How the Army ‘Found’ $25 Billion

How the Army ‘Found’ $25 Billion

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

The U.S. Army has been combing through its existing programs to identify potential sources of funding that can be applied to its ambitious modernization program, and according to Army Secretary Mark Esper, the effort has already paid off to the tune of $25 billion.

Esper said Monday that Army leadership has spent dozens of hours conducting what he called “night court” to assess programs and evaluate them against six modernization priorities the service defined a year ago. (For more on those priorities – long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicles, future vertical lift, Army tactical network, air and missile defense capabilities, and soldier lethality – see this strategy review.) Although Esper didn’t specify which programs were identified for possible reduction or elimination, he did say that a significant part of the potential savings relate to equipment procurement.

Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy told Defense News that the review effort is driven in part by the awareness that unless Congress acts, defense budgets could shrink starting in 2020 due to mandatory spending reductions imposed by the Budget Control Act.