A U.S. Air Force 52nd Fighter Wing crew chief marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon down the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 1 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alison Stewart)

WASHINGTON — US European Command would invest an additional $83 million in air base defense if allotted extra money in the fiscal year 2025 budget, according to an unfunded wish list sent to Congress.

The spending makes up the bulk of EUCOM’s $141 million unfunded priorities list, which the combatant commands and military services are mandated to send to Congress after the release of the president’s budget request.

The air base defense priority is the largest of the three items EUCOM listed, with almost $67 million needed for additional sensors that would plug into the Air Force’s base defense network, allowing it “to detect and identify cruise missiles, large, and small unmanned aerial systems, and other incoming attacks.”

Another $16 million would be used for operations, maintenance and sustainment of existing air base defense equipment.

Funding for these priorities was not requested in the FY25 request as the Air Force sought to put its limited funds toward base defense in the Indo-Pacific, thus accepting greater risk in Europe, EUCOM stated in the list.

If not funded in FY25, EUCOM warned that air bases in the region “will have limited options to mitigate the air and missile attack, needing advance warning to implement resource-limited dispersal plans, retaining significant operational risk and reduced capability and flexibility.”

Also included in the list are:

$35 million for military construction projects, including $22 million to build a Aeromedical Evacuation Compound that would provide space to treat casualties and act as a command and control node to airlift medical patients during a contingency.
$23 million for Army and Navy information technology needs, including the procurement of computers, mobile devices, cybersecurity software and other equipment.