Army seeks $98.5 billion 2005 budget

The Army plans to submit a $98.5 billion 2005 budget in February, and will seek $22 billion in funding for the Future Combat System through 2009, according to the service's top program officer.

The Army's proposed 2005 budget marks a $300 million or .3 percent increase from the $98.2 billion 2005 budget submitted last fall in its 2004 Program Objective Memorandum — the funding plan for the next five years required annually by the Defense Department. The 2005 proposal also signifies a $4.8 billion or 5 percent increase from the $93.7 billion 2004 budget submitted earlier this year, said Lt. Gen. Benjamin Griffin, the Army's deputy chief of staff for programs/G-8, speaking yesterday at the Association of the United States Army's 2003 Annual Meeting.

The Army has not released its 2005 information technology budget. The service's 2004 IT budget is $5.6 billion, said Gary Winkler, director of enterprise integration in the Office of the Chief Information Officer/G-6, speaking Sept. 30 at the 2003 Army Directors of Information Management Conference in Atlanta.

Also yesterday at the association meeting, the Army's top doctrine officer said he expects no changes for Future Combat System — but his presentation slides showed that the first unit, equipped with the service's future weapon system, has slipped from 2008 to 2010. The Army will closely monitor development of FCS' information-processing infrastructure, said Gen. Kevin Byrnes, commanding general of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va.

Future Combat System is the Army's next-generation manned and robotic air and ground vehicles. The 18 platforms will fight as one connected by a fast, secure communications system. "If you can't get the network right, the other 18 systems won't work," Byrnes said.

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