US defense spending plans are unlikely to be revealed until late next month. (US Department of Defense)
The trillion-dollar spending bill that President Obama recently signed includes key provisions on the Pentagonís cyber and information technology operations. The legislation appropriates $572 billion for the department. Here are five things you need to know about the legislation:
1. Cyber Commandís budget nearly doubles under the fiscal 2014 spending bill. Funding jumped from $212 million in fiscal 2013 to $447 million, according to defense officials. Cyber Command is in the process standing up Cyber Mission Force teams for DoD, which are projected to total 6,000 personnel by 2016. The teamsí main focus areas include countering major cyber threats to the U.S., defending DoDís information networks and supporting combatant commands.
2. Congress wants greater insight into how Cyber Command and Special Operations Command funds are spent. In a report that accompanied the bill lawmakers call for additional reporting to justify funds, starting in fiscal 2015 for Special Operations Command and 2016 for Cyber Command. Read more here.
3. The bill provides $93 billion in procurement dollars, about $8 billion less than 2013 enacted levels.
4. The Pentagon received $63 billion for research and development, which is $7 billion below last yearís enacted levels. But DoDĎs Rapid Innovation Program got a $175 million increase for program management and oversight, to conduct research, development, test and evaluation and other expenses. The program is a vehicle for small businesses to rapidly provide the department with innovative technologies.
5. The secretary of the Army is being encouraged to accelerate efforts aimed at closing the gap between the challenges of operating traditional military equipment and the ease of using handheld devices, according to a Congressional report that accompanied the bill. That includes updating equipment user interfaces to improve warfighter performance.