Ship maintenance and other readiness accounts have long been underfunded in response to budget pressures. A recent article in Stars and Stripes highlights that that is not the case this year as the Navy’s readiness accounts are increasing:
The 2013 budget sent to Congress by the president would increase ship maintenance spending by 12 percent, to about $5.1 billion, excluding ship depot funding.
The increase in Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funding for the Navy is part of a larger narrative – O&M is increasing for all services, up nearly $12 billion from FY12. A large portion of this funding is essentially being transferred from OCO funding, which had served as an escape hatch protecting readiness funds in the past decade. As BFAD’s own Russell Rumbaugh said:
For the first time, we seem to be seeing a genuine effort to institutionalize funding that has been paid for in war budgets, but is necessary to operate our forces whether or not we are at war… This shift represents a positive step in ensuring the enduring costs necessary to maintain our forces are paid for in the base budget, not the temporary war funding.