Without adequate and sustained funding, the Army will continue to struggle with meeting operations commitments, modernizing, maintenance obligations and staying ready, the service’s top civilian leader believes.
Speaking at a Nov. 22 event held by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Washington-based conservative think tank, Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy said that the lack of a firm 2020 defense budget has forced the service to make tough decisions. Roughly $3.5 billion in modernization funds have been frozen, impacting some 80 new programs, McCarthy said.
Additionally, operational-readiness expenditures have been reduced by 2 percent, he said.
Nevertheless, despite the absence of a 2020 budget, McCarthy said the Army moving forward with plans for its 2021 funding request. More than half would address people and training. Brigade-sized units could expect to take part in emergency deployment readiness exercises to Europe and East Asia.
In the modernization arena, McCarthy said that more than $40 billion has been dedicated toward production and fielding of 31 new systems. Soldiers should begin seeing prototypes sometime during the next two years.