Shrinking Budgets Mean Squeeze Is Coming

Shrinking Budgets Mean Squeeze Is Coming mtan-admin Wed, 09/08/2021 - 13:36 Senior Army leaders expect “downward pressure” from flat or shrinking defense budgets as the service pushes forward with its sweeping transformation and modernization effort. “For us it’s prudent to be pretty conservative in our assumptions,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said. With factors such as inflation and how it will impact the Army’s purchasing power, “there’s going to continue to be downward pressure, [and] we’re going to, I think, continue to have to make hard choices.” Speaking Sept. 8 at a conference hosted by Defense News, Wormuth and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said they are keeping a close eye on contingency requirements—from wildfire and hurricane response to the ongoing effort to resettle Afghan evacuees—and how it might affect readiness and the Army budget. The Army’s modernization plan is “ambitious, a once-in-40-years approach,” Wormuth said, but the service must also be scrupulous as the effort starts to produce prototypes that could become programs of record. “We are going to have to look really carefully at the 31 plus four programs as well as the enablers,” she said, referring to the Army’s priority modernization programs. Everything from cost to performance to fielding schedule should be examined. “We’re trying to find savings wherever we possibly can and also try to be innovative in terms of how we’re managing the demands on our budget,” Wormuth said. She emphasized that the Army is “very committed” to its overall transformation and modernization, “which we absolutely need.” McConville agreed. “We know where we need to go,” he said. “It’s about us delivering the best Army we can with the resources we’ve been given.” This approach extends beyond new technology and equipment, he added. “We’ve got to make sure we have trained forces,” he said, citing as an example the 82nd Airborne Division, which deployed an infantry brigade combat team with no notice to help with the recently completed evacuation mission in Afghanistan. “We have got to make sure that our troops are ready to go, like they were, and we can’t half-step on that,” McConville said. Image Image Credit U.S. Army/Spc. Robert Douglas Lead In Secretary Wormuth Warns of Continued ‘Downward Pressure’ Publication Date Wed, 09/08/2021 - 14:35 Tags Headline news Budget Secretary of the Army Chief of Staff Modernization Members Only Off

Shrinking Budgets Mean Squeeze Is Coming
Shrinking Budgets Mean Squeeze Is Coming mtan-admin Wed, 09/08/2021 - 13:36

Senior Army leaders expect “downward pressure” from flat or shrinking defense budgets as the service pushes forward with its sweeping transformation and modernization effort.

“For us it’s prudent to be pretty conservative in our assumptions,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said. With factors such as inflation and how it will impact the Army’s purchasing power, “there’s going to continue to be downward pressure, [and] we’re going to, I think, continue to have to make hard choices.”

Speaking Sept. 8 at a conference hosted by Defense News, Wormuth and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said they are keeping a close eye on contingency requirements—from wildfire and hurricane response to the ongoing effort to resettle Afghan evacuees—and how it might affect readiness and the Army budget.

The Army’s modernization plan is “ambitious, a once-in-40-years approach,” Wormuth said, but the service must also be scrupulous as the effort starts to produce prototypes that could become programs of record. “We are going to have to look really carefully at the 31 plus four programs as well as the enablers,” she said, referring to the Army’s priority modernization programs.

Everything from cost to performance to fielding schedule should be examined. “We’re trying to find savings wherever we possibly can and also try to be innovative in terms of how we’re managing the demands on our budget,” Wormuth said.

She emphasized that the Army is “very committed” to its overall transformation and modernization, “which we absolutely need.”

McConville agreed. “We know where we need to go,” he said. “It’s about us delivering the best Army we can with the resources we’ve been given.”

This approach extends beyond new technology and equipment, he added. “We’ve got to make sure we have trained forces,” he said, citing as an example the 82nd Airborne Division, which deployed an infantry brigade combat team with no notice to help with the recently completed evacuation mission in Afghanistan.

“We have got to make sure that our troops are ready to go, like they were, and we can’t half-step on that,” McConville said.

Image
Stryker vehicles roll down the range
Image Credit
U.S. Army/Spc. Robert Douglas
Lead In
Secretary Wormuth Warns of Continued ‘Downward Pressure’
Publication Date
Members Only
Off