Lawmakers challenge Army goals

Senators challenge the risks involved in the Army's aggressive timetable for its transformation

The Army's aggressive timetable for its transformation and fielding of the Objective Force carries many risks and has lawmakers from both parties questioning whether the service will be able to meet its ambitious goals.

The Army originally planned to field its first Objective Force unit by 2010, but that date has been pushed up to 2008. The Objective Force is envisioned as more deployable than the current armored forces and better able to survive an all-out fight than the current light forces.

Speaking at a March 14 meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee's Airland Subcommittee, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), chairman of the subcommittee, and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), questioned whether there was significant funding and technology to accomplish that feat and whether the risks associated with it have been sufficiently addressed.

The Army has devoted 97 percent of it science and technology resources in the fiscal 2003 budget to the design and development of the Objective Force and enabling technologies, said the service's undersecretary, R. Les Brownlee, and its vice chief of staff, Gen. John Keane, in their joint testimony.

"I see it as a down payment on unaddressed requirements," said Keane, speaking about the fiscal 2003 budget. "It is ambitious and there is risk in [fielding the Objective Force this decade], but we're committed to it."

"IT and the management of information [will lead] to the radical changes that characterize transformation," Brownlee said.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said that with regard to readiness, the Army "is not ready to the level I think we should be ready," and additional funding would be necessary to outfit the U.S. armed services with the best systems in the world. "Frankly, I think it's going to cost more."

Santorum said that despite the Army devoting 97 percent of its science and technology budget to the Objective Force, the service was still "very short" of the funding needed to meet its transformation goals.

Even though the Army is in its third consecutive year with billions of dollars in unfunded projects in science and technology and research and development, the service dealt with those issues after examining affordability and risk and thinks it is progressing with "risk that's bearable," Keane said.

Santorum applauded the Army's recent awarding of a $154 million lead systems integrator contract, which will help form the vision for its Future Combat Systems (FCS), to Boeing Co.'s Space and Communications group and Science Applications International Corp. But he questioned whether that group could come back with a recommendation that significant technological gains might not be available in five or six years.

FCS is envisioned to create an integrated battlespace, where networked information and communications systems provide a competitive edge to soldiers in the field and commanders in the control room.

Keane said Army officials had been struggling internally with the same questions that Santorum posed, and that a decision on the technology prospects will be made in June 2003 by Pete Aldridge, the Defense Department's undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.

"That will be a key decision as to whether to proceed on the schedule we've outlined to you, primarily made on available technologies and [our abilities] to bring them into the Objective Force," said Keane, adding that the acquisition community is "bellyaching" over the new timetable, but that the systems integrator award is designed to help speed it up.

Brownlee echoed that and said that also was why the Army recently began performing probability of success assessments, in addition to the traditional risk assessments, of all programs. He said the "system of systems" approach for FCS "may increase risks, but it also provides more justification of the process."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.