Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work discusses why the Army wants to shuffle around its development funding and what it means for military contractors.
Last month, the Army requested to move more than 375 million dollars of FY18 funding into their modernization efforts. Defense News reports that the funds will be taken from other projects at the Army, and go to researching the six modernization priorities the Army set when it established Futures Command. The other armed services will likely submit similar requests soon, and contractors are paying close attention to this development. “Reprogramming requests aren’t in themselves unusual, the size of this particular reprogramming request is a little bigger than normal,” said former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work. “There are two things going on here. [One:] the budget control act was signed in 2011. From 2011 to 2018 defense resources went down, and the services all had a hard time trying to balance modernization, personnel and maintenance… The second big trend is the National Defense Strategy that was recently signed out, which refocuses the force from counter-terrorism and irregular warfare to great-power competition—going up against big states that have quite capable systems… The FY18 program was pretty much in the can by the time the NDS was published, so this is an opportunity for the Army to align its modernization program with the NDS.”