NEW U.S. ARMY VEHICLE FLEET REVIEW
12 May 09. On May 12th the FY10 defense budget was released. Mr. Hale, the DoD Comptroller, and VADM Stanley (Joint Staff – Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment) provided an overview of the entire budget. Following their presentation, senior Army officials provided a more in-depth briefing of the Army budget. These briefings tracked with what Secretary Gates announced on April 6. It is the intention of DoD to cancel the FCS Manned Ground Vehicle effort and begin a new modernization effort for Army combat vehicles.
The first step in that process is to conduct a requirements review. That effort will be led by the Army Training and Doctrine Command and will be conducted over the summer. LTG Stanton from the Army Budget Office indicated that this review would take advantage of the work done to date on the FCS Manned Ground Vehicle effort. At that point, the Army will report back to DoD to determine the path forward on the effort.
The Army will accelerate and expand the fielding of FCS Spin Out capabilities to all Brigade Combat Teams. The network, the FCS unmanned systems and unattended sensors will be a key part of this expanded spin out effort. This decision is a validation of the technological maturity of the Spin Out process and is a vote of confidence in the hard work of the FCS Team. In support of this decision, $2.9 billion was requested for the FCS Program for FY10 and over $24 billion was requested for the FCS Program through 2015.
Within a week or two, an Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) will be signed. The ADM will provide guidance to the Army on specific actions to take relative to FCS. Following the ADM, the Army/LSI team will initiate actions to restructure the program. The next step is for Congress to review the budget request. This will include dozens of hearings during the next few months before the House and Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees conduct what are called “mark ups” of their respective budget bills. Once these mark ups are completed, the full House and Senate will have an opportunity to amend and vote on the bills. Following these votes, there is a conference between members from the two chambers to resolve any differences between the House and Senate bills. The reconciled bills then will go to the chambers for a final vote before being sent to the President for his signature (or veto). The normal timeline is for this process to be completed by Oct. 1, which is the beginning of the new fiscal year. If Congress is unable to complete its deliberations by then, it can pass what is called a ‘continuing resolution.’ This essentially sustains funding for the affected government agency or department until the budget process is complete.
Defense News reported that the Pentagon will replicate the rapid purchase of thousands of blast-resistant vehicles as part of its changes to the purchasing system, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said May 6.
Lynn told the House Armed Services Committee there are “general lessons”
Pentagon officials hope to glean from how the Pentagon quickly bought and
fielded thousands of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The Bush administration purchased the heavily armored vehicles for the Iraq conflict outside of the normal Pentagon purchasing process, under which experts said it likely would have taken five or more years to buy such a vehicle fleet. Lynn told the lawmakers that efforts on Capitol Hill and inside the Pentagon to overhaul the military’s weapon-buying system must “keep the need for shorter timelines in mind.”
The deputy secretary laid out the administration’s plans for altering the
department’s weapon-buying process, including plans to add 20,000 acquisition workers by 2015. Pentagon officials have developed a “five-year plan” for increasing the acquisition work force, said Shay Assad, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition. Assad told lawmak