Two Critical Challenges: Restoring Balance and Funding

An Army Out of Balance

Today’s Army is out of balance. The current demand for our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeds the sustainable supply and limits our ability to provide ready forces for other contingencies. While our Reserve Components (RC) are performing magnificently, many RC units have found themselves assigned missions for which they were not originally intended nor adequately resourced. Current operational requirements for forces and insufficient time between deployments require a focus on counterinsurgency training and equipping to the detriment of preparedness for the full range of military missions.

We are unable to provide a sustainable tempo of deployments for our Soldiers and Families. Soldiers, Families, support systems, and equipment are stretched and stressed by the demands of lengthy and repeated deployments, with insufficient recovery time. Equipment used repeatedly in harsh environments is wearing out more rapidly than programmed. Army support systems, designed for the pre-9/11 peacetime Army, are straining under the accumulation of stress from six years at war. Overall, our readiness is being consumed as fast as we build it. If unaddressed, this lack of balance poses a significant risk to the All-Volunteer Force and degrades the Army’s ability to make a timely response to other contingencies.

Restoring Balance

We are committed to restoring balance to preserve our All-Volunteer Force, restore necessary depth and breadth to Army capabilities, and build essential capacity for the future. Our plan will mitigate near-term risk and restore balance by 2011 through four imperatives: Sustain, Prepare, Reset and Transform.

Sustain

To sustain our Soldiers, Families, and Army Civilians in an era of persistent conflict we must maintain the quality and viability of the All-Volunteer Force and the many capabilities it provides to the Nation. Sustain ensures our Soldiers and their Families have the quality of life they deserve and that we recruit and sustain a high quality force.

Goals for Sustain:

Prepare

To prepare our Solders, units, and equipment we must maintain a high level of readiness for the current operational environments, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Goals for Prepare:

Reset

To reset our force we must prepare our Soldiers, units, and equipment for future deployments and other contingencies.

Goals for Reset:

Transform

To transform our force, we must continuously improve our ability to meet the needs of the Combatant Commanders in a changing security environment.

Goals for Transform:

Compelling Needs for Sustain, Prepare, Reset and Transform

To achieve balance through the four imperatives, the Army will require sustained, timely, and predictable base budget and GWOT funding. The Army’s compelling needs for FY09 are:

Support and Fund:

“America’s ground forces have borne the brunt of underfunding in the past and the bulk of the costs-both human and material-of the wars of the present. By one count, investment in Army equipment and other essentials was underfunded by more than $50 Billion before we invaded Iraq. By another estimate, the Army’s share of total defense investments between 1990 and 2005 was about 15 percent. So resources are needed not only to recoup from the losses of war, but to make up for the shortfalls of the past and to invest in the capabilities of the future.”

- Secretary of the Defense, Honorable Robert M. Gates, October 10, 2007, AUSA Annual Meeting

Funding Challenges

Recruiting and retaining the most combat-experienced Army in our Nation’s history require predictable and sustained funding. Sustaining this high-quality and professional All-Volunteer Force will not be possible without investing in and supporting our quality of life efforts and providing competitive pay and benefits. As a manpower-intensive organization, we will continue to spend the bulk of our funds to sustain people and maintain vital infrastructure, but we also must maintain investment in equipment and technology required for future readiness.

To support our Soldiers, the centerpiece of the Army, we must rebuild and recapitalize our equipment including vehicles and weapons systems, maintain readiness for current operational demands, and build readiness for future challenges. It takes years beyond the end of hostilities to complete rebuilding and recapitalizing equipment. The fact that the number of vehicles and weapon systems currently in Army depots are sufficient to equip five Brigade Combat Teams and one Combat Aviation Brigade demonstrates the importance of timely recapitalization and reconditioning.

The Fiscal Year 2009 President’s Budget

The FY09 President’s Budget requests $140.7 Billion for the Army. This request and the amounts in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) Request are necessary to support current operations, fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, sustain the All-Volunteer Force, and prepare for future threats to the Nation. This year the President approved accelerating the end-strength of the Army’s Active Component to 547,000 and the Army National Guard to 358,200 by 2010.

The Army Reserve will increase in size to 206,000 by 2013. This most significant increase in the FY09 budget is the result of permanent end-strength increases of 44,300 Soldiers in two components’ 43,000 in the Active Component and over 1,300 in the Army National Guard. The Army’s FY09 budget includes $15.1 Billion for all the costs associated with Grow the Army, which is an increase of $7.4 Billion over the costs of this initiative in FY08. This growth will enhance combat capabilities, help meet global force demand, and reduce stress on deployable personnel. Amounts requested by major appropriation category in the FY09 President’s Budget as well as the change from the amounts enacted in FY08 are:

Military Personnel

The FY09 budget requests $51.8 Billion, a $5.5 Billion increase from FY08. This includes $4 Billion for Grow the Army, an increase of $3.4 Billion over FY08. This amount also funds pay, benefits, and associated personnel costs for 1,090,000 Soldiers: 532,400 Active, 352,600 Army National Guard, and 205,000 Army Reserve. The GWOT Request will fund special pays and incentives and the mobilization of Reserve Component Soldiers.

Operation and Maintenance

The FY09 budget requests $40.2 Billion, a $3.6 Billion increase from FY08. This includes $2.6 Billion for Grow the Army, an increase of $1.9 Billion from FY08. The increase funds training and sustainment of Army forces and includes the maintenance of equipment and facilities. The GWOT Request will fund the day-to-day cost of the war, training to prepare units for deployment, and the reset of forces returning from deployment.

Procurement

The FY09 budget requests $24.6 Billion, a $2 Billion increase from FY08. This includes $4.2 Billion for Grow the Army, an increase of $100 Million from FY08. This increase continues procurement of weapons systems for the Army to include the Non-Line of Sight Cannon, an FCS-designed system. The GWOT Request will fund procurement of weapon systems to improve force readiness and replace battle losses and the reset of forces returning from deployment.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation

The FY09 budget requests $10.5 Billion, approximately the same amount requested last year, but a $1.5 Billion decrease in the amount appropriated in FY08. The FY09 request reflects a $100 Million decrease to the FCS Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation as the programs transition to procurement.

Construction, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), and Army Family Housing

The FY09 budget requests $11.4 Billion, a $1.8 Billion increase from FY08. This includes $4.3 Billion for Grow the Army, an increase of $1.9 Billion from FY08. The increase funds the construction of facilities to support the growth and re-stationing of Army Forces. The GWOT Request will fund construction in and around the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operation.

Other Accounts

The Army executes the Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction Program. Funding for this account is stable at $1.6 Billion in FY08 and FY09. The Army also has fiscal responsibility for the Iraq Security Forces Fund (ISFF), Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ASFF), and Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) appropriations. The Army budgets for recurring sustainment costs of JIEDDO with FY09 at $500 Million, an increase of $400 Million from FY08. The GWOT Request will fund JIEDDO initiatives. The ISFF and ASFF are funded entirely through the GWOT Request.

Restoring Fiscal Balance

Timely and full funding of the Army’s FY09 request of $140.7 Billion will ensure the Army is ready to meet the needs of the Nation and continue the process of putting us back in balance. However, it is important to note that over the last six years, the Army has received increasing proportions of its funding through supplemental and GWOT appropriations. This recurring reliance on GWOT funds and a natural overlap between base and GWOT programs means that the Army’s base budget does not fully cover the cost of both current and future readiness requirements. Because the GWOT planning horizon is compressed and the timing and amount of funding is unpredictable, some base programs would be at risk if supplemental funding is precipitously reduced or delayed. An orderly restoration of the balance between base and GWOT requirements is essential to maintain Army capabilities for future contingencies.