U.S. Air Force COVID-19 Spending Plans

Published: June 25, 2020

Federal Market AnalysisUSAFCoronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicForecasts and Spending

The Department of Defense has outlined their plans to use $10.5B in coronavirus response funds, including nearly $1.2B at the Air Force.

Key Takeaways

  • The Air Force receives nearly $1.2B in supplemental funding to address COVID-19 requirements.
  • The Air Force plans to spend $54M on personal protective equipment (PPE) and $126.7M on cleaning contracts and non-medical supplies and equipment.
  • Air Force IT requirements receive $71.4M in pandemic-related funding.
  • IT suppliers should watch for procurements to enhance Air Force telework and remote operations capabilities spread across hardware, software, network services, and contract support.

Department of Defense CARES Act Funding

In March, Congress provided the Department of Defense (DOD) with $10.5B in emergency supplemental funding as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security “CARES” Act to address urgent pandemic response requirements.

At the end of May, DOD finally submitted its plan for spending those funds to the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) created to oversee the use of CARES Act funds. The new “Department of Defense Spend Plan For Funding Received in the--Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security “CARES” Act provides a detailed plan of what the DOD’s different components will spend in the coming months, including the U.S. Air Force.

Medical Care: $32M

These Air Force Other Procurement funds will be used for the procurement of biological containment modules for the purpose of establishing an organic DOD capability for transport of High-Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) patients via Air Mobility Command (AMC) aircraft.

Pharmaceuticals and Other Medical Supplies: $54M

Within this category the Air Force will use $54M in appropriated Operation & Maintenance (O&M) funding to purchase non-medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to limit the transmission of infections among general Air Force personnel and those working outside Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs), including medical personnel working outside of MTFs who engage in supporting activities, such as screening and transport of patients persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19. The goal is to protect the force and ensure the continuation of DOD missions.

Cleaning Contracts and Non-Medical Supplies/Equipment: $126.7M

These funds are required to support enhanced cleaning and disinfecting services contracts and to purchase cleaning and disinfecting supplies as a preventative measure to reduce the spread of the virus in work areas and living spaces and to keep military personnel at combat mission-ready status.

  • Air Force O&M: $104M
  • Air Force Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E): $0.2M
  • Air National Guard O&M: $22.5M  

Operations: $384.3M

Air Force funding to sustain operations will come from the following three appropriations accounts:

  • Military Personnel: $71.9M – Funds to cover additional costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including costs from mitigation policies (i.e. restricted movement, quarantine, etc.) like Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) rations and other temporary dining allowances for isolated service members, etc.; increases in relocation costs due to surcharges on household good shipments; and hardship duty pay for personnel cannot quarantine in their existing quarters or other in-kind government lodging.
  • O&M – Air Force: $156.9M; Air Force Reserve: $8M; Air National Guard: $19.1M – Funds the construction and sustainment of temporary facilities, isolation facilities and support for mission essential crews, and lodging and support for personnel either prohibited from returning to home station or in quarantine upon return from overseas locations or following exposure to COVID-19.
  • Research, Development, Test & Evaluation(RDT&E): $128.3M – These appropriated RDT&E dollars will funds the Civilian and contractor salaries for personnel impacted by cancelled or deferred testing projects from reimbursable billing authority customers. The Air Force receives $128.3M, which is two-thirds of the DOD’s total $195.7M in RDT&E funds for research operations.

Information Technology (IT) Equipment/Support: $71.4M

Funding under the following Air Force appropriations accounts will go for the purchase of laptop/notebook computers, Common Access Card (CAC) readers, software licensing, increased bandwidth and associated circuitry, increased services and contract support, and other IT capabilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will also be used in expanding ongoing commercial solutions that provide remote access to NIPRNet and SIPRNet.

  • O&M: $68.5M
  • Other Procurement: $0.1M
  • Air Force Defense Working Capital Fund (DWCF): $2.8M

Reserve Component Support for DOD: $351.2M

The funds are will pay and allowances and associated O&M support costs incurred by Reserve Component members supporting COVID-19 national emergency operations, including support to the Combatant Commands and emergency responses. Examples include medical protocols, such as pre/post-deployment/training quarantine and performing COVID-19 mitigation tasks, such as medical screening and immunizations, facility decontamination, etc.

  • Air Force Military Personnel: $98.1M
  • Air Force Reserve Personnel: $41.7M
  • Air National Guard Personnel: $211.4M

Transactions with Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities (NAFI): $104M

These O&M funds will be used to protect the jobs of 19,000 employees at Air Force Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities – food operations, fitness centers, golf courses, outdoor recreation, libraries, youth centers, bowling alleys, child development centers, and lodging facilities – and who are facing the immediate risk of furlough due to COVID-19 closures.

Air Force, Defense Working Capital Fund: $475.4M

Funds are provided for the Defense Working Capital Funds in accordance with the CARES Act to address existing cash shortfalls to better position the funds to respond to the coronavirus.