Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth's Remarks to the McAleese Annual Defense Programs Conference (March 15, 2023)(As Prepared)

By Dontavian HarrisonMarch 16, 2023

“Delivering the Army of 2030 and Developing the Army of 2040”

Thank you, Jim for the introduction.

Good morning, everyone! It’s a pleasure to be back at the McAleese Defense Forum.

This morning I thought I’d talk to you about where we are on delivering the Army of 2030 and how we are starting to develop the Army of 2040.

These next few years will be critical in terms of delivering the Army of 2030.

We are transforming from an Army focused on COIN and CT to one focused on large scale combat operations.

We are delivering on our most ambitious modernization effort in 40 years. Our goal is to put 24 systems into the hands of Soldiers in FY23 - either fielded or as prototypes.

There are a lot of ways to talk about the Army of 2030. We’ve just come out with our new doctrine FM 3-0 on Multi Domain Operations, which is how the Army of 2030 sees itself fighting in the future. But I’d like to boil it down a bit rather than read to you from our field manual.

When you boil it down, – in a world where China is the pacing challenge and Russia is an acute threat, the Army of 2030 has to be able to six things.

Secretary Kendall talks often about his laser focus on seven operational imperatives for the Air Force, so I am going to take a page from him and upgrade my “six things” to “six operational imperatives.”

The first operational imperative for the Army of 2030 is to see and sense farther, and more persistently at every level across the battlefield than our enemies.

So how are we going to do that? We will need to collect and analyze unprecedented amounts of raw data from many different types of sources.

That is why we are modernizing our aerial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, building these into a family of systems that will include our HADES program, the Terrestrial Layer System, and TITAN.

That’s also why we are investing in Future Tactical UAS – one of the “24 in 23”– it will be part of a network of persistent sensors that will also include Air Launched Effects.

The slide by the way, shows how the “24 in 23” programs support each of our 6 operational imperatives.

Second, the Army of 2030 is going to have to deliver more combat power more effectively than ever before. It’s about bringing together infantry, armor, and aviation quickly from dispersed locations. Bringing that combat power together into a powerful fist that can punch hard against an adversary at the time and place of our choosing.

To do this, we are investing in a faster, more survivable armored fist. Upgraded tanks and Bradleys will be joined by Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles which are already in production.

The Mobile Protective Firepower System, which some refer to as a light tank, will provide greater protection to infantry forces without sacrificing speed or mobility.

Prototypes of Robotic Combat Vehicle-Light (RCV-Light) which are being tested this year, have allowed Soldiers to assess the potential benefits of an unmanned platform out in the field.

Our Soldier lethality programs, like the NextGen Squad Weapon fit in here also.

Third, we’ve got to win the fires fight by delivering precise, longer-range fires as part of the Joint Force to strike deep targets and massing enemy forces.

We will do this using new, powerful artillery and ground launched missiles – including our new Long Range Hypersonic Weapon.

We are working to ensure that we have multiple options to service targets at ranges from 40 miles with ERCA to over 1700 miles with the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon.

In addition to these systems, by the end of this year we will have two additional capabilities in the hands of Soldiers: PrSM and Mid-Range Capability. Both provide longer-range, precision fires.

Fourth, the Army of 2030 must be able to protect our forces from air, missile, and drone attacks using new integrated air and missile defenses, more advanced radars, new command and control software, plus high energy lasers, and high powered microwaves.

We are continuing to field M-SHORAD to protect our maneuver forces against a wide range of air threats.

We are also developing an enduring Indirect Fire Protection Capability, or IFPC, that will work together with the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System to provide us with the ability to identify, track, and defeat aerial threats.

To address the threat of unmanned aerial systems we are investing in a range of counter-UAS capabilities including fixed, mobile, and soldier portable counter-UAS capabilities.

We are also well along with directed energy M-SHORAD prototypes – I will be seeing one later this week, as a matter of fact. This capability will provide our Soldiers protection from a wide range of air threats, including unmanned aircraft systems – with the promise of an almost unlimited magazine thanks to directed energy.

Fifth, we have to be able to rapidly and reliably communicate and share data not just with ourselves, but with our sister services as well as with our Allies and partners. As part of our Project Convergence experimentation effort, the Army has demonstrated how to rapidly combine targeting data from our joint teammates and pass that information to the correct Army fires element – reducing the targeting cycle to mere minutes. Systems like the Integrated Tactical Network will be important here.

And last, but not least, the Army of 2030 has got to be able to sustain the fight across long distances where the enemy is challenging our ability to move from fort to port to foxhole. In this kind of contested terrain, the force that wins will be the one who focuses on logistics, logistics, logistics.

As we work hard to achieve these six operational imperatives and deliver the Army of 2030, the Army isn’t just transforming through our modernization efforts. We’re also redesigning our force structure.

The Army of 2030 needs new formations, and we have to make room for new types of capabilities and structures like the MDTFs, IFPC and M-SHORAD battalions.

We’re doing all of this with a relatively flat budget and flattening end strength, so we have a lot of hard work ahead.

And because we don’t need this work to be any harder, I sincerely hope Congress will be able to pass a defense budget. A long-term CR would slow down and hurt the Army’s transformation process.

Given how comprehensively the PLA is modernizing, this would be the wrong time to compete with one hand tied behind our back.

Army 2030 role in the Indo-Pacific

And speaking of the PLA, I want to say a few words about the important role the Army has to play in the Indo-Pacific.

Fundamentally, our goal is to deter conflict in the Indo-Pacific.

The best way to avoid fighting a war is to make it very clear that we could win such a war.

The Army contributes to deterrence as we campaign and compete in the Indo-Pacific

We help strengthen deterrence by building relationships, strengthening the U.S. military’s ability to operate throughout theater, and providing a counter to China’s aggressive behavior in the region.

Land power is staying power and we aim to have Army forces in the Indo-Pacific region 7-8 months a year – in addition to Army forces stationed in Hawaii, Japan, and South Korea.

And if deterrence fails, here too, the Army will be a key player on the Joint Force team in the event of a conflict.

In a war, the army would perform 5 important missions:

First, the “linchpin service” for the Joint Force – Army will establish, build up, secure, and protect staging areas and joint operating bases for air and naval forces in theater.

The new air and missile defense systems I referenced earlier will be critical to our ability to protect these operating bases.

Second, we will sustain the Joint Force across the vast distances of the Indo-Pacific, using Army theater support capabilities.

We can provide secure communications, generate intra-theater distribution networks to keep the Joint Force supplied from dispersed locations, maintain munition stockpiles as well as forward arming and refueling points.

This Spring, USARPAC is hosting second round of Unified Pacific Wargames focused on logistics

And we will be forward stationing an Army Composite Watercraft Company in Yokohama, Japan in late 2023, MDTF +Marine Littoral Combat Regiment will benefit.

Third, the Army can provide C2 at multiple operational levels to coordinate, synchronize, sustain, and defend ongoing joint operations using scalable, tailorable combined joint task force headquarters.

Fourth, Army will provide ground-based, long-range fires as part of the Joint Force’s strike capabilities.

5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment at JBLM will operate our first battery of LRHW missiles, fielding this autumn.

The unit is currently training with the ground support equipment at JBLM, to include exercising movement onto C-17s

Using LRHW, mid-range capability – all of which we will begin fielding in this year, we will be able to interdict fires across sea lines of communication, suppress enemy air defenses and provide counter fires against mobile targets

Fifth – if required, the Army can counter-attack using its maneuver forces –infantry, Stryker elements and combat aviation brigades - to restore the territorial integrity of our allies and partners.

Indo-PACOM may be a theater named after two oceans, but land power does have a role to play as part of the broader Joint Force team.


Lessons Learned from Ukraine for DIB

Before I close with some thoughts on how we are starting to think about the Army of 2040, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about lessons learned from Ukraine.

We’ve learned a lot of lessons from what is happening in Ukraine, and we are working on all of them.

One of the most important lessons we’ve drawn is the need for a more robust defense industrial base.

We have a 15-year strategy to revitalize our OIB. The Army is executing a $18B phased approach to modernize our 23 depots, arsenals and ammunition plants that manufacture, rebuild, and maintain equipment for the Army and the Joint Force.

To meet the needs of our Ukrainian partners and to replenish our own stocks, we are investing over $2B in our industrial base using funds allocated by Congress through supplementals and replenishment tranches. We also have $1.5B in the FY24 budget to invest in the OIB.

We are buying at the limits of industry’s production capacity even as we work to expand those limits. The Army is leading efforts to cut through red tape and accelerate timelines wherever possible.

You’ll be hearing more from my Assistant Secretary (for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) Doug Bush on the many changes we’re making to modernize and increase production capacity, but here are a few examples.

We are rapidly moving out on our plan to increase 155mm production. The Army rapidly took funding from Congress, got it on contract and is now moving out.

We’ll be steadily increasing from about 20,000 a month now to around 75,000 a month in early FY25, and even higher after that. And we are constantly looking at ways to pull the ramp to the left as things progress.

We are also working with our allies to use their production capacity as well. More than half a million rounds are already on contract with allies, with deliveries already underway.

And contrary to what you may have heard, there is no “Javelin crisis.” We make about 2,500 Javelins a year now. We will get that up to about 5,000 a year over the next two years.

Where GMLRS are concerned, we are going from about 6,000 a year now to more than 14,000 a year over the next couple of years. The pacing item is rocket motors. We are back to having two sources now, so we are making progress here also.

Bottom-line, the Army is moving quickly to support Ukraine and replenish our own stocks, and we’re not stopping there.

Partnerships with Industry

In all of these things, whether it’s delivering the Army of 2030, modernizing our defense industrial base, or supporting Ukraine, we could not do it without the tremendous support, investment, and ingenuity of our defense industry partners.

We’ve been able to work in tandem to rapidly complete contract actions and strengthen supply chains on several different kinds of critical munitions.

The strength of our partnerships with industry will enable us to continue to provide timely support to Ukraine, replenish our own stockpiles, and build a more robust defense industrial base for the Army of 2030 and beyond. This is critical work, and we look forward to doing it with you.


Multi-year Procurements

But as we all know, partnerships need funding. Thanks to support from Congress, the Army is initiating multi-year procurements in FY23 for artillery rounds and artillery charges.

As this group knows well, the FY23 NDAA granted this authority for certain munitions to assist with the replenishment of our stocks.

The Army has used multiyear authorities in the past for large platforms like tanks and helicopters, and this has resulted in industrial base stability and predictability, and cost savings for the Army.

As we apply multiyear authorities to munitions as well, I can’t stress enough the tangible dividends this will provide for our readiness.

For FY24, the Army will work with Congress on options to consider additional multi-year procurement contracts for critical munitions, including potentially Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets and PATRIOT PAC-3 missiles.

By executing these types of procurement contracts, I know that our industrial base partners will have greater certainty about future funding and their production outlook, which will help us as we re-establish our supply base.

Looking ahead to Army of 2040

I’ll conclude my remarks with a few thoughts on the Army of 2040.

As you heard from GEN Rainey earlier this morning, I’ve tasked Futures Command to develop next-generation operating concepts, define gaps and requirements for our next-gen weapon systems, and lead the design for the Army of 2040.

We’re investing in research that will provide our Soldiers with advanced munitions and advanced capabilities for deep sensing and contested logistics.

To improve future munitions, we look to advancements in science and technology to enable small, lightweight, and low-cost interceptor technologies for increased magazine depth.

To improve our deep sensing capabilities, we are investing in sensing technologies, data analytics, and target recognition aids.

To meet the challenges of contested logistics, we are conducting research into robotics and autonomous systems for delivery of supplies and material into hostile environments.

And we’re doing all of this now because we’ve got to take the long view to determine what foundational investments in people, doctrine, and technology are needed today so that we can prepare for tomorrow.

We are hard at work delivering the Army of 2030 and completing our transformation – all while providing almost half of U.S. military forces around the world on any given day – but it’s never too early to start thinking ahead to 2040!

Thank you all so much for your attention this morning, and I look forward to your questions.