Program & Budget Enterprise System (PBES) Supports the Air Force’s PPBE Process

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Trent Litjes
  • Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate

GUNTER ANNEX, Ala. -- When the President’s budget is announced, many people ask, “how does this happen?”  The President’s budget is calculated years in advance to prepare for the ever-changing environment of the world.

When it comes to the Air Force’s portion of the budget, we now use a system known as the Program & Budget Enterprise System (PBES).

PBES replaced the legacy Air Force budgeting system; Automated Budget Interactive Data Environment System (ABIDES) in January 2022.

Until PBES came along, ABIDES, a program using 1970s technology, intertwined with manual processes, was used to plan the entire Air Force budget in the 21st Century.  PBES’ main responsibility is to support the Air Force’s Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) process.  The PPBE process involves two main “exercises:” the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) and the President’s Budget.

So, your next question may be what is a “POM”?  The POM is an estimate of what the Air Force will request in the President's Budget. The best way to think about the POM is a frame of a house.  You must build the frame first before you have a complete home.  On July 14, 2022, the PBES team submitted the POM for FY24 to OSD-C (Comptroller office at OSD) and CAPE (Programming office at OSD) and essentially “built the frame” for the President's Budget.  This POM submission was the first time that the Air Force Plan to Program (P2P) process was automated and only the second time that the PBES program has submitted the POM.

You may ask yourself “so what does all this mean?” Now that the POM is submitted, individuals at Air Staff can begin to work on the submission of the President’s Budget which will be submitted to Congress in the winter.  Once Congress approves the PB, money can begin to flow down through Air Force Major Commands (MAJCOM) and towards each base so that organizations can purchase anything from pens at their desk to the most technologically advanced fighter aircraft in the world.

"Without a successful POM submission, so many aspects of the Air Force budget process fail," said Gena Howard, PBES PMO.  "Thanks to the hard work of individuals across the Air Force we are proud of the submission and look forward to a successful President’s Budget submission in the upcoming months.”

The PBES PMO supports over 1,000 users across over 45 installations at all Air Force MAJCOMs, U.S. Space Force, and Unified Commands where the Air Force is the executive agent.  PBES also supports the Secretary of the Air Force and AF8/SF8 customers at the Pentagon.