As the congressional defense committees prepare to review the Army’s fiscal year 2020 budget request, the service continues to defend its drastic reorganization of funding to bolster its modernization priorities.
Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), chairman of the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee, in a hearing today said he has received requests from members of Congress to make 300 adjustments to the Army’s proposal. A congressional staffer later said on background that number of member requests is slightly higher than prior years.
Norcross told Inside Defense after the hearing that “because of the massive review, restructuring, downsizing, upsizing, everybody’s being touched.”
“There’s a major impact on companies here that didn’t make it across the finish line with the review,” he added.
Norcross said the Army’s unprecedented push to modernize requires Congress to ensure the plans are executed as designed.
“This appears to be different -- that we just don’t have to wait for the administration to change and we’ll go back to another way -- it seems that this is really, fundamentally making a change,” he said.
Army Futures Command chief Gen. Mike Murray said during the hearing that the service sought to previously lay the groundwork for its plans.
“We can’t communicate exactly what’s in the budget before it’s released, but there was an attempt, I know, by the secretary 203099 and the chief to communicate where we were going,” he said. “The Army is going to have to pivot sometime, and every day you wait is one day later before you make the pivot, and . . . we’ve been very clear about communicating what our priorities are for the specific programs. And really what we’re asking industry to do . . . is meet us in the future. So we tend to look at this in terms of near-term losses, but there is tremendous opportunity as we begin to invest in the future, and that’s been pretty much a consistent message.”
Army acquisition executive Bruce Jette said during the same hearing he has several calls a week “with CEOs of major corporations,” who don’t always agree with what the service is doing.
“But we at least always know where our disagreement is,” he said.