Officials Detail Army
Officials Detail Army’s
Fiscal 2015 Budget Request
By David Vergun, Army News
Washington D.C. – (ANS)
– March 5, 2014 – Under the Army's fiscal year 2015 budget request, soldiers
will receive a 1 percent pay increase as well as a basic allowance for housing
increase of 1.5 percent and a 3.4 percent increase in basic allowance for
The Army, along with the other services and the Defense
Department, rolled out its budget request yesterday in the Pentagon, and
Congress will weigh in on the request in the coming months.The fiscal 2015
budget request for the Army is $120.5 billion, down from $125 billion last year
and a peak of $144 billion in fiscal 2010. These figures exclude the overseas
contingency operations money for operations in Afghanistan and the reset of
returning equipment. The contingency funding request for fiscal 2015 has not yet
been determined, pending resolution of the status of U.S. forces in Afghanistan
beyond 2014, Pentagon Comptroller Robert F. Hale said during the Defense
Department's budget rollout.
The Army budget request reflects a drawdown from fiscal
2014's 510,000 soldiers to 490,000 for the active component, 354,200 to 350,200
for the National Guard, and 205,000 to 202,000 for the Army Reserve. Hale noted
that if sequestration continues, active Army end strength could go to 420,000 by
Army Budget Director Maj. Gen. Karen E. Dyson and Davis S. Welch, deputy
director, explain the Army's proposed fiscal year 2015 budget request to
reporters at the Pentagon, March 4, 2014
As for Army civilians, Maj. Gen. Karen E. Dyson, the Army’s
budget director, said 16,000 civilians were drawn down from the workforce in
fiscal 2013, and the Army "is continuing to analyze future adjustments in light
of the drawdown beyond fiscal 2015. Speaking on behalf of the entire Defense
Department, Hale said the goal is to reduce the civilian workforce by 5 percent
between fiscal years 2014 and 2019.
Dyson said the Army's budget reflects difficult decisions to
accelerate the drawdown in end strength and prioritize near-term readiness for
select units, while risking sufficient levels in modernization. "While the
Army's guiding principle is keeping balance in readiness, end strength and
modernization, the Army is not in balance in fiscal 2015," she added.
Personnel costs for all Army components total 46 percent of
the fiscal 2015 budget, Dyson noted. The next biggest slice is 35 percent for
operation and maintenance and 17 percent for procurement, research, development,
test and evaluation.
To cut personnel costs, she said, the Army's active force "will
continue to use force-shaping boards and temporary early retirement authorities
to meet the accelerated end strength declines” in fiscal 2015.
She added that recruiting and retention for fiscal 2015
dropped by an aggregate 8 percent across the total force, due partially to the
expiration of anniversary payments and declining bonuses.
The Army anticipates 19 combat training center rotations in
fiscal 2015 to validate brigade combat team readiness for full-spectrum combat
capabilities, she said. That training will focus on units preparing to go to
South Korea, Afghanistan and the Global Response Force. For other units not in
those categories, training is expected to reach only company or battalion level,
while the Guard and Reserve are funded to individual crew and squad level in
fiscal 2015, she added.
Other priorities reflected in the budget include an emphasis
on the regional alignment concept, which Dyson said is critical to the Army's "prevent,
shape, win" strategy.
Also, funding for “ready and resilient” programs will be
increased by 46 percent in fiscal 2015. These are programs such as Comprehensive
Soldier and Family Fitness, suicide prevention, transition assistance and sexual
That increased funding level "demonstrates the Army's
continued priority to take care of soldiers, families and civilians," Dyson said.
Davis S. Welch, deputy director of the Army budget, addressed
the smallest part of the budget: modernization. The modernization portion of the
budget is $20.1 billion, he said, which translates to a 6.1 percent reduction
from the fiscal 2014 enacted level and a 17.3 percent reduction from the fiscal
2013 sequestered level. A major shift in the fiscal 2015 budget, he said,
included "science and technology funding at [sufficient] levels to mitigate risk
to the Army of 2020 and beyond."
Specific investments include $84.8 million for Nett Warrior
communications gear and $32.8 million for the M4A1 carbine. Regarding the
carbine, Welch said the money would be used to continue converting M4s to M4A1s.
The latest model carbines include heavier barrels for extended life and
ambidextrous controls, meaning soldiers who are left-handed will be able to use
the carbines more effectively.
The National Guard will retain UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters,
CH-47 Chinook helicopters and UH-72A Lakota helicopters, while garnering an
additional 111 UH-60s to enhance medevac and lift capabilities. He added that
all AH-64 Apache helicopters will transfer to the active component. The Kiowa
Warrior A, C and D helicopter models, as well as the TH-67 Creek training
helicopters, will go out of the inventory, and training will commence using the
UH-72A, Welch said. The AH-64E, along with unmanned aerial systems, will
temporarily fulfill the Kiowa's armed aerial scout mission, he added.
The air and missile defense system defends the homeland and
the brigade combat teams, he said, adding that nine of the 15 Patriot missile
batteries are currently deployed protecting U.S. forces and critical assets.
As such, the budget provides $420 million for procurement of
70 Patriot Missile Segment Enhancement systems, $400 million for Patriot
software, $143 million for the Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense System,
$54 million for Joint Aerostat Project demonstration and $60 million for
developing technology for gun, missile and high-energy lasers to defeat rockets,
artillery, mortars, UAS and cruise missiles.
Funding for the Ground Combat Vehicle will be discontinued,
"because it is no longer affordable under the budget constraints," Welch said.
In the interim, funding will go toward improving the Bradley infantry fighting
vehicle until resources become available. The Bradley, along with the Abrams
tank, will together receive $549 million for modernization.
The Armor Multi-Purpose Vehicle will get $92 million as it
replaces the M113 armored personnel carrier, he said.
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle will receive $210 million,
which will allow low-rate initial production for 176 vehicles. JLTV replaces the
Humvee and affords protection similar to the Mine-resistant, Ambush-protected
Indirect fire systems to be funded include the AN/TPQ-53
Radar at $247 million, the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System at $173 million,
the M119A2 howitzer at $73 million, the Army Tactical Missile System at $49
million and indirect fire science and technology at $56 million. Unmanned aerial
systems funded include the Grey Eagle at $237 million and the Shadow at $142
The Army's intelligence network, known as the Distributed
Common Ground System, will get $148 million for continued development and
U.S. Army Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request
Special Report: Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal