Deputy Secretary Work details Overseas Contingency Operations budget request

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work testified in front of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday on the Department of Defense Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget request for fiscal year 2015.

The request for next year is $58.6 billion, down from the fiscal year 2014 OCO budget of $79.4 billion.

Work said the request reflected the continuing withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan throughout 2015.

"While the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will continue to decline over the course of FY 2015, there are significant costs to provide fully for the needs of our troops in the field and for continued war-related costs that will not decline as quickly as the forces themselves," Work said.

Work also said that funding is required to maintain a sizable U.S. military presence in the Middle East that will sustain the operations in Afghanistan and other missions in the region.

The OCO request for 2015 also includes funding for two presidential initiatives. The OCO Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund request for next year is $5 billion, while the European Reassurance Initiative would receive $1 billion. The new European initiative would provide increased U.S. military deployments in the wake of recent developments in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.