Army's FCS gets its funds

The Army's Future Combat Systems received backing from both the House and Senate, which recommended fully funding it at $1.7 billion. But lawmakers in both houses are demanding that the service break down the "system of systems" into multiple program elements before they approve future funding.

Army Lt. Gen. John Riggs, director of the Objective Force Task Force, said Army officials understand Congress' desire for increased oversight over FCS but do not want it broken into multiple program elements. They are appealing to Congress.

"We will work with Congress to break out FCS into projects, as opposed to multiple program elements," he said.

The Bush administration's fiscal 2004 budget request for FCS is one program element broken out into three projects: Future Combat Systems, Networked Fires and Objective Force Indirect Fires.

FCS — the cornerstone of the service's transformation effort — is a networked family of 19 systems using advanced communications and technologies to link soldiers with manned and unmanned air and ground platforms and sensors.

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