Defense budgets on a climb

The Defense Department operations and maintenance budget will continue to grow at 6 percent per year through fiscal 2009, an industry trade group last month predicted.

The Government Electronics and Information Technology Association projected that over the next five years, outsourcing and conversion and upgrades to training, logistics and supply-chain management systems will increase.

Randy Fette, co-chair of the GEIA forecast team, said the Defense Department has budgeted about $140 billion for operations and maintenance in fiscal 2005.

"Areas that grew in the new budget include security and combat communications accounts, as well as combat support, flight and other training," Fette said. "Segments that decreased include depot maintenance and servicewide transportation, as well as base operations."

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