WASHINGTON – The Army released its $173 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 Friday, with a deliberate decision to fund people initiatives, readiness goals, and modernization efforts with a $3.6 billion reduction from last year's enacted budget.
"The Army's budget supports all the requirements asked of the Army in the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, said Maj. Gen. Paul A. Chamberlain, the director for Army Budget. “Yes, the Army's top line did go down, but a majority of that top-line can be attributed to changes in the [U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility]."
The fiscal 2022 request will ensure the total force is ready to compete, deter and defeat the nation's adversaries, as the Army continues to develop and release next-generation capabilities to provide a joint all-domain ready force by 2028 and a capable force by 2035, budget officials said.
People will continue to be the Army's top priority, as lead officials request a $1.2 billion increase in fiscal 2022 funding to support the more than 1 million Soldiers across the active, Guard and Reserve.
If approved, the proposed request will include a 2.7% basic pay increase for both Soldiers and Army civilians, along with a 3.1% increase to basic allowance for housing and a 2.3% increase in basic allowance for subsistence, budget officials said.
The Army will also plan to hire or realign 900 civilians to support the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention program, other violence prevention, holistic health and fitness, and civilian talent management initiatives, Chamberlain said.
The fiscal 2022 request will also increase funding for child care by expanding access to the Army Fee Assistance Program to attract and retain high-quality child care providers.
The fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance request is close to $700 million less than the enacted fiscal 2021 budget, accounting for changes in force posture throughout the CENTCOM area, Chamberlain said.
Budget officials also said the upcoming O&M request would ensure readiness by funding home station training and 20 combat training center rotations.
"I think we're in a good position on our CTC rotations," Maj. Gen. Sean Swindell, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7.
At the Fort Irwin National Training Center in California, the fiscal 2022 request will resource eight rotations, seven for active-duty units and one for the National Guard. However, allocated funding for Joint-Readiness Training Center training has decreased rotations from eight to six, Swindell added.
"We have not cut any [JRTC rotations] -- two have moved to exportable," he said. "We recently published our Arctic Strategy, and we are going to come up with an Arctic rotation in fiscal 2022. We are also looking at a [U.S. Indo-Pacific Command] exportable rotation out in Hawaii."
The final four training rotations under this year's proposal will be held at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, he added.
The fiscal 2022 request will also transition the Army to the new Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model, or ReARMM. The model is a new framework to help integrate and synchronize the force to meet regional requirements while providing predictability during training and mission efforts.
Implementation of the model will allow active-duty, Guard, and Reserve forces to generate and project power during times of competition, crisis and conflict, all while simultaneously implementing change through scheduled modernization and training windows, ReARMM officials said.
The fiscal 2022 request includes a $4 billion decrease in research, development, test and evaluation, or RDT&E, and procurement funding from the enacted fiscal 2021 budget, Chamberlain said. Even with the reduction, the Army will align 74% of its science and technology funds or S&T towards its six modernization priorities and 31+4 signature efforts.
Chamberlain said the upcoming request would also eliminate seven programs, returning close to $50 million to support modernization ambitions. Three of the top cost-saving items include the divestiture of the Multi-Function Electronic Warfare, Hellfire Missile Launcher, and the Spider Networked Munition System.
Army leaders have also opted to delay or reduce 37 programs, which include support for the M1 Abrams, Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and some munitions and communications equipment, he added.
"Most of the reductions and the divestments tied to programs where the funding [can be] used to maintain our 31+4 modernization efforts," Chamberlain added.
The Army will continue its aggressive reform efforts to free up more money, time, and personnel, to ensure future funding, budget officials said. In total, Army leaders reviewed and realigned $1.6B in fiscal 2022 funding to support the Army's 2028 vision and modernization strategy.
"We must ensure that your Army is going to be prepared to respond to any contingency, whether that be overseas or stateside," Chamberlain said.
Predictable, consistent and sustained funding will be necessary to meet people, readiness and modernization goals from now and into the future, he added.