More Money Requested for European Reassurance
The 2018 Army budget includes an almost 16 percent increase for the European Reassurance Initiative, with a goal of increasing U.S. troop presence and expanding partner-building capacity with new members of NATO and with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The increase is part of the overseas contingency operations account in the fiscal 2018 federal budget presented by the Trump administration May 23. The budget requires congressional approval.
The Army commitment would be $3.2 billion for the initiative launched in 2014 for what was supposed to be a one-year program to increase American troop presence.
The Army is asking for $1.3 billion to cover troop costs in fiscal 2018, money the Army says will continue brigade combat team and aviation rotations and increase rotations that support training exercises.
To do that, the Army seeks $158 billion for bilateral and multilateral exercises and training, up from $69 billion in fiscal 2017. It also seeks $1.7 billion for pre-positioned equipment stockpiles, a modest $72 million less than Congress provided for in 2017.
More pre-positioned stocks will increase warfighting capability, while added funds increase investment in deterrence, Army officials said in budget briefing documents.