Space Force Budget Could Drop For First Time in FY2025

Space Force Budget Could Drop For First Time in FY2025

President Biden’s FY2025 request for the U.S. Space Force is $29.4 billion, $600 million less than what he asked for in FY2024. Congress is still working on the FY2024 request. The Space Force and the rest of DOD are operating under a Continuing Resolution that expires on March 22. If the requested levels for FY2024 and 2025 are approved, the Space Force will suffer a two percent loss, the first reduction since it was created in 2020.

House Republicans are insisting on deep cuts to federal spending to rein in the federal deficit. Last year,  in return for suspending the debt limit, agreement was reached in the Fiscal Responsibility Act to make significant cuts in FY2024 and FY2025 to non-defense discretionary spending (like NASA) and allow only modest increases for defense, less than Biden requested.

Acting Under Secretary of the Air Force Kristyn Jones briefs reporters about the FY2025 bufget request for the Air Force and Space Force, March 11, 2024. Screengrab.

Congress is still debating FY2024 funding for defense and five other appropriations bills. The most recent Continuing Resolution will keep them operating until a week from Friday, March 22. (The other six FY2024 appropriations bills, including the one that funds NASA, passed last week.)

Meanwhile, Biden submitted his budget request for FY2025 on Monday.

For the Space Force, the request is a turning point for the newest military service — a reduction instead of an increase.

The U.S. Space Force was created in December 2019 pursuant to the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act as the sixth military service, separating it from the U.S. Air Force. The Space Force and the Air Force comprise the Department of the Air Force (DAF).

The first full Space Force budget request was for FY2021, $15.4 billion, basically a reshuffling of funds as the Space Force budget was separated from the Air Force.

In FY2022, the request was $17.4 billion and Congress appropriated $18 billion. For FY2023, the request was $24.5 billion and Congress appropriated $26.3 billion. For FY2024, the request is $30 billion.

For FY2025, Biden is requesting $29.4 billion, a $600 million decrease from the pending FY2024 request. It is part of a total $33.7 billion request for space activites in the defense budget. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s statement on the budget didn’t specify what the other funds are for saying only that the total is “for vital space capabilities, resilient architectures, and enhanced space command and control to keep space safe for military, civilian, and commercial operations.”

In an interview with Defense One today, Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, said the requested amount will not hold them back: “We are still investing heavily in resilient architectures to make sure we can continue to provide missile warning, satellite communications and precision navigation and timing.”

The request includes:

  • $4.3 billion for procurement
  • $18.7 billion for research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E)
  • $5.2 billion for Operation and Maintenance, and
  • $1.2 billion for military personnel

At a DAF briefing on Monday, Kristyn Jones, acting Under Secretary of the Air Force, and Maj. Gen. Mike Greiner, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Budget, laid out some of the details.




Jones said the Space Force request includes $4.7 billion for a proliferated multi-orbit missile warning system and $4.4 billion for disaggregated satellite communications. It also includes $2.2 billion to procure 11 commercial space launches (seven through the National Security Space Launch program and four for the Space Development Agency). Greiner said 63 percent of the request, $18.7 billion, is for RDT&E, which is $500 million or 2.6 percent less than the FY2024 request.

Asked about the reduction in funding for the Space Force, Jones replied it was strictly due to the caps imposed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Her main complaint was not the caps, but Continuing Resolutions that hold agencies to their existing funding levels. The current CR — the fourth for FY2024 — is just one in a long string over more than a decade.  Urging Congress to finalize FY2024 spending for defense and the other pending appropriations bills, she emphasized the consequences of delay.

“We’ve been in the current CR for five months and since 2011 have spent nearly five years operating under a CR. And the most devastating impact is the time we lose standing still while our adversaries accelerate forward. This is time we cannot afford to lose. We cannot fight with one hand tied behind our back.” — Kristyn Jones

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.