Armed Forces News

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.