Army dedicates $7 billion to 'transformation'

Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 2001

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The Army plans to spend $7 billion over the next several years to transform itself from a tank-heavy Cold War force into a light but lethal organization, while staying the course on its multiyear effort to digitize the heavy forces.

In its fiscal 2001 budget, the Army also highlighted plans to harness the power of information technology to streamline the logistical footprint of its new force.

During the shift from a tracked force, the Army plans to "continue to integrate the power of information technologies" into its current and planned forces, the Army said in a statement accompanying the budget. This includes equipping the first armored corps with a full suite of digitization equipment by 2004.

TRW Inc. would produce the key battlefield computer and communications component for this Force XXI digitization project under a multiyear contract valued at close to $250 million. Spending for those components in fiscal 2001 is pegged at $60.8 million in 2001, up slightly from $56.2 million in 2000.

The Army also wants to harness the power of logistics information systems to better manage that new lightweight force. Such systems "will make it easier to prepare and execute movement plans, ensuring integration with joint logistical systems and providing the ability to track shipments in transit, forces will be more strategically deployable and more agile with a smaller logistics footprint," the Army said in the statement.

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