Army Futures Command to Reallocate Over $30 Billion to Modernization Priorities

U.S. Army Research Lab (Image: Tech Xplore)

Army lieutenant generals told the Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee that the Army Futures Command (AFC) has reallocated over $30 billion to the service branch’s modernization efforts since its establishment last summer, in a hearing yesterday.

In October 2017, the Army identified six priority areas of modernization: long-range precision fire; a new generation of combat vehicles; future vertical lift programs; an Army network that allows for command, control, communications, and intelligence; improved air and missile defense capabilities; and better soldier lethality. The Army then established eight cross-functional teams to address these priorities.

The Army created AFC in July 2018 to sharpen the modernization process. Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, principal military deputy to the Army assistant secretary and director of the Army Acquisitions Corps, said AFC is the largest Army organization restructure in over 40 years, and it aims to consolidate Army programs to improve spending efficiency and drive priorities forward faster.

“For the first time, one command is driving concept development, requirements determination, organization design, science and technology research, and solution development,” Ostrowski said of AFC.

The lieutenant generals said that the AFC’s reallocation of Army funds for modernization has been particularly effective holding or closing non-priority programs to reallocate $30 billion by FY2024. $8.9 billion of that total will be reallocated to the six priority modernization areas in FY2020 alone.

During the hearing, lieutenant generals both stressed the ways interoperability, collaboration among different teams in the Army, and working closely with industry producers have been key to the success of AFC.

Since the Army Applications Lab is in Austin, for instance, it has linked with small businesses within that area in the Army’s efforts to advance its technology. The Army has also worked with the other service branches and with foreign allies to increase interoperability in both a joint force and coalition force capacity.

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