recommended reading

Army to overhaul modernization strategy by the fall

Top Army officials on Wednesday said they were concerned they will not get adequate support from lawmakers and Pentagon leaders as they retool the service's battlefield modernization program.

The Army has requested $2.9 billion in funding for its modernization program in fiscal 2010, but during a press conference, Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes, Army's deputy chief of staff (G-8), said he was "very concerned" about sustaining support for the program in Congress. The new program comes in the wake of the service's decision earlier this year to cancel the ground vehicle portion of the $160 billion Future Combat Systems project.

Speakes added that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has expressed support for a new modernization program, but said Gates "told us to get it right" if the Army wants to keep its funding for the upgrade.

Army officials plan to develop operational requirements for the new modernization program by September, according to Speakes. The program will include a new line of ground combat vehicles to replace those planned under FCS.

In its version of the fiscal 2010 Defense authorization bill, the House Armed Services Committee required the service to submit a report by Sept. 1 defining the Army's new ground combat vehicle program, explaining all alternatives considered, and providing initial cost and schedule estimates.

Lt. Gen. Ross Thompson, principal military deputy and assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, said the service has not given up on the concept of using a powerful network to ensure all battlefield systems work together in the new modernization program. The battlefield network was a core component of FCS.

Rickey Smith, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center (forward), said the Army will assess network capabilities as it develops operational requirements for a new modernized force. But, during an interview with Nextgov, Smith emphasized that once the requirements are established, officials then must determine what kind of network the service can afford.

The Army also must decide what communication capabilities to provide maneuver units, and assess how far down the command chain to push those systems. The radios that power battlefield networks take up space and will place a power load on the new ground combat vehicle, and Smith said that in his opinion, the new vehicles should be designed to accommodate that.

In addition, the service must ensure new radios and network equipment are compatible with older systems, a challenge that could be resolved in part through software, according to Smith.

While the Army will spend the summer refining its modernization strategy, Speakes said upgrading equipment and systems is imperative. The service has made five modernization attempts during the past 20 years, he noted.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.