WASHINGTON, 19 Oct. 2005. The 2006 budget for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will increase funding for explosives detection technology, for the Coast Guard's Deepwater upgrade program, and for an integrated Preparedness Directorate to enhance coordination and deployment.
The new budget includes $40.6 billion in both discretionary spending and mandatory and fee-based programs.
"The bill I sign today supports our ongoing efforts to protect our homeland with $30.8 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal year 2006, an increase of $1.8 billion over the 2005 levels. This bill will help us identify terrorists seeking to enter our country, safeguard our cities against weapons of mass destruction, and better prepare the federal government to respond to catastrophic attack," said President George W. Bush in a White House signing ceremony.
"The bill provides more than $2.3 billion for the Border Patrol so we can keep more illegal immigrants from getting into this country. In other words, we're expanding the number of agents in a rational, planned way. This bill gives $139 million to improve our technology and intelligence capabilities, including portable imaging machines, and cameras and sensors and automated targeting systems that focus on high-risk travelers and goods," he said.
Budget highlights include a concentration on technology and detection:
* The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is funded at $1.5 billion, which includes $110 million for counter-MANPADS research. The bill also provides $23 million for the National Bio and Agrodefense Facility (NBAF) and consolidates research and development funds within S&T.
* The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office is funded at $318 million to better secure the nation from radiological and nuclear threats.
* The new budget provides $6.8 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard, including $933.1 million of the Coast Guard's Integrated Deepwater program.
* The Appropriations Act provides a total of $5.9 billion for the Transportation Security Administration, including $443 million for explosive detection technology.
Another highlight is increased money for a Preparedness Directorate. The FY 2006 Appropriations Act provides $4.0 billion to enhance coordination and deployment of preparedness assets, facilitate grants, and oversee nationwide preparedness efforts supporting first responder training, citizen awareness, public health, and critical planning functions to build capacity, protect critical infrastructure, and strengthen cyber systems.
Grant funding provided through this Directorate includes $1.155 billion for high-density urban areas, $550 million for basic formula grants, $400 million for law enforcement terrorism prevention grants, $655 million for firefighter assistance grants, and $185 million for emergency management performance grants.
Also, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center will receive $282 million to train federal law enforcement personnel and construct additional training facilities to accommodate the increased number of Border Patrol and Immigration Enforcement Agents that need to be trained.
Finally, in the area of border security and interior enforcement, the 2006 budget adds both technology and manpower.
Customs and Border Protection will receive $5.95 billion in direct funding to strengthen border security with additional personnel, technology and infrastructure. It includes 1,000 new Border Patrol agents and $270 million for construction, including $35 million to complete the San Diego Border Infrastructure System and $35 million for other infrastructure needs within the Tucson Sector. The bill provides approximately $400 million for CBP Air assets, including $14 million for covert aircraft and $14.8 million for Northern Border Airwing.
Within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the bill provides a total of $3.9 billion in direct appropriations and fees. Significant increases in funding were provided for detention beds ($90 million), Special Agents ($42 million), fugitive operations teams ($16 million), and Immigration Enforcement Agents ($9 million).
The budget also supports some of Secretary Michael Chertoff's administrative recommendations, by:
* creating an Office of Intelligence and Analysis to be led by a Chief Intelligence Officer by separating out and elevating the Information Analysis component of IAIP.
* integrating the Department's existing preparedness efforts, including planning, training, exercising, and funding into a single Preparedness Directorate.
* establishing an Operations Office, which will include the Homeland Security Operations Center, and
* establishing the Office of Policy and the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs.
For more information, see www.dhs.gov.
By Ben Ames
Senior Editor, Military & Aerospace Electronics