By David Vergun, Army News ServiceFebruary 21, 2018
WASHINGTON -- The budgets for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 improve funding for readiness and modernization and "call out our competitors, China and Russia," who are part of "the great power competition" with the U.S., said Lt. Gen. Thomas A. Horlander.
Horlander, military deputy for Financial Management and Comptroller, spoke Wednesday at an Association of the U.S. Army Institute of Land Warfare breakfast here.
The budgets will address these peer-level threats, as well as Iran, North Korea, and transnational terrorists, he said, explaining that the budget is truly a threat-informed strategy that is based on requirements.
The Army's FY19 budget, which was unveiled last week, requests $182.1 billion in the base, and $33.7 billion in overseas contingency operations funds, or OCO. That's an increase from FY18, which was $168.5 billion base, including $29.6 billion OCO.
While all of the focus has been on the FY19 budget rollout, lawmakers have yet to finalize the FY18 budget, he said, noting both some good and bad news for the FY18 one.
The good news with the FY18 budget, he said, is that lawmakers might tack on another $6.5 billion, upping the total budget to $175 billion.
On the flip side, the Army is still operating under a continuing resolution through March 23, so the FY18 budget cannot yet be used until it works its way through subcommittee and posture hearings, he said.
Ideally, each year the budget would be passed on the first day of the fiscal year so spending can be done in a more efficient manner, he said.
But despite the CR, the FY18 and 19 budgets overall deliver results and make it "a really exciting time for the Army," he said.
Horlander provided a thematic overview of the budget.
A large portion of the base budget for FY18 and 19 focuses on readiness, he said, noting that "Readiness remains the Army's No. 1 priority."
The second high priority is modernization, Horlander said. Within the modernization effort for FY19 is $32.1 billion for research, development and acquisition -- a significant sum, he said.
The "lion's share of attention" within the RDA are the Army's six modernization priorities, he said: long-range precision fires, a next-generation combat vehicle, future vertical lift platforms, a mobile and expeditionary Army network, air and missile defense capabilities, and Soldier lethality.
Supporting that effort are eight cross functional teams, he said. They will lead modernization reform.
A large portion of the FY19 $33.7 billion request, will go to five operations:
-- Operation Freedom Sentinel (Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa)
-- Operation Inherent Resolve (Iraq)
-- European Deterrence Initiative
-- Afghan Security Forces Fund
-- Counter-ISIS train and equip
Horlander noted that there was some talk of removing EDI funding from OCO, but it appears it will stay in for now.
Three other Army priorities, he said, which are also Department of Defense priorities, are bringing business reform to the military services, building a more lethal force and strengthening alliances and attracting new partnerships.
The general said that the Army is actively engaged in building partnerships throughout the world, most notably in Europe and the Pacific.