The Army is at a "strategic crossroads" in which the decisions
made over the next few years will lay the foundation for the next
generation of Soldiers, said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel
The Army needs to continue incorporating lessons from
more than a decade of conflict and adapt its formations for the
demands of today's complex operating environment while building
critical capabilities to ensure technological overmatch -- "a
hallmark of America's Army," Allyn said. He spoke May 10, 2016 at an
Institute of Land Warfare breakfast.
May 10, 2016 - Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Daniel Allyn speaks at the monthly Institute of Land Warfare breakfast. Allyn stressed consequences of fiscal constraints on modernizing and its effect on over-match capabilities. (U.S. Army photo by J.D. Leipold, Public Affairs Specialist)
Highlighting the roles 187,000 active and
reserve-component Soldiers are playing in more than 140
countries, Allyn noted that while units such as the 916th
Forward Engineer Support Team, the 2nd Stryker Cavalry
Regiment and the 30th Armor Brigade Combat Team are
providing substantial strategic flexibility and depth to
combatant commanders worldwide.
reductions of force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, demand
for Army forces has not abated as quickly as our
end-strength," Allyn said. "This is no small
task. At current end-strength, the Army risks consuming
readiness as fast as we build it.
"Today the Army has
a third fewer active brigade combat teams than in 2012, yet
emergent demand for Army forces has increased by 23 percent
during the same period," he said, adding that the Army
fulfills nearly half of all planned combatant commander
requirements and almost two-thirds of emergent demands.
"Yes, we have a very busy Army, and we're struggling to
adequately modernize our force for the future while
sustaining current operations tempo."
Allyn said the
global security environment demands the Army remain prepared
to execute joint operations against a wide range of threats
and diverse environments and that realistic and rigorous
training across all echelons is the bedrock to readiness and
that all requires sustained resources in time and money.
"As leaders we know that readiness is not easily
restored once lost," he said. "We are still recovering from
the effects of the 2013-14 sequestration experience.
Building readiness is a time-intensive and leader-focused
endeavor and it is substantially affected by operational
What would make matters worse is a looming
threat of a return to sequestration-level funding in fiscal
year '18, he said.
"For the Army to move forward and
address our readiness and modernization shortfalls, the
Budget Control Act must be repealed," he said. "The
programmed BCA levels of funding in the years ahead impede
predictable planning and sustained program momentum and
represent a clear and present danger threatening the Army's
ability to fulfill our national security strategy."
The vice chief said a consequence of the current fiscal
constraints is that the Army cannot deliver the most modern
equipment and reasonable fielding timelines, which risks
falling behind near-peers in critical capabilities.
"Since 2011, the Army's modernization program has shrunk by
a third and today it stands at $36 billion less than the
next closest service," he said. "Given these trends and to
preserve readiness in the short term, the Army has been
forced to selectively modernize equipment to counter our
adversaries' most pressing technological advances and
"These decisions increase the time
necessary to defeat an adversary, increase risk condition
and potentially increase casualties... these trade-offs are
reflections of constrained resources, not strategic
insight," he continued.
Turning to recommendations
from the National Commission on the Future of the Army,
Allyn said many of those recommendations offered realistic
solutions which helped sharpen the Army focus. He said after
completing a holistic review of the NCFA report, the Army
supported in principle the vast majority.
Some of the
most significant recommendations the Army held to include
the forward stationing of an armor BCT in Europe; retaining
11 combat aviation brigades and increasing Army National
Guard Combat Training Center rotations, which he said would
be "absolutely helpful and justifiable, but difficult to
implement within current resource levels in manpower and
By U.S. Army J.D. Leipold, Public Affairs Specialist
Army News Service
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