Army seeks to raid JLTV spending to pay for humvee recapitalization

By Ethan Sterenfeld / July 7, 2021 at 9:43 AM

The Army has asked to more than double its fiscal year 2020 spending on humvee recapitalization, partially at the expense of Joint Light Tactical Vehicle funding, according to an omnibus reprogramming request the Pentagon sent to Congress last month.

If approved, the recapitalization program would receive $66 million for FY-20, an increase of $36 million, according to the reprogramming request. This money would buy 216 new production armor-capable humvees.

Without the reprogramming, there could be a production break in February, according to the request.

"Recent program developments, including the loss of projected Foreign Military Sales (FMS) in September 2020, have put HMMWV production at risk," the reprogramming request states.

The Army would remove funding from the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, which is expected to partially replace the humvee, to pay for some of the additional humvee purchases, according to the reprogramming request. The service asked to reduce FY-20 spending by $23 million, which would defer the procurement of "approximately" 471 JLTV trailers.

"The Army is deferring production of these JLTV trailers to reallocate resources towards the HMMWV program to help alleviate a production break for that program and avoid a near term bill for potential start-up costs should that production break occur," the reprogramming request states.

This follows other Army plans in recent years to cut the JLTV budget and direct money to other systems. The service stretched the timeline last year to meet the acquisition objective for the JLTV to 2042.

The Biden administration's FY-22 budget request, released in May, proposed more cuts to JLTV procurement spending, as the service prioritized modernization programs.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), whose home state includes JLTV production facilities in Oshkosh, questioned the Army's use of the JLTV program as a "billpayer" for the modernization portfolio during a June 22 Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing.