Defense

February 24, 2014

Shyu outlines strategy for modernization at AUSA

Amy Guckeen Tolson
Huntsville, Ala.

To prepare the Army for tomorrow, the seeds must be planted today, according to Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology.

“We’re navigating a very challenging period for our Army – the drawdown forces are occurring during a period of dramatic fiscal constraint and budget pressure,” Shyu said. “We’re leveraging this period to make the best investments possible, planting the seeds that will secure the Army of the future. Our predecessors faced similar challenges following previous conflicts. It’s now our time. Our goal is to provide our Soldiers the best capability possible. They deserve nothing less.”

Shyu addressed attendees of the Association of the United States Army’s Winter Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville, Ala., Feb. 19, on the topic of Army modernization in a constrained fiscal environment, which included the “strategy on leveraging the current drawdown to plant the seeds for the Army of the future.”

Shyu likened the Army’s strategy to a five-layer pyramid, starting with divestment as the base, followed by reset and sustainment, modernization of existing platforms, development of new capabilities and science and technology, a “focus on the development of next generation breakthrough technologies that define the Army of the future.”

Finding the right way to allocate dollars to that strategy will be a challenge for Army leaders. Historically, defense spending increases during wartime, as evidenced by the Vietnam era when it peaked at 49 percent of the federal budget, and 30 percent during the Cold War. In correlation, as wartime draws down, so does the defense budget. Falling 51 percent following the Korean War, according to Shyu, and 25 percent after the Vietnam War, by 1999, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and successful completion of Desert Storm, defense spending accounted for only 17 percent of the federal budget.

“As we drawdown in Afghanistan, we can expect our budget to continue to decline,” Shyu said.
Within Research, Development and Acquisition, that decline translates to a budget loss of $10 billion for this fiscal year, Shyu said. Of all the portfolios that comprise RDA, three account for more than half of the budget – aviation, mission command and ground systems.

“Budget pressures mean that the squeeze will be felt harder in these larger portfolios. We have had to make difficult decisions about our priorities,” Shyu said.

But while the budget declines – since the height of fiscal year 2010 it has already seen a 21 percent drop – Army readiness must not, Shyu said.

Pointing to the end of the Vietnam era as an example, Shyu referenced the Abrams tank, Bradley fighting vehicle, Black Hawk utility helicopter and Apache attack helicopter, which all saw an initial investment following the Vietnam War during a similar time of budget decline. All became key to the Army’s victory during Operation Desert Storm years later.

“There’s a saying that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago,” Shyu said. “The second best time is today. Come to the next contingency, we realized that the best time for us to have planted our seed was at the end of the last conflict, and that’s exactly where we are today, at the tail end of conflict. We’re in a period of planting seeds that will sprout for the next contingency, wherever it may be.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 30, 2015

News: Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Americans at military base near airport - The Taliban claimed responsibility Jan. 30 for a shooting incident at a military base attached to Kabul’s international airport yesterday that killed three American civilian contractors and an Afghan national, saying the attacker had infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Commission...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

Military judge weighs restrictions on Gitmo female guards A military judge is deciding whether to continue restricting the use of female guards at Guantanamo. Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits heard closing arguments Jan. 29 at the base in Cuba during a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Waits didn’t say when he will rule. Hadi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey

Cope South experts exchange knowledge, techniques

Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey TSgt. Sam Bishop, center left, and SSgt. Jeffrey Stephens discuss propeller maintenance with Bangladesh air force maintainers, from the 101st Special Flying Unit, during exercise Cope...
 

 

Air Force names 2-star to lead F-35 Integration Office

With the initial operating capability date of the F-35 Lightning II quickly approaching, the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian as the director of a larger Air Force F-35 Integration Office, Feb. 1. In addition to gaining new leadership, the F-35 Integration Office will also grow from a staff of four to 12 and...
 
 
boeing-ana2

Boeing announces ANA’s commitment to more jetliners

Airline continues fleet modernization with Boeing airplanes Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced Jan. 30 the airline’s intent to purchase three 787-10 Dreamliners to add additional flexibility to the airline’s 787 fleet....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force risks becoming too small to succeed under sequestration

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunf...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>