Army may have to concede Chinook Block II cut

By Ashley Tressel / September 18, 2019 at 10:45 AM

The Army may have to do without the money it was expecting to save by cutting the CH-47 Chinook Block II upgrade in favor of modernizing other priority programs, according to the service's deputy chief of staff (G-8).

Lt. Gen. James Pasquarette at an Association of the United States Army event today said Congress' plan for the program is "not what we asked for."

His comments come after the Senate authorizers were the only congressional defense committee to support the Block II cut.

"I went with [Army Under] Secretary McCarthy and talked to all the staffers before we rolled [the budget request] out and after -- [there was] a broad consensus that what the Army was doing was the right thing, because it was based on the National Defense Strategy. Regardless of political party, or House or Senate, or whatever, there was not pushback on the rationale of what we were doing. And CH-47 . . . I flew up to the [Boeing] plant in Philadelphia with [Army acquisition executive Bruce] Jette and met with Congress and the plant folks on that one. That's an example of one that we're continuing to work. I think we're going to land in a place where everybody's comfortable with that too."

Pasquarette reiterated there would be changes to what the Army originally asked for in fiscal year 2020 as the service works things out with Congress.

"We're going through the marks right now on that, and there are adds in some places, reductions in others, and we're in the process of working with the staff up there on things we'd like them to reconsider and what we're OK with," he said.

Pasquarette told Inside Defense this summer cuts to the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle program would also get a second look.