$54 billion military increase proposed by Trump could benefit Ft. Bragg

CBS North Carolina photo

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — The White House budget director calls it one of the largest budget increases in history.

President Trump wants to devote an additional $54 billion to military spending.

A retired Fort Bragg official talked about how the spending increase could play out.

Current and retired military officials at Fort Bragg say President Trump’s increase in military spending is all about readiness and that the United States must address immediate needs.

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“The top line defense discretionary number is $603 billion dollars, that’s a $54 billion increase,” said Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director.

White house officials say the increase will rebuild the military and protect the nation, to include a secured border.

 “So what they need right now is they need dollars to be able to get readiness to where it needs to be,” said Louis Huddleston, Former Fort Bragg chief of staff.

After 31 years of active duty,  retired Col. Huddleston now runs Operations Services Inc., a company that provides various services to government agencies.

Huddleston says all military services are currently experiencing readiness issues because of budget cuts.

 “As the former Vice Chief for the Army testified, three of the 58 combat brigade teams, only three, have all of the equipment that they’re suppose to have to do what they’re supposed to do,” Huddleston said.

The President Trump has yet to disclose how the $54 billion would be spent.

Huddleston says the Department of Defense will go line by line in the budget and prioritize what’s needed.

“I think primarily those dollars are gonna go towards readiness, operations, maintenance and infrastructure,” Huddleston said.

Meanwhile Huddleston says as defense spending increases, that means more business opportunities especially in places like Fayetteville.

 “Defense contractors being able to support training, being able to do things with regard to infrastructure at Fort Bragg or Seymour Jonson,” Huddleston said.

President Trump also proposed cutting $54 billion from non-military programs.

More is expected to be revealed Tuesday night during Trump’s joint address to Congress about his plan for military spending.

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