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Budget essential to U.S. Army modernization strategy

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By The Staff

By KATE BRANNEN

Defense News

Affordability is gaining prominence in U.S. Army modernization plans, according to a strategy paper released April 28.

The 91-page paper, “2010 Army Modernization Strategy,” presents a three-prong approach to acquisition: Develop and field new capabilities, procure upgraded capabilities, and field and distribute capabilities in accordance with Army priorities and the Army Force Generation model.

“The 2010 Army Modernization Strategy explains how we will bring the Army back into balance to meet our current and future challenges,” writes Lt. Gen. Robert Lennox, the deputy chief of staff for programs, in an accompanying memo dated April 23.

Lennox first discussed the new strategy at the Association of the U.S. Army conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in February, when he described it as an “affordable modernization strategy.”

“Our plans depend on a steady stream of predictable funding to field capabilities to Soldiers,” he wrote in the memo.

Moreover, modernization decisions will require thorough cost-benefit analysis, he says.

This is the first Army modernization strategy to incorporate Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ guidance concerning the Future Combat Systems program, and describes the Army’s replacement effort: the Brigade Combat Team Modernization approach. It is also the first strategy to address the changes needed to adapt to the cyclical deployment process, also known as the Army Force Generation model.

The strategy also incorporates direction from the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. According to the paper, within the QDR two key objectives were established:

* Rebalance capabilities of America’s Armed Forces to prevail in today’s wars, while building the capabilities needed to deal with future threats.

* Reform the Department’s institutions and processes to support the urgent needs of the warfighter better; buy weapons that are usable, affordable and truly needed; and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and responsibly.

The paper can be found at http://www.g8.army.mil/.