancing the needs to modernize while also ensuring a certain percentage of aircraft are “mission-capable”, the services are placing a priority on fleet readiness, upgraded aircraft and smarter sustainment. Additionally, they need to ensure a fully functioning supply chain and meet mission requirements while their suppliers are experiencing a generational economic calamity.