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.
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.
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:
- Offer dynamic incentives that attract quality recruits to meet our recruiting objectives for 2008 and beyond
- Provide improved quality of life and enhanced incentives to meet our retention objectives for 2008 and beyond
- Continue to improve the quality of life for Army Families by implementing the Army Family Covenant and other programs that: standardize services, increase the accessibility and quality of health care, improve housing and installation facilities, provide excellence in schools and youth services, and expand spousal education and employment opportunities
- Continue to improve care for Wounded Warriors and Warriors in Transition through a patient-centered health care system, Soldier and Family Assistance Centers, and improved Warrior Transition Unit facilities
- Continue to support Families of our fallen with sustained assistance that honors the service of their Soldiers
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:
- Continue to adapt and enhance the rigor of institutional, individual, and operational training to enable Soldiers to succeed in complex 21st century security environments
- Train Soldiers and units to conduct full spectrum operations with improved training ranges to operate as part of a Joint, interagency, or multi-national force
- Provide Soldiers the best equipment through the Rapid Fielding Initiative, the Rapid Equipping Force, and modernization efforts
- Partner with private industry to rapidly develop and field equipment needed on today’s battlefield
- Continue to improve the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process which increases the readiness of the operating force over time by generating recurring periods of availability of trained, ready, and cohesive units
To reset our force we must prepare our Soldiers, units, and equipment for future deployments and other contingencies.
Goals for Reset:
- Develop an Army-wide reset program that repairs, replaces, and recapitalizes equipment that our Soldiers need
- Retrain our Soldiers to accomplish the full spectrum of missions they will be expected to accomplish
- Revitalize our Soldiers and Families through implementation and full resourcing of the Soldier Family Action Plan (SFAP) and our warrior care and transition programs
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:
- Help balance our force and increase capacity to provide sufficient forces for the full range and duration of current operations and future contingencies by growing as quickly as possible
- Upgrade and modernize to remain an agile and globally responsive force with Future Combat Systems (FCS) as the core of our modernization effort
- Continue organizational change through modularity and rebalancing to become more deployable, tailorable, and versatile
- Improve expeditionary contracting and financial and management controls
- Continue to adapt institutions and the processes, policies, and procedures, including business practices, to more effectively and efficiently support an expeditionary Army at war
- Complete the transition of the RC to an operational reserve and change the way we train, equip, resource, and mobilize RC units
- Integrate Grow the Army initiative, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), Global Defense Posture Realignment, and the operation of installations and facilities to increase readiness, improve efficiency, and improve the quality of life for our Soldiers, Families, and Army Civilians
- Develop agile and adaptive leaders who can operate effectively in Joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multi-national environments
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:
- Recruiting and retention incentives and benefits to enable Active and Reserve Components to meet end-strength objectives and achieve Army standards for recruit quality
- Quality of life programs to sustain our Soldiers’ and Army Civilians’ commitment to serve and the continued support of our Army Families
- Programs to help our wounded, ill, and injured Warriors in Transition to return to duty or to civilian life
- BRAC and military construction to execute the Army’s global repositioning plan
- Operations and maintenance for air and ground operations, depot maintenance, base operations, and space and missile defense capabilities
- Leader training and development to make Soldiers culturally astute and better able to integrate and complement the other elements of national power (diplomatic, informational, and economic)
- Efforts to develop technical and procedural solutions to defeat the threat of improvised explosive devices
- The Rapid Equipping Force (REF)
- Equipment repair, replacement, and recapitalization programs
- Retraining Soldiers to execute their new and future missions
- Programs to revitalize our Soldiers and Families as they reintegrate after deployments
- End-strength growth of approximately 74,000 by 2010.
- Army modernization programs including Future Combat Systems, aviation, Patriot PAC-3, LandWarNet, intelligence, logistics automation, and other advanced technologies
- Planned modular transformations in 2009 two Brigade Combat Teams and 13 support brigades
- Transformation of the Reserve Components to an operational reserve
“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
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:
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.
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.
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.