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Military

Army's transformation efforts may yield a $10 billion boost
By Lisa Burgess, Washington bureau
Pacific edition, Monday, February 4, 2002

ARLINGTON, Va. — Bush administration officials have decided to showcase Army
transformation efforts in 2003, and are asking Congress to boost the Army’s budget by
$10 billion, from $80.9 billion in 2002 to $90.9 billion.



"Any number with a plus on it is good," a senior Army official told Pentagon
reporters Friday.



The Army also stands to lose more programs than any other service under the 2003
budget, in order to save $500 million, but Army officials said that is actually good news:
Many of the 18 programs on the termination list are so-called "legacy" systems
inherited years ago; others are newer, but no longer fit into the Army’s
modernization plans.



Programs on the termination list include the Linebacker and Avenger air defense systems
and TOW fire-and-forget — a long-range, heavy anti-tank weapon that was supposed to
bridge the current family of TOW missiles and the common missile that the Army is
developing for its "objective" (future) force.



Funds for modernizing ground forces were identified by a senior Pentagon official as
one of the Pentagon’s highest priorities in 2003.



Proof of that emphasis includes the $935.9 million Bush administration officials are
requesting to conduct research and development and purchase 332 Interim Armored Vehicles
for the Army.



Another $717 million request has been made to advance the Army’s Future Combat
System, as well as $911 million for ongoing development of the Comanche reconnaissance
helicopter and $475.7 million for the Crusader, the Army’s next-generation
self-propelled howitzer.



These four programs constitute the hardware heart of the Army transformation program,
which is designed to move away from the heavy forces designed to meet a Soviet threat and
toward lighter and more agile, mobile and lethal forces.



The Army 2003 budget calls for spending $14.5 billion on upgrade projects to maintain
its current, or "legacy," force; $2.7 billion to develop the objective force;
and $973 million on the "interim force" that bridges the other two, the Army
official said.



All soldiers will receive an across-the-board raise of 4.1 percent, and the service
also plans to take advantage of a service-by-service option to give a small additional
targeted pay raise to some individuals.



The targeted raises "will go to E-5s to E-9s, captains and majors, and warrant
officers," the official said. "The high end would be 2.4 percent and the low end
would be 0.5 or 0.8 percent. But we are a day away from deciding" who will get how
much.



The one decision that has been made is to set aside $5 million for additional raises
for the Army’s 2,000-member warrant officer corps, the official said.



The 2003 budget proposal also provides funds to increase the number of miles each tank
will be allowed to run to 849 in 2003 from 831 miles in 2002 — a training issue that
will make it easier for the service’s heavy-force soldiers to master their trade, the
official said.



Ammunition is a major Army expenditure in 2003, and service chiefs are trying to
prepare for future missions associated with Bush’s war on terrorism by giving
munitions manufacturers "enough money to keep their lines warm, so we can surge if we
have to," the Army official said.



As the war progresses, munitions are going to become a more pressing issue, the
official predicted.



"It’s going to be an exciting little conversation when we get to talk about
this" with congressional lawmakers, the official said. "We think we’re
doing OK."




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