Miss. Senator highlights unfunded requirements, budget needs with Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown, Jr.

On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a hearing to receive testimony on the posture of the Department of the Air Force in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2023 and the Future Years Defense Program.

During the hearing, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), called out the damaging effects of inflation on the Department of Defenses’ budget and the huge backlog of capabilities not funded by President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2023 defense budget in an exchange with Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown, Jr.

“We have a list of $4.6 billion that are not funded, including hypersonic testing, F-35 procurement, and weapon system sustainment, among other things. Why aren’t these in the budget request?” Wicker asked Brown. “Am I to understand that hypersonic testing, F-35 procurement, and these $4.6 billion worth of unfunded priority list would help us in this dangerous environment?”

Brown said that anything they don’t have is going to drive for some level of risk.

“And this is something that we talk internal to the Department of the Air Force and with the Department of Defense of how best to balance against the current threat and then also posture selves against a future threat,” Brown said.

Brown expressed his commitment to working with Congress on these issues.

Senator Wicker said that a lack of support for important priorities and rampant inflation are harming our readiness and overall national defense.

“Growing inflation hurts all Americans. It also hinders Congress’s ability to provide for the common defense. Our defense budget must go up to account for soaring costs,” Wicker continued.