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ALOG NEWS
ARMY IN LINE FOR BUDGET INCREASES
TO SUPPORT MAJOR INITIATIVES

The President’s budget for the Army for fiscal year 2007 proposes a healthy increase of 12.7 percent over the amount Congress appropriated for fiscal year 2006. The Army’s budget request of $111.8 billion represents 25.4 percent of the Department of Defense (DOD) request of $439.3 billion for fiscal year 2007. (Figures in this article do not include supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2006 or supplemental requests that will be submitted for fiscal year 2007.)

The Army’s spending plans are designed to achieve its
strategic goals—

• Winning the long war. [“Long war” is the term the Department of Defense uses to refer to the Global War on Terrorism.]
• Sustaining the all-volunteer force.
• Accelerating the modernization strategy for the Future Force.
• Accelerating business transformation and process improvements.

Meeting these goals requires the Army to continue its conversion to a modular force, create the ability to sustain a force that is more joint and expeditionary, insert promising technologies, implement DOD’s Quadrennial Defense Review [see next article], develop leaders and Soldiers who are multi-skilled “pentathletes,” modernize force-protection systems, execute the Army Campaign Plan and the Army Force Generation Model, and improve the Army’s strategic footprint through the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS) and the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. (IGPBS governs the evaluation of overseas installations and facilities for closure and realignment.) Under BRAC 2005, the Army will close 12 Active component and 175 Army Reserve installations, 8 Active component leased facilities, and 211 Army National Guard facilities. (The National Guard closings are contingent on agreements with State governors).

In support of major Army initiatives, the budget includes approximately $6.4 billion in investments to support the conversion to a modular force. A total of $3.746 billion is allotted for continued development and demonstration of the Future Combat Systems, including future non-line-of-sight fires. The budget includes a tripling in BRAC-related spending to $3,659 billion, including $883 million for IGPBS activities.

Spending requests for fiscal year 2007 for the major budget categories, compared to actual fiscal year 2006 appropriations, are as follows—

• Military personnel: $42.637 billion, up $2.059 billion, or 5.1 percent.
• Operation and maintenance: $32.040 billion, up $1.991, or 6.6 percent.
• Procurement: $16.841 billion, up $5.821 billion, or 52.8 percent.
• Research, development, test, and evaluation: $10.856 billion, down $149.2 million, or 1.4 percent.
• Military construction: $2.700 billion, up $292.6 million, or 12.2 percent.
• Family housing: $1.272 billion, down $52.5 million, or 4 percent.

The fiscal year 2007 budget aircraft procurement proposal requests $740 million to acquire 38 UH–60 Black Hawk utility helicopters; $620 million to modify CH–47 Chinook cargo helicopters; $199 million to purchase 39 light utility helicopters; $795 million to upgrade and modify AH–64 Apache attack helicopters; and $9 million that will more than double spending on aircraft spare parts.

Other procurement requests include $796 million for 100 Stryker vehicles, including 65 mobile gun systems, 13 nuclear-biological-chemical reconnaissance vehicles, and 22 command vehicles; $33 million for 115 sets of Stryker reactive tiles; $583 million for 3,091 up-armored high-mobility, multipurpose wheeled vehicles; and $695 million for 4,119 trucks in the family of medium tactical vehicles. The Army also wants significant procurement increases for maintenance equipment (from $11 million to $58 million), construction equipment (from $53 million to $147 million), generators (from $34 million to $69 million), and materials-handling equipment (from $4 million to $21 million).

QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW SETS VISION FOR FUTURE

The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) released by the Department of Defense (DOD) in February calls for DOD and the armed services to continue the transformation of military capabilities and forces that has been unfolding since 2001. The 2006 QDR—the first of the congressionally mandated studies to be performed in wartime—serves as a blueprint for setting DOD’s direction for the next 20 years.

The QDR is based on the National Defense Strategy published in March 2005. The strategy requires DOD to continue to adjust its capabilities to meet a wider range of challenges while maintaining its dominance in traditional warfare. These new challenges include irregular warfare waged by nonstate combatants; terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction; and nontraditional, asymmetric challenges to U.S. military dominance and power-projection capabilities.

The QDR defines “two fundamental imperatives for the Department of Defense—

• Continuing to reorient the Department’s capabilities and forces to be more agile in this time of war, to prepare for wider asymmetric challenges and to hedge against uncertainty over the next 20 years.
• Implementing enterprise-wide changes to ensure that organizational structures, processes and procedures effectively support its strategic direction.”

In reorienting U.S. forces and capabilities, the QDR calls for continuing the evolutionary progress of recent years toward improved joint warfighting capabilities; forces that are lighter, more agile, and more expeditionary; and increased capabilities to project forces quickly around the world. The QDR emphasizes the need to adjust the overseas U.S. military posture to reflect post-Cold War strategic realities; to increase use of Special Operations Forces and multilateral and bilateral partnerships; and to foster and improve information management and connectivity, precision weaponry, and intelligence use.

The QDR vision for ground forces states that the Army and Marine Corps “will continue to take on more of the tasks performed by today’s special operations forces. The result will be a new breed of warrior able to move more easily between disparate mission sets while preserving their depth of skill in primary specialties. Future warriors will be as proficient in irregular operations, including counterinsurgency and stabilization operations, as they are today in high-intensity combat. They will be modular in structure at all levels, largely self-sustaining, and capable of operating both in traditional formations as well as disaggregating into smaller, autonomous units.” The QDR endorses the Army’s transformation of units and headquarters into modular designs and the incorpora-tion of Future Combat Systems technologies into modular units through a spiral development approach.

A key effort in implementing Defense business transformation is DOD’s move to a capabilities-based logistics system. The QDR stresses the need to achieve greater visibility of the costs and performance of supply chain logistics, find ways to measure im-provements in performance, and develop “realistic and defendable strategic performance targets for fo-cused logistics capabilities to guide both capital investment and process improvement.” Important initiatives in improving logistics include the designation of a single deployment process owner (the U.S. Transportation Command), the use of active and passive radio frequency identification technologies, and “the implementation of continuous process improvement tools like Lean, Six Sigma and Performance Based Logistics.”

LOGISTICS INFORMATION WAREHOUSE FIELDED

The Army Materiel Command Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) has made significant progress to-ward creating a single, authoritative source of logistics information for the Army. In January, LOGSA fielded the Logistics Information Warehouse (LIW) Initial Op-erational Capability (IOC), which provides a common point of entry to the existing Web capabilities of the Logistics Integrated Data Base (LIDB), the Integrated Logistics Analysis Program (ILAP), and other LOGSA tools. The LIW IOC is the first step in the Army-directed merger of all LIDB and ILAP capabilities. The merger began in early 2005 with transfer of ILAP program management authority to the LOGSA commander.

The LIW main Web page, which replaced the WebLOG Web page, simplifies access to former Web-LOG tools, restructures the LOGSA System Access Request (SAR) process, and provides single-sign-on access to the full capabilities of both WebLIDB and ILAP. With the fielding of the LIW IOC, WebLIDB and ILAP are accessible only through the LIW Web site. Forward ILAP sites will be converted to “LIW Forward” sites.

A one-time user name conversion process transfers all existing LIDB and ILAP access privileges to the LIW. A single login based on the user’s Army Knowledge Online (AKO) account provides access to the LIW Web page (https://liw.logsa.army.mil). Army-affiliated LIW users are required to use their AKO login to continue current access or obtain new access. Non-Army affiliated users can obtain a local non-AKO login.

TWO MORE CIVIL SUPPORT TEAMS CERTIFIED

The Department of Defense has certified two additional Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD–CSTs), bringing the total number of certified teams to 36. In February, the Wisconsin and Nebraska National Guard teams were certified. These teams are among the 12 authorized in the Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year (FY) 2004. Two others, the New Jersey and Indiana National Guard teams, were certified last November. The remaining 8 FY 2004-authorized teams and 11 more that were authorized in FY 2005 are expected to be certified by March 2007. The U.S. Congress mandated that DOD would provide at least one team in each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.

WMD–CSTs are designed to deploy rapidly, assist local first-responders in determining the nature of an attack, provide medical and technical advice, and pave the way for the arrival of follow-on state and Federal response assets.

RAPID EQUIPPING FORCE
SPEEDS HIGH-TECH EQUIPMENT TO TROOPS


An innovative acquisition concept is proving suc-cessful in getting high-tech equipment into the hands of Soldiers much faster than the traditional acquisition process. The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) identifies an immediate warfighting need and seeks out the best way to meet it. The REF receives operational guidance from the Department of the Army G–3 and reports directly to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.

Rather than going to the drawing board to come up with a solution to a problem, the REF evaluates what is already available commercially or in the production pipeline. Partnering with military services, military and commercial laboratories, and private companies helps fill critical equipment requests.

By using off-the-shelf technology, even if it needs modifications to meet military requirements, the REF is able to get equipment to the troops in weeks rather than months or years. In several instances, requests have been filled within 48 hours.

Among the equipment procured through the REF’s efforts is the multifunction agile remote-controlled robot (MARCBOT), a small, wheeled robot with a video camera that checks for improvised explosive devices while keeping troops at a safe distance. Another more recent but less sophisticated acquisition is green laser pointers. The battery-operated pointers are about 50 times brighter than the familiar red laser pointers and are visible in dark conditions. They have proven to be effective in dissuading aggressive drivers in Iraq. In the past, bright spotlights shined at drivers did little to stop them from speeding through checkpoints. However, aggressive driving has declined by 60 to 80 percent since the new devices were introduced.

The REF staff travels to Iraq and Afghanistan seeking feedback and visits military hospitals to talk to wounded troops in search of information that will improve equipment sent to the field as a result of REF initiatives. The REF works with vendors to make improvements in future equipment that incorporate Soldier feedback and observations made at the tactical level.

WIN–T PASSES FIRST TEST

A key component of the Army’s efforts to develop a network-centric, knowledge-based warfare capability, the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN–T), recently completed its first test successfully at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

WIN–T is designed to allow commanders and Soldiers to communicate with each other from remote locations dispersed across the battlefield. In essence, it will create a mobile network environment that allows even small groups of Soldiers to send and receive information while on the move. It will correct communications problems experienced during Operation Iraqi Freedom in operating on the move and communicating over great distances (beyond the line of sight of the existing Mobile Subscriber Equipment). WIN–T will provide seamless and secure voice, video, imagery, and data communications that will enable decisive combat actions. It will connect Future Combat Systems (FCS) vehicles beyond the line of sight and link those vehicles to distant units and command and control centers. WIN–T also will interface with the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), which will operate in individual ground vehicles.

WIN–T is a component of LandWarNet, which is the Army’s portion of the Department of Defense’s Global Information Grid (GIG) and the Army’s counterpart to the Air Force’s ConstellationNet and the Navy’s FORCENet. GIG is DOD’s foundation initiative to create a seamless, secure, and interconnected information environment. LandWarNet will provide networks to the Active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve forces and the sustaining base.

While the first test of WIN–T took place on the ground at Fort Huachuca, it also included the use of beyond-line-of-sight network connections to Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.

The estimated cost of the completed and fielded WIN–T is $10 billion, with initial fielding planned for 2008.

FCS TEST SITE ANNOUNCED

The Army announced in January that Fort Bliss, Texas, will be the location for the Evaluation Brigade Combat Team (EBCT) that will test and evaluate Future Combat Systems (FCS) technology. Fort Bliss was selected because of its proximity to White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, which has the land, airspace, and facilities needed to train Soldiers to train and evaluate and test FCS capabilities.

The FCS program consists of 18 manned and unmanned systems connected by a secure network designed to enhance Soldiers’ capabilities. It is the core of the Army’s modernization program.

The EBCT’s mission will be to evaluate FCS operational concepts while training Soldiers on FCS equipment in realistic environments and to provide continuous feedback that will allow the Army to determine what adjustments and improvements are needed. The EBCT, which will be created from a 1st Armored Division heavy brigade combat team, will be ready to begin FCS evaluation in June 2007. The first fully equipped FCS unit is expected to be operational in 2014.

COMPRESSED MEALS WILL OFFER
QUALITY AND PORTABILITY


The Natick Soldier Center’s Combat Feeding Directorate has developed a lighter, leaner individual ration that can be carried inside Future Combat Systems vehicles.

Compressed meals (CMs) are one-third smaller in size and weight than the conventional meals, ready to eat (MREs), but offer the same fresh-food flavor and calories. Smaller packaging, less stringent storage and handling requirements, and dehydrated entrées account for the CMs’ weight and volume savings. Because rations are lighter and more compact, more meals can be packed together, thereby decreasing the frequency of replenishment and reducing the overall logistics footprint in theater.

Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc., of Albany, Oregon, manufactured the CMs according to specifications provided by Combat Feeding Directorate food scientists. Some components currently found in MREs, such as crackers and Hooah bars, are included in the CMs. Shelf life of the CMs can extend well beyond the required minimum 3 years at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 6 months at 100 degrees with no degradation of quality.

In May 2005, an evaluation team from Natick visited Fort Lewis, Washington, to gather comments on the new meals from a focus group of Stryker brigade Soldiers. The CM menus included meat and vegetarian selections and egg entrées. The Soldiers felt the entrées were a great improvement over those in MREs. “The Soldiers were asking for more coffee and caffeinated beverages because they said that’s what kept them alive in Iraq,” said project officer Joel McCassie. We’re looking at different options, such as cappuccino and cocoa.”

To prepare an entrée, a Soldier must cut open the CM pouch, break apart food clumps, add 12 ounces of boiling water, stir thoroughly, fold the pouch top down to retain heat and wait 10 minutes. The meal will then be ready to eat. Although the Soldiers praised the taste and compactness of the meals, they questioned the availability of the hot water needed to prepare hot meals in the Stryker vehicle and the time needed to prepare the ration in a tactical environment. A separate project that involves several military organizations is exploring options that could solve the hot water shortage.

The Fort Lewis focus groups confirmed that the CM project was on the right track. The next step will be to conduct a field evaluation. Initial fielding could begin late in 2007.

 

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