May - June 2012: Headlines

Headlines

Army Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request Reflects Fiscally Constrained Environment
President Barack Obama submitted his proposed budget for the Army to Congress on 13 February. The fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget request totals $184.64 billion, a 14.51-percent decrease from the FY 2012 budget request. The FY 2013 base budget request is $134.588 billion, 7.1 percent less than the FY 2012 request, and the overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding request for FY 2013 is $50.052 billion, a decrease of 29.61 percent from FY 2012. Spending requests by major category are-

  • Military personnel: $63.301 (very close to the FY 2012 level).
  • Operation and maintenance: $76.008 billion (15.35 percent less than the FY 2012 request)
  • Procurement: $19.649 billion (19.28 percent less).
  • Research, development, test, and evaluation: $8.949 billion (a decrease of 7.68 percent).
  • Military construction: $2.843 billion (down 33.73 percent from the FY 2012 request).
  • Family housing: $535 million (down 21.55 percent from the request for the previous fiscal year).
  • Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund: $1.902 billion (down 32.05 percent).
  • Chemical demilitarization: $1.453 billion (down 10.86 percent).
  • Afghan Security Forces Fund: $5.749 billion (down 55.09 percent).

The procurement request for FY 2013 includes funding for the acquisition of-

  • 59 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for $1.222 billion.
  • 44 CH-47 Chinook helicopters, including 25 new and 19 rebuilt helicopters, for $1.391 billion.
  • The upgrade of 2,224 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles for $1.055 billion.
  • 441 items in the family of heavy tactical vehicles, including 103 light equipment transporters (LETs), 8 heavy expanded-mobility tactical truck (HEMTT) load handling systems (LHSs), 327 enhanced container handling units, 2 M978 tankers, and 1 M984A4 wrecker, totaling $54.983 million. (This is a 91.85 percent decrease in the request for heavy tactical vehicle procurement from FY 2012.)
  • 1,298 trucks and 99 trailers in the family of medium tactical vehicles for $374.362 million.
  • Recapitalization of 2,128 up-armored high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles for $271 million.
  • 211 petroleum and water distribution systems for $38.385 million.
  • 1 Force Provider module for $39.7 million.
  • 228 field-feeding systems, including 149 M65801 refrigerated container systems and 79 assault kitchens, for $27.417 million.

Department of Defense Funds Army-Led Programs to Improve Battlefield Energy Security
On 31 January 2012, the Department of Defense announced the release of $18 million to fund military programs aimed at reducing energy demands of future expeditionary outposts. More than half of the money for the Operational Energy Capabilities Improvement Fund Program is going to three Army-led projects.

The Innovative Cooling Equipment (ICE) Development/Demonstration Program, led by the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is receiving $2.5 million this fiscal year. The project focuses on implementing advances in thermodynamic cycles, electronics and digital controls, components, and waste-heat recovery to reduce the electric loads of heating and air-conditioning systems on the battlefield and, in turn, fuel consumption and fuel convoys on the battlefield.

Advanced, Energy Efficient Shelter Systems for Contingency Basing and Other Applications, led by the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center at Natick, Massachusetts, will receive $5.997 million to develop and demonstrate the next generation of energy-efficient shelters. The goal is to demonstrate and transition to shelter systems that will reduce heating and cooling requirements by 50 percent, while providing improved capabilities and
quality of life.

Operation Enduring Freedom Energy Initiative Proving Ground, led by the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's Field Assistance in Science and Technology Center at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, will receive $1.425 million. The program is designed to establish a baseline for energy and fuel use in expeditionary operations in Afghanistan and to evaluate the benefit of energy-related technologies, such as improved heating and air-conditioning units, insulating tent liners, solar tent shades, and hybrid solar-electric power.

Army Leaders Unveil 2012 Posture Statement
Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno presented the Army's 2012 Posture Statement to Congress on 17 February 2012. A Statement on the Posture of the United States Army 2012 lays out the priorities and guiding principles for the upcoming year.

This year's focus is on a force that is "smaller but reversible" as well as fiscally responsible and energy efficient. According to the Army Posture Statement, the Army "must avoid the historical pattern of drawing down too fast or risk losing leadership and capabilities, making it much harder to expand again when needed."

The posture statement says that the Army's operational focus remains on Afghanistan, but the
country's geography, distance, infrastructure, and harsh environment will make a drawdown from Afghanistan more difficult and complex than the drawdown from Iraq was. According to the statement, the Army will require reset funding 2 to 3 years after the drawdown from Afghanistan is complete.

Along with funds needed for reset, the posture statement notes that the infantry fighting vehicle
has reached the limit of its capacity to receive critical upgrades. As a replacement, the Army is pursuing its ground combat vehicle (GCV) strategy over a 7-year period. The posture statement notes that the Army has reduced risk within the GVC program by requiring industry to identify potential cost, schedule and performance tradeoffs, and cost targets throughout the GCV's life cycle. The Army has also worked to maximize competition within the program to support innovation, cost containment, and schedule requirements.

The Army will also be pursuing the joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV) program this year with a goal of replacing one-third of its high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles. The posture statement notes, "The JLTV balances protection, payload, performance and improved fuel efficiency.";

One initiative guiding fiscal responsibility efforts is the Army Financial Improvement Plan, which is
designed to enable the Army to be fully auditable by fiscal year 2017. Another is acquisition reform. The Army has made changes in four broad areas by-

  • Realigning acquisition requirements and placing more focus on the needs and competencies of acquisition professionals.
  • Expanding stakeholder participation in acquisition requirements, planning, and solicitation.
  • Streamlining acquisition strategies and reappraising the risk associated with this streamlining
  • Improving the selection, development, and accountability of those involved in the acquisition process.

Energy efficiency is also helping to save money directly and indirectly. According to the posture statement, the Army will continue to invest in energy saving technologies that are "key to saving lives and increasing the Army's flexibility by reducing costs" for both garrison and deployed environments.

First Stryker Maintainers Class Graduates From Army Ordnance School
On 16 February 2012, 20 Soldiers graduated from advanced individual training at the Army Ordnance
School at Fort Lee, Virginia, to become the Army's first military occupational specialty (MOS) 91S Stryker systems maintainers.

During the 17-week course, MOS 91S Soldiers acquired skills previously performed by three specialized maintainers. Before the MOS was created, Soldiers trained on Stryker systems were MOS 91B wheeled vehicle mechanics who were awarded the additional skill identifier (ASI) R4 (Stryker maintainer) after completing a 4-week course on the automotive portion of the Stryker system. Stryker maintenance also required an MOS 91K (armament systems mechanic) and an MOS 91C (air-conditioning/refrigeration mechanic), each with an ASI R4 identifier, to fix other components of the system.

The new MOS not only provides the Army with Soldiers specifically dedicated to maintaining this type of vehicle, reducing the number of maintainers needed for each Stryker repair; it also provides a better avenue for the Army to track Soldiers with Stryker training and place them with the Army's Stryker brigade combat teams, which are based in just six locations.        

The Ordnance School is expected to graduate 250 students from MOS 91S training this year.

Army Accessions Command Is Inactivated
The Department of the Army inactivated the Army Accessions Command on 18 January 2012. The
command was stood up just 10 years ago at Fort Monroe, Virginia, to handle the heavy recruiting
mission needed to support a Nation at war and to be the parent organization of the Army Recruiting Command, the Army Cadet Command, and initial-entry-training organizations. Since the size of that mission has decreased, last year the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army selected the Army Accessions Command for inactivation as an efficiency measure.

During the inactivation ceremony at Fort Knox, Kentucky, former commanding general Lieutenant General Benjamin Freakley noted that during its existence the command accessed 1.5 million Soldiers, officers, and warrant officers.

The Army Accessions Command's subordinate organizations, the Army Recruiting and Cadet Commands, now report directly to the Army Training and Doctrine Command, as they did before the Army Accessions Command was established.

Joint Petroleum Seminar Grows
The Joint Petroleum Seminar hosted its largest class ever from 5 to 9 December 2011 at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Forty-three military and civilian fuel officers from across the armed services took part in the weeklong seminar, now in its 10th year, sponsored by the Joint Staff Joint Petroleum Office and DLA Energy.

The seminar is designed to strengthen the professional education development of fuel officers, military service fuel staffs, DLA Energy field office personnel, and others who work in the joint petroleum arena. During the seminar, students were exposed to a wide range of topics, including petroleum characteristics, Department of Defense and joint fuel organizations, joint doctrine, global combat support systems, alternative fuels, fuel exchange agreements, fuel pricing, DLA Energy business processes, and war and peacetime fuel requirements determinations.

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Todd Cheney, Joint Petroleum Office Chief on the Joint Staff and the seminar's course moderator, said that the Joint Staff's view is that the joint petroleum community needs a strengthened identity, "cross-pollination" among the services, an understanding of DLA Energy roles and responsibilities, and a common understanding of relevant issues.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Sharon Burke briefed seminar attendees on the Department of Defense (DOD) Operational Energy Strategy. Burke said that using less fuel and taking trucks off the road reduces the risk of casualties along the supply line. She emphasized that the goal to supply forces with fuel will be fulfilled through three methods. DOD aims to reduce the volume of fuel used in operations, diversify the range of fueling options so that a variety of sources are available to meet the mission, and ensure more capability for less cost by improving fuel efficiency and effectiveness in building the future force.

Burke said that the acquisition community holds the key to changing the way the department uses fuel, but she reminded the audience that the acquisition process is complicated and it will take some time to change the system.

Professional Development

New Reference Guide Provides Antiterrorism Guidelines for Contract Support
A new desk reference provides tools to reduce the possibility of terrorist attacks related to commercially provided services on Army-controlled installations and facilities. The reference, entitled “Integrating Antiterrorism and Operations Security Into the Contract Support Process,” was published on 25 January in response to the Army’s realization of the possibility of terrorist attacks by contract employees. It outlines the tactics, techniques, and procedures contracting specialists need to integrate into the contract support process to reduce the possibility of terrorism.

The reference describes the antiterrorism and operations security steps that need to be taken during each phase of the process and offers suggestions for performance work statement language and elements for a quality surveillance plan.

The desk reference is available through Army Knowledge Online at https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/605757.

 

Recently Published

Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 4-91, Army Field Support Brigade, published 15 December 2011, is the second ATP published by the Army under the Doctrine 2015 initiative. The ATP provides an overview of the Army field support brigade (AFSB) organization and outlines the missions the AFSB has in contingency operations and in supporting units throughout the Army Force Generation process.

Upcoming Events

Army Quartermaster Symposium
The Army Quartermaster Symposium will be held from 13 to 15 June at Fort Lee, Virginia. The theme for this year's event is "Quartermaster Strong: Lean, Agile, and Ready!"

This year's symposium focuses on engaging the entire sustainment community in discussions on relevant topics. During this time, the Quartermaster Corps will also be celebrating its 237th birthday with the Quartermaster Run, the Quartermaster Ball, a regimental review, and a recognition reception hosted by the Quartermaster General. For more information about the event, visit www.quartermaster.army.mil.

Performance-Based Life-Cycle Support 2012
Worldwide Business Research will host Performance-Based Life-Cycle Support 2012 from 16 to 18 July 2012 at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event includes panel discussions on the future of outcomebased life-cycle product support, streamlining the supply chain to reduce costs through performance-based agreements, and the effect investing in human capital can have on sustainment.

For more information or to register, go to the conference website: www.pblusa.com.

 

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Army mariners from the 1099th Transportation Detachment, assigned to the SP4 James A. Loux, Logistics Support Vessel-6, load an Army vehicle onto the ship during a mission to Port Salalah, Oman, on March 6, 2016. (Photo by Sgt. Walter Lowell)


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