Army Slices Norwegian-built Weapons Deal By $1.6 Billion: Exclusive
By Carlo Munoz
Published: October 3, 2011
Washington: Only three days into the new fiscal year the Army has wielded its mighty budget ax on what many believe is a highly promising weapon system designed to protect soldiers as they roll into battle.
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Service officials cut the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS), built by Norwegian defense giant Kongsberg, from $2.6 billion down to $970 million.
The CROWS system lets U.S. troops fire the heavy weaponry mounted on top of Humvees, Strykers and other armored vehicles from the cabin, without exposing themselves to enemy fire.
Before CROWS, Army crews had to pop up and fire those weapons manually, exposing themselves to improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.
To date, the Army has put over 11,000 CROWS systems in the field. Looking to build on that success, the service started a follow-on program to the first CROWS contract. The goal: to buy another 7,000 of the weapon system.
The $2.6 billion deal would have been split into two contracts by the Army, both of which would be openly competed, despite the fact that Kongsberg had won the initial contract.
But the Army recently decided to reduce that to a single contract award for 3,000 more CROWS systems, according to an industry source.
The Army decided to buy fewer CROWS because it isn't buying as many combat vehicles. An second industry source said the vehicle purchases "have since been reduced as greater fiscal scrutiny has been given to the defense budget."
Army officials have said if costs continue to grow on its Ground Combat Vehicle program, service officials would pull the plug on the multimillion-dollar effort. Senate appropriators already pulled the plug on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle last month, citing concerns with the program's costs.
With the fate of both those programs in doubt, it is unclear whether the Army could get the CROWS program back up to that goal of 18,000 systems total, as originally planned.
In addition to protecting solders from enemy fire, CROWS includes a long-range targeting system that keeps soldiers and their vehicles out of range of enemy weapons while being able to strike enemy forces.
The system was so successful in the field that the Army extended the initial CROWS contract three times to meet the demand.
General Calls Poor Post-War Discipline 'Cancerous'
October 05, 2011
Military.com|by Christian Lowe
The top commander of US Army forces in Europe sees a growing problem with discipline in Army ranks, saying the lack of accountability for Soldiers with infractions like multiple drunken driving incidents is harmful to a down-sizing Army.
Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who recently took charge of U.S. Army Europe, told reporters at an Oct. 5 breakfast meeting in Washington that part of the problem comes from post-deployment indiscretions. But the lack of discipline is also a byproduct of constant pre-deployment training and back-to-back tours in the combat zone.
"There are those in the force that we have a discipline problem. And some of it comes from combat," Hertling said. "If you allow that to go unnoticed it can be cancerous."
Hertling said he was surprised after he learned Soldiers in his command weren't being disciplined for offenses such as DUIs and has begun an effort to focus on education and mentoring among junior officers and non-commissioned officers.
The Army needs to "relook at what are our professional values and how do we live toward them," Hertling said. "I think the NCOs and the officers know that too."
With 10 years of constant preparation for deployments and year-long stints to Iraq or Afghanistan, commanders were at pains to keep units together and on track for missions overseas so they overlooked "multiple offenses" to meet the demands of forces in the war zone. Now that deployment tempos have slowed, it's time to get back to basics, Hertling said.
"We are an Army whose systems need to be polished -- they've rusted significantly," Hertling said. "We really have to knock some of the rust off and reframe our fundamentals."
And with budgets tight, new missions cropping up and a potential downsizing on the horizon, accountability to the "fundamentals of the profession" is critical, Hertling explained.
"It is a small percentage of the force" with discipline problems, he said. "But when you're really truly looking at building a smaller, more professional Army, those are the things you have to address."
© Copyright 2011 Military.com. All rights reserved.
Don’t lose the big picture, a general warns
By Philip Ewing Thursday, October 6th, 2011 3:30 pm
The Association of the United States Army’s big trade show opens next week here in Washington, and just like last year, there’ll be a big question for everyone to answer: What next? The Army still has work to finish in Iraq and Afghanistan, but under today’s assumptions, the effective end for both conflicts is now in sight. So DoD and the Army must decide how much the the force should shrink, what it should do and what it should buy, all in this uncertain budget environment.
Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, head of U.S. Army Europe, told reporters this week he got a good general recommendation from a close U.S. ally. Hertling described a conversation with Israeli Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, commander of the IDF’s ground forces, in which Turgeman said Israel’s recent military experience could be a cautionary tale for the U.S.
“He’s experiencing some of things we’re seeing, except he’s got year’s head start on us,” Hertling told reporters, including our colleague Christian Lowe. “What he told me is, ‘Y’know, we focused on the intifada for 15 years and because of that we ignored everything else. And then we got into another fight and we weren’t prepared for it. We can learn a lot from each other.”
Translation: Israel’s planners and commanders focused too much on what we’d call irregular warfare or low-intensity operations, costing readiness, Turgeman believed, when it came time for the bigger-scale wars of 2006 and 2008. Hertling said the American version of this is the Army’s focus on counterinsurgency, the famous COIN doctrine. The Army must be able to zoom out from COIN and resume training for all the other types of missions it knows how to do, but just hasn’t done for the past decade.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do to get out of COIN and maybe understand some of the future threats, and that’s the hardest thing we have on our plate right now,” Hertling said.
Some of the possibilities here are predictable and some aren’t. One thing Army leaders have said they miss are big, combined arms, force-on-force drills, in which a blue corps goes up against a red corps with tanks, artillery armored vehicles, helicopters — the whole shootin’ match. But “future threats” can be Penta-code for a lot of things, including China and cyber-warfare.
As the Army has been focused on fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Navy and Air Force have been quietly brewing up their concept called “Air-Sea Battle,” which got people around town very excited a few years ago. The doctrine, if it ever gets into the open, is supposed to blow us all away with its innovative treatment of anti-access and area denial challenges in the Western Pacific. It’s also said to call for new missions and cooperation between the light and navy blue services. Maybe, as part of the examination of “future threats,” the Army will want to crash this party. As Galrahn has written, one of the (many) challenges to Air-Sea Battle is its apparent exclusion of ground forces, as summed up in this classic quotation he cites:
“Without ground forces and with limited magazine capacities, what happens once we get there? What now, lieutenant?”
As for cyber, the Army’s own Cyber Command is a year old this month. With the coming drawdowns and broad refocusing, it has nowhere to go but up, given the broad interest in cyber attack and defense across the Pentagon.
What other recently neglected areas should the Army try to focus on going forward?
Read more: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/10/06/do...#ixzz1a3UTxBsm
US Army Modernization – Preparing for Future Success
Lennox: Army’s aim is “a versatile and affordable mix of equipment”
Interview with LTG Robert Lennox, Deputy Chief of Staff, US Army G-8
07:46 GMT, October 10, 2011 defpro.com | As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan approach their end, each at its individual pace and with very different requirements, the constant efforts of shaping the US Army are subject to new operational, political, and economic impacts. The decade of the war on terror has had an influence on the entire Armed Forces that is unparalleled in modern military history – at the same time, this era has seen a revolutionary increase of technological possibilities, which most prominently became manifest in the upsurge of unmanned systems and networked solutions. The Army is now at a crossroads at which it must determine the challenges and, in consequence, the requirements of the upcoming years, while managing the ongoing transition in operations abroad.
This complex defence-political environment will also influence this year’s AUSA Annual Meeting, which starts today, October 10, 2011, in Washington, D.C. On this occasion, defpro.com asked Lieutenant General Robert Lennox,  Deputy Chief of Staff, Army G-8, to outline the Army’s current modernisation efforts in light of the challenges that lie ahead.
(The interview is part of defpro.com's editorial focus on “Modernising the US Army” at http://goo.gl/T7bvN)
defpro.com: Let us try and provide some background to enable our readers to better understand what will follow. How would you assess the current posture of the US Army, in terms of equipment?
LTG Robert Lennox: The Army has made great strides to bring the Army into “materiel balance.” As a result of continued Congressional support, the Army projects an Equipment On Hand (EOH) aggregate level of fill of 92 percent by the end of October 2012 (Active Component – 93 percent; Army National Guard – 92 percent; US Army Reserve – 90 percent). The challenge with Army equipping is that we over-equip units in combat (Theater Sustainment Stocks) and we ensure units going to accomplish non-standard missions (Field Artillery performing as Infantry) have all the appropriate equipment. This creates imbalance.
Today, less than half of all Army units report critical Equipment On Hand (EOH) shortages and we expect Army EOH to continue to improve. To help mitigate equipping challenges and synchronize the delivery of equipment, the Army implemented the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process, which focused intensive equipment management to provide units with the equipment needed for training and deployment as they progress through the ARFORGEN process.
Key lessons learned from the current fight include:
• Constant improvement has been needed in protection, both to vehicles and body armor. The vehicles include High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) to Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs). Over nine improvements have been made to body armor.
• The power of the Network has been important to successful operations with our Coalition partners. Pushing the network down to the soldier level for biometrics and situational awareness has empowered our soldiers.
• The Army learned the value of unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters.
• Soldier equipping is critical to lighten the load, increase lethality, and provide better optics.
defpro.com: What were the main lesson learned, and the resulting changes, since the end of the Cold War and the conflicts of the past decade? Is today’s US Army properly equipped to face the likely challenges of the years ahead or are there some shortcomings?
Lennox: The strategic international and domestic environments of the first half of the 21st century will differ markedly from the last seventy years. Major differences include a lack of certainty of where and against whom we would be required to fight and the availability of resources required to ensure our success.
Until the end of the Cold War, the United States defense establishment had certainty in the strategic and operational environments – we knew our enemy and where we would fight. This certainty provided a degree of predictability in resource availability and force structure. The Army was able to design a force to defend against a large, specific threat – the threat of national destruction fueled relatively large commitments of resources.
Today, we are in an era characterized by persistent conflict highlighted by the lack of a clearly identifiable threat, uncertain operational environments, increased cost of labor and capital and decreased access to resources to pay for them. To confront these new realities and remain the most decisive land force in the world, the Army must achieve a balance between prevailing in current operations and preparing for success in the future, while simultaneously hedging against unexpected contingencies and sustaining the high quality of the all-volunteer Army.
Our strategy to equip the Army takes a balanced approach and features:
• Integrated portfolios that align the modernization community to ensure integration across requirements, acquisition, resourcing and sustainment
• Incremental modernization to deliver improved capabilities as technology matures, resources are available or necessity dictates
• ARFORGEN equipping to improve or maintain core capabilities and provide mission-specific capabilities in support of operational availability cycles
Our strategy to equip the force follows four lines of effort: 1) Modernize to improve and upgrade existing equipment; 2) Sustain our equipment to extend its useful life; 3) Mitigate mission shortfalls by procuring unique equipment for immediate capability needs; and 4) Distribute equipment so that it is in the right place and in the right amounts to enable training, preparation and execution for mission success.
defpro.com: In broader terms, what are the main goals of the ongoing transformation process? How will the future US Army differ from todays? And, what are the most urgent transformation steps?
Lennox: The goal of Army Equipment Modernization is to develop and field a versatile and affordable mix of equipment to allow soldiers and units to succeed in full-spectrum operations today and tomorrow and maintain our decisive advantage over any enemy we face.
Versatile means equipment that is:
• adaptable in response to real or anticipated environments change;
• expansible over time as technology and anticipated environments change;
• networked to share information in the quantities, quality, timeliness and security level required for operations.
Affordable means that we will make fiscally informed decisions to get the greatest capability value within projected resources and with acceptable risk.
defpro.com: The ill-fated FCS programme used to be the cornerstone of the US Army transformation. Could you please elaborate on how the Army has “harvested” technologies from the programme?
Lennox: There are several areas where Future Combat System (FCS) technologies have been harvested, most notably in the development of the network and the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV). The lessons learned from the efforts of the FCS have been applied to help streamline development efforts. An example of such is the hybrid drives developed for the FCS manned ground vehicles and being considered for the GCV.
Active protection systems from the FCS are likely to be found on the Ground Combat Vehicle and other combat vehicles in the future. Another example is the Network Integration Kit, which has been used at Fort Bliss, Texas, in the Network Integration Evaluation and has some positive feedback.
defpro.com: The network is arguably the single most important development programme as currently underway for the US Army. Could you please provide an overview of the goals of the programme and its current status?
Lennox: The Army’s network investment reflects a fundamental change in how the Army will field new capabilities to the warfighter. Specifically, the Army will converge parallel network efforts into one coherent network for soldiers, platforms, and command posts linked by an integrated suite of command and control applications and services connected via a common network and fielded to as many formations as possible. The Army’s main effort is to develop and deploy network ‘capability sets’ aligned against ARFORGEN requirements to provide an integrated, seamless network capability – from the Tactical Operation Center to the Commander on the Move, to the dismounted soldier.
A comprehensive review of all network solutions prior to deployment is a critical component of developing ‘capability sets.’ In June 2011, the Army conducted the initial Network Integration exercise (NIE) at Fort Bliss by the Army’s Brigade Modernization Command. The NIE will now serve as the network’s primary venue to evaluate Army network programs, new technologies and network capabilities.
defpro.com: Beyond the Network, how would you list the next most important programmes?
Lennox: The Army Modernization Plan 2012 strategy-based priorities for modernized equipment are to (1) network the force, (2) deter and defeat hybrid threats, and (3) protect and empower soldiers. Program priorities provide the critical capabilities which give our soldiers and units the decisive edge in full spectrum operations.
Our prioritization efforts strike a balance between current and future needs; provide the basis for an affordable equipping strategy over time; reflect Army and Congressional interests, guidance and priorities and nest with Army Campaign Plan directed capabilities.
The Army has seven systems in its Fiscal Year 2012 request categorized as CRITICAL:
• Distributed Common Ground System – Army (DCGS-A): Provides integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data to airborne and ground sensor platforms.
• OH-58 Kiowa Warrior Model Upgrade: Enhances and upgrades cockpit sensors.
• Ground Combat Vehicle: The Army’s replacement for the Infantry fighting vehicles in Heavy Brigade Combat Teams.
• Paladin Integrated Management (PIM): Enhances the responsiveness, survivability, and operational readiness of the self-propelled howitzer fleet.
• Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS): Provides advanced joint tactical end to end networking data and voice communications to our soldiers and units.
• Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increments 1, 2 and 3: Provides the warfighter with advanced communications between widely dispersed units with voice, data and video.
• Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P): Enables a widely dispersed command and control capability across all formations and entire spectrum of joint military operations.
defpro.com: One way or another, it appears highly likely that future defence budgets will decline, and contain less money for RDA. Are you confident the US Army will nonetheless be able to maintain its technological ascendency?
Lennox: During the past five years, the Army has invested over $100 billion dollars in new equipment. Those investments provide our soldiers with the world’s most advanced weaponry, most capable sensors, and most survivable transportation systems. Along with those improvements, we have built a network that provides a common operational view of the battlefield down to troop level. Although other nations have made investments in their ground forces, none have done so to the extent we have because our systems have been delivered across both our active and reserve components. Every Army unit is equipped to be the best in the world. We have also made extensive investments in infrastructure especially training ranges, depots and unit maintenance facilities and have provided our troops with the funding they need to continue training at a high tempo.
Our continuous investment in research, development, test and evaluation, amounting to over $50 billion dollars during the past five years, ensures the Army will retain its technological edge and continue the fielding of advanced technologies.
Currently, we are ramping down from ten years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This period offered us a vast depth of experience on what technology is effective and what is not. We have made huge gains in recognizing and closing capability gaps in our force. The lessons we have learned from this type of warfare has advanced and refocused our research and development efforts to new levels.
The Army’s strategy is to develop and field a versatile and affordable mix of equipment to allow soldiers and units to succeed in full-spectrum operations today and tomorrow and to maintain our decisive advantage over any enemy we face.
This strategy takes a balanced and affordable approach by using ARFORGEN equipping to improve or maintain core capabilities, incremental modernization to deliver new and improved capabilities and integrated portfolios to align our equipment modernization communities.
The Army is focused on being a good steward of resources and has implemented numerous process changes to accomplish that goal. These changes include:
• Integrated affordability reviews in the requirements development process to ensure requirements are both feasible and affordable;
• Cost Benefit Analysis to ensure a value-added review of requirements before funding is applied;
• Capability Portfolio Review process where Army senior leadership reviews requirements, acquisition and relative priorities to ensure we are developing the right capabilities to meet emerging threats.
defpro.com: Thank you very much, General Lennox.
 Lieutenant General Robert P. Lennox was appointed the US Army’s fourth Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, on November 2, 2009. He is responsible for integration and programming across the Army to meet the current and future force requirements. LTG Lennox graduated in 1977 from West Point, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Stanford University, and a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the National Defense University. LTG Lennox’s military education includes the Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the National War College. LTG Lennox’s last assignment was as the Director, Army Quadrennial Defense Review.
 The Army G-8 is responsible for integrating Army funding, fielding, and equipping actions with OSD, Joint, and ARSTAF organizations and processes for the purpose of meeting current and future force requirements of the Joint Force. G-8 is the principal military advisor to ASA(FM&C) and advises VCSA on JROC issues as well. G-8 also serves as a member of JCB, AR2B, AROC, AMCB.
Army: You Sure We Won’t Fight Another Ground War?
By Spencer Ackerman October 10, 2011 | 6:11 pm
How’s this for painful irony: right as the Army leaves Iraq and begins to leave Afghanistan following a decade at war, it’s gearing up for intense bureaucratic misery. That’s because even the Army’s almuni argue that the looming cuts to the defense budget should slice the ground service particularly deeply. But on Monday, the Army leadership signaled it won’t give up its budget without a fight.
It’s not that Army Secretary John McHugh and new chief of staff Gen. Raymond Odierno don’t accept that the defense budget is on the block as part of an overall deficit reduction package. It’s that they don’t accept the idea that the Army should be chopped deeper than the Navy, Marines or Air Force.
“I’m operating [under the presumption] that it’s one-third, one-third, one-third,” McHugh told reporters at the Army’s annual D.C. gala, known as the Association of the United States Army convention. McHugh’s referring to something known in defense budget circles as the “Golden Triangle”: the idea that cuts to the defense budget ought to be split equally amongst the Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force. “If that changes,” McHugh added, “it won’t be because I suggested that.”
But even retired Army generals suggest that the “Golden Triangle” be broken. Last week, the Center for a New American Security released a budget blueprint specifically endorsing deeper cuts for the Army than the other services. Its report, penned under the imprimatur of ret. Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, justified those deeper cuts on an assessment that the threats of the future will primarily be dealt with through air and sea power, with some special operations forces sprinkled in the mix.
The Army’s riposte is as sharp as it comes in defense-speak: That’s pre-9/11 thinking.
“When I was a brigadier general in 2001 on the Army staff, I heard the same thing we’re hearing today: we’ll be technology-driven, we’ll be driven by air and sea forces and we don’t need a ground force and we need to reduce the size of our ground force,” Odierno told reporters. “We have to be ready for unknown contingencies.”
McHugh was even blunter. “We heard [these arguments] just prior to September 11,” he added. “We went into Iraq under the rubric of shock and awe. As I said this morning, after we shocked, after we awed, to secure victory, we had to march.”
Neither man spelled out a scenario for another potential land war after Iraq and Afghanistan. But they might not need to. On Capitol Hill and within the Pentagon, it might be enough to give legislators and budget strategists pause about the country’s poor track record of predicting the threats it finds itself facing.
Like its sister services, the Army doesn’t yet know how much the defense budget will be cut. Both Odierno and McHugh warned that cuts larger than $500 billion could be “catastrophic,” in McHugh’s term. They’re launching a wide-ranging review to determine what the Army of the future will look like: what the mix of light, heavy, medium and airborne forces ought to be; what capabilities should fall into the reserves; and how many brigade combat teams will remain after the Army’s total size shrinks. “Everything is on the table,” Odierno said.
But one thing isn’t negotiable if Odierno can help it. “No matter what happens, we’re not going to have a hollow force,” he said. That force might be smaller, and it might not be sized to do as much around the world, but it’ll be “high-quality,” the Army chief of staff vowed.
If Odierno’s caution about a third possible ground war this century proves prophetic — more, in other words, than a bureaucratic strategy to avoid deep budget cuts — it’ll have to be.
Photo: Spencer Ackerman
Officials: Cut non-deployable soldiers
Posted by Chris Kelly | October 10th, 2011 | AUSA 2011
BY MICHELLE TAN – The Army is looking for ways to reduce its number of non-deployable soldiers as it reshapes the force and faces looming budget cuts, officials said during a panel discussion at the Association of the United States Army annual conference.
The goal is to increase the readiness of the Army.
“The challenges for the department … all have to do with people,” said Karl Schneider, principal deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs. “What are the manning issues? What are the policy issues we need to look at to ensure we have the right people with the right training at the right time?”
The number of non-deployable soldiers is an increasing concern, Schneider said, and at least a third of these soldiers are in that status for medical reasons.
“A lot of it has to do with the disability evaluation system,” Schneider said. “How can we make the system work better and faster? We need to fix our disability system so we can fairly and equitably transition our soldiers to civilian life.”
The Army also has asked Congress for the ability to release soldiers who are approaching the end of their time in service up to 365 days early without affecting their benefits, Schneider said.
“Soldiers with too little time [in their term of service] to deploy, we want to let them go early so we can bring in new soldiers who can deploy,” he said. “We need to balance taking care of soldiers while maintaining the readiness of the force.”
U.S. Army looks to modifications, upgrades to bolster ground vehicle fleet
Posted by Chris Kelly | October 10th, 2011 | AUSA 2011
U.S. soldiers from 2nd Infantry Division, Stryker Battalion Combat Team from Fort Lewis, Washington
BY LANCE M. BACON AND MICHAEL HOFFMAN – The U.S. Army has begun a three-pronged strategy to “transform, replace and improve” its combat vehicle fleet as it figures out which vehicles to scrap, which to upgrade and where it makes sense to buy new ones, said Lt. Gen. Robert Lennox, deputy chief of staff for Army programs.
The Ground Combat Vehicle sits as the Army’s top vehicle modernization priority, but Army leaders must also juggle replacing the M113 armored personnel carrier while simultaneously fielding the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and upgrading Humvees.
Service officials must do all of this in an austere budget environment restricting wish lists for new vehicles and forcing acquisition leaders to think hard about upgrading existing vehicles like the Humvee in place of the JLTV, or casting vehicles in new missions such as the Stryker and Bradley for the M113.
The problem is money. Roughly $4 billion is needed annually to recap, divest and buy new tactical wheeled vehicles, but the Army can only afford about $2 billion. To cut costs, the Army will not recapitalize as often, which means vehicles will have to run longer than expected.
Service leaders also are looking to save money on GCV and JLTV, the “transform” and “improve” elements of the three-pronged plan.
The Ground Combat Vehicle, poised to become the next-generation infantry fighting vehicle, is already under attack. Army leaders have said the final cost must come in below $13 million per vehicle. But the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office predicts each vehicle will cost closer to $17 million. That equates to an extra $7.2 billion to buy the planned 1,800 vehicles.
No one can say much about GCV right now for legal reasons. The Army on Aug. 18 awarded technology development contracts to BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems. Competitor SAIC filed a formal protest soon after.
Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli told Army Times that a strategy is in place that carries the program through the engineering and manufacturing development phase to a Milestone B decision in 2013. He also said the Army will simultaneously look at “off-the-shelf” options such as a modified Bradley or foreign vehicles, then decide whether to go with a new start or an existing vehicle.
The GCV isn’t alone in taking some significant hits. The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee on Sept. 13 recommended the JLTV, which was to replace one-third of the Army’s 150,000 Humvees, be terminated. The House Appropriations defense subcommittee in July recommended a $50 million cut from the program, noting “the operational niche to be filled by the JLTV appears to be shrinking.”
The Pentagon hasn’t let JLTV stall.
The Army took many by surprise, setting a lower-than-expected cost ceiling and an ambitious development schedule for the JLTV in the draft request for proposals issued Oct. 3 by the Army.
The JLTV draft request for proposals sets per-vehicle cost goals between $230,000 and $270,000 — much lower than the $350,000 estimate by the Government Accountability Office. An additional armor kit called the B-kit should cost no more than $65,000, according to the draft request for proposals.
Service officials also cut 16 months from the engineering, manufacturing and development phase, which now will last 32 months instead of the expected 48 months. Col. David Bassett, Army program manager for tactical vehicles, said the quicker delivery was due to the common requirements.
Chiarelli’s staff has spent the last nine months working with the Marine Corps to come up with common requirements that would lead to a common vehicle, and would subsequently drive the cost down. The vehicles would become mission-specific by adding one of a variety of packages.
In the draft RfP for the Humvee recap, Army officials set the per-vehicle price ceiling at $180,000, which is 66 percent of the price ceiling set for JLTV.
“What we’re seeing is, to get the capability you’re looking for in the JLTV, your most effective move for the taxpayer is to go ahead and buy a new vehicle that will give you a 20-year service life as opposed to recapping an old vehicle that will give you seven or eight years,” said Christopher Yunker, Mobility Branch section head at Marine Corps Combat Development Command.
While GCV and JLTV have rough roads ahead, Congress and the Pentagon can agree that up to 5,000 M113s must be replaced. However, the push to build a new vehicle called the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle has lost steam in favor of replacing the M113 with Bradleys, MRAPs or Strykers — or a combination of those.
Sun setting on M113
Entering service in 1960, the M113 is an old soldier ready to retire. It can’t keep up with the Bradley fighting vehicle or the Abrams tank, and is increasingly difficult to maintain. One battalion commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said 50 percent of his M113s are down at any given time.
The M113s no longer drives off base. Poor armor on the sides and under the vehicle has left soldiers vulnerable to ambush at a time when personnel carriers now have specially designed hulls and armor packages to protect from improvised explosive devices.
“AMPV is a critical program that we need,” said Lennox, who called the AMPV the second-greatest priority in the combat vehicle portfolio behind GCV. “There is a whole fleet of vehicles, M113s, that are not leaving [forward operating bases] and are not used in Iraq or Afghanistan today really because of the vulnerability of the system. What we are doing is we are asking soldiers to come home from combat and perform services on a vehicle that they know they’re not going to use in the future. We need to be able to replace it.”
The Army is preparing an analysis of alternatives that will direct the way ahead. Service officials with whom Army Times spoke said the path is becoming clear, and it won’t include a newly designed vehicle.
For starters, the Army can’t afford it, and it would take too long to develop and produce. Officials plan to buy about 3,275 AMPV at a per vehicle cost of up to $2.7 million with the first AMPVs not reaching soldiers until 2017, according to an Army Combat Vehicle Modernization brief obtained by Army Times.
Big Army has plenty of other options, such as $10 billion worth of MRAPs that will soon be looking for a mission.
But the likely replacements will be a mixed fleet of modified Bradleys in the heavy brigades and Strykers for everything else, said one acquisition official. The cost to modify these vehicles will be comparatively low, availability is high and both variants would include notable improvements to their already-proven platforms.
BAE Systems’ solution is to remove the Bradley turret to build a five-vehicle family that includes a mortar, medical evacuation, medical treatment, command post and general purpose variants. Removing the turret provides more power and better security, as it raises the vehicle further off the ground. It also allows an increase of up to three tiles in vehicle height.
The heavy brigades will get their replacements first. The modified Bradley is a front-runner because it can go anywhere the tracked vehicles can go, and brings 20 years of protection technology that has made the Bradley second only to the tank in survivability. As an M113 replacement, the Bradley would be upgraded to the A3 standard and come with the engine transmission, running gear, track, reactive tiles, side skirts and ceramic upgrades.
One major change would be the relocation of fuel to external tanks. Still, replacing M113s with the modified Bradley would provide a parts commonality of up to 90 percent in the heavy brigade, said Steve Howson, BAE’s manager of business development for combat vehicles.
There are 1,400 to 1,600 A0 and A2 hulls in the boneyard that could accommodate a quick fielding. Modifying these hulls would cost less than buying a new M113, Howson said, and would be one-third the cost of a new development vehicle. These hulls would not cover the full need of 3,275 vehicles for heavy brigades, but Lennox said the arrival of GCVs could free up more Bradleys for modification.
The Stryker makes a strong argument for itself, as well. The M113 mission equipment packages match up well with the Stryker’s 10 variants, meaning modifications would be slim to none, said Mike Cannon, senior vice president of ground combat systems for General Dynamics.
“It’s going to be really hard to argue with the operation and support costs of a Stryker compared to all of the other candidates,” he said. “The Stryker will deliver a cost between $11 and $20 a mile. The 113 is north of $40 and the Bradley without a turret is about $60 a mile.”
Cannon said he is confident the Stryker will meet all analysis-of-alternatives requirements. His assertion is supported by a pre-decisional document obtained by Army Times. The document shows Stryker as the only vehicle able to meet six specified missions currently performed by the M113. The Bradley was rated as “capable” or “potentially capable” in each category.
Another telling report comes from the 3rd Infantry Division, to which 90 Stryker medical evacuation vehicles were delivered. The division took 30 to Iraq for one year instead of the M113 ambulance. Upon return, the unit asked that the vehicles be added to its inventory, but the request was shot down because it would have presupposed that Stryker was the selected replacement, and that would adversely effect the selection process.
Cannon said General Dynamics is “not adverse to a mixed fleet for the AMPV replacement.
“We recognize there are some roles that may not be suitable for Stryker,” he said. “Specifically would be the mortar carrier. Because of our suspensions system on our Stryker, we absorb a lot more of the recoil so it doesn’t send the mortar round as far as a more robust tracked vehicle that has a tighter suspension. That is one of the roles we would be willing to concede to competition if it is determined that they don’t want a pure Stryker M113 replacement fleet.”
Looking at the Bradley mortar variant, it’s not hard to understand why. The vehicle uses the same mission equipment package, but 115 shells – 46 more than the M113. The Bradley mortar also tops out at 38 mph, which is a huge plus for M113 mortarmen who often struggle to keep pace.
Army working to provide adequate force in changing conditions
Posted by Chris Kelly | October 10th, 2011 | AUSA 2011
Gen. David Rodriguez
BY MICHELLE TAN – The U.S. Army must continue to adapt and work hard to provide the forces needed to fight in Afghanistan and other ongoing missions, the new commanding general of Forces Command told Army Times.
With “the operation in Iraq closing out here in the future and also the changing requirements in Afghanistan, the thing we have to do is fulfill the requirements the combatant commanders put on us, and assure as conditions change we’re matching the changes and requirements so we’re giving them the force they need,” said Gen. David Rodriguez, who assumed command of FORSCOM Sept. 12. “The thing we will have to look at is continuing to adapt how we train those forces.”
The Army also will have to operate with fewer troops in Afghanistan as the U.S. continues to draw down the force there, said Rodriguez, who most recently was commander of ISAF Joint Command in Afghanistan.
“As the force changes in Afghanistan, the forces are going to thin out, so they’ll be spread thinner while using more of the Afghan security forces,” he said. “So we have to make sure we prepare our force for that.”
The goal is to transition more and more responsibility to the Afghan security forces while supporting them in areas that take more time to build, such as aviation, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Rodriguez said.
“As the security forces develop, we’ll decrease our footprint in the areas where they can handle it more and more,” he said. “We just need to tailor [our units] so there is no wasted energy. [And] we’ll have to make sure we’re able to execute quick reaction forces to be able to respond to a broader range [of events], and command and control requirements will stay very, very important.”
Rodriguez said commanders in Afghanistan continue to determine which units or capabilities should be withdrawn.
“They’re going to wait until they have the best assessment of each element of the Afghan security forces and government,” he said. “They’re getting closer to deciding what type of forces will be pulled out by the end of this calendar year and again at the end of summer.”
It is too soon to say how many soldiers or what types of units will be part of this 33,000-troop drawdown, Rodriguez said.
“It’s a mixture of units because it’s built on the requirements that are needed based on the development of the Afghan security forces,” Rodriguez said. “It’s different in every place, how those units are developing, and we’re filling in the places they can’t execute to standard yet.”
When the decisions are made, returning units either won’t be backfilled in theater or those sent to replace them will be smaller in size, Rodriguez said.
Looking ahead, as the Army plans to shrink the size of the active component, Rodriguez said senior Army leaders are analyzing the makeup of the Army and remain committed to transitioning to nine-month deployments instead of the current 12-month tours.
“We’re working hard to adjust … to the nine-month deployments, and the goal is to get [units] to be home twice as long as they’re deployed, so we’ll be moving in that direction,” Rodriguez said. “If everything goes well and the demand [for troops in theater] goes the way we assume it will, we’ll be able to do a pretty good job in the next couple years to get to that point.”
Rodriguez said the challenge will be to prepare deploying units and reduce stress on soldiers and their families.
“The strength of the Army is the soldier and the strength of the soldier is the families,” Rodriguez said. “The nine-month [deployments] we believe will be better for all the soldiers and families involved.”
100,000: Total U.S. troops |in Afghanistan now
70,750: Soldiers in Afghanistan now
10,000: Troops that President Obama plans to pull out by the end of this year
23,000: More troops the president wants |to pull out by the end of next summer.
Army’s No. 2 on vehicles, budget cuts
Posted by Chris Kelly | October 10th, 2011 | AUSA 2011
Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli
BY LANCE M. BACON – Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who has run a series of reviews of the service’s acquisition programs, discussed those and other subjects in an interview with Army Times on Oct. 4. Here are excerpts from the interview:
Q. How do you see vehicle modernization?
A. I think we’ve done an excellent job of going through all the portfolios, including the tactical wheel vehicle portfolio of vehicles and the combat vehicle portfolio, to look at all the different contingencies on where we, as an Army, need to go.
I can’t talk a lot about [the Ground Combat Vehicle] because it’s under protest right now. But I can say we have a strategy that gets us through the [engineering, manufacturing and development] phase to a Milestone B decision.
At the same time, we’re looking at off-the-shelf kinds of vehicles, things that are around. They come together at the same time, so we can make a decision down the road whether or not we go with a new start such as GCV or whether there may be something else that could, in fact, be the infantry fighting vehicle of the future.
People make it sound like we’re getting ready to make a decision on full-rate production. We’re just trying to get to Milestone B, which is the technical development phase — where industry takes our [capability development document] and our [request for proposals], which are in draft, and tells us, based on those requirements, what they could deliver for the price point we’re looking at.
We’re looking with a different excursion at some vehicles that are currently available: Bradley, and some work that could be done on the Bradley, some foreign vehicles that are available.
Q. Similarly, with the Bradley fighting vehicle and the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, you are looking at modifying current Army equipment?
A. If you look at the AMPV or the replacement for the M113, what we’re going to do there is an analysis of alternatives and look at again a whole different suite of vehicles that could replace the M113. We think it’s key and critical to replace the M113 with something that gives us the protection levels that we need. And the M113, I think, has reached the end of its life, and it needs to be replaced.
Q. Will the Army and the Marines be able to come together on [the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle]?
A. Well, that’s what I’m really excited about, is that the Army and the Marines have met on JLTV. [Assistant Marine Corps Commandant Gen.] Joe Dunford has been a partner. We’ve worked very, very hard to come up with a set of requirements that are the same. So the Army and the Marine Corps go into JLTV in lock step, driven down the requirements to a point where we think we’re going to be able to bring it in in a much better price point than a lot of people thought.
But I think what’s really exciting about it is we agree on the requirements. There’s not a Marine variant and an Army variant. There is a JLTV. We’ll have some different packages we can add to the JLTV for different kinds of missions, but the basic vehicle will be the same vehicle for both services.
Q. When do you expect to present that to Congress?
A. We’ve already been laying out strategy to some of the senior staffers. And at the same time, we’re doing the same thing with JLTV that we’re doing with GCV, in a way. We’ll look at the recap of Humvees. OK, can you, in fact, recap Humvees? What’s the cost of that going to be?
And we’ll bring that in at about the same time we finish the EMD phase of JLTV and be able to make a decision on what’s smarter to do. Is JLTV the right vehicle for the future, or is a recapped Humvee? A lot will depend on how close we’ll be able to get the costs in the new vehicle down to the one that’s recapped.
Q. If DoD has to cut beyond the $400 billion, where would the Army’s share come from?
A. Our chief and our secretary are totally committed to ensuring that we maintain a balanced Army. I think that’s absolutely critical. We’ve got three rheostats we can turn. We can turn the personnel rheostat, we can turn the training rheostat, we can turn the modernization rheostat. And our feeling is we’ve got to turn them all at about the same pace depending on what the Army can afford.
But whatever size force we have has got to be a well-equipped and a well-trained force. We’re not going to rob from one account and have a large force that is not modernized and is not trained, or a small force that’s got a lot of equipment that it’s too busy to use.
Q. What has the Army learned through its program reviews?
A. The key lesson is that we’ve got to be willing to talk to industry. We’ve got to figure out ways to un-derstand when we lay out requirements, what is the trade space?
I ask for a requirement that has X amount of exportable power and it drives the cost of the electronic components — let’s say the generator — up to $30,000. If I write that as a requirement and I don’t have a mechanism where industry can come back and say, “You know, you may not have understood it, but you crossed a threshold here where this is going to cost a heck of a lot more money. If you’re willing to accept, OK, 10 percent less, 20 percent less exportable power, I can do that for 50 percent of the cost.”
We had one combat vehicle that we’re working on right now, I was told we’ve got a couple of problems with meeting some of the requirements. This vehicle will only go 34½ mph at 120-degree ambient heat and the requirement is to be able to go 36 mph at a 120-degree ambient heat.
I said, “That’s a problem? Can’t somebody adjust the requirement?” I don’t think I want to spend a lot of money to get that extra mile and a half. We’ve got to have that kind of dialogue so that we can understand what some of the cost-informed trade-offs are.
That’s one of the things we’ve done with GCV that I’m very, very happy about is that we have a set of cost-informed trades that we’re going to be willing to make when we get to Milestone B before we finalize the CDD.
We, as an Army, will be able to make a decision on, “Well, can I afford that? Does it add that much more capability to the vehicle? Even if I can’t afford it, is this something I want?”
And if I don’t want it, I won’t be able to make those trades at Milestone B and either save ourselves some money or be sure that we’re not trying to integrate technology that is not ready for integration.
Q. Aside from combat, what is the|No. 1 thing that is catching the attention of leadership?
A. Our No. 1 requirement is to stay totally focused on the fights that we’re in and to support the war fighter. That’s absolutely key and critical. Not only to support the … commanders in what they need to have done but make sure that the soldiers that we provide meet our Title 10 requirements of being trained and ready and well-equipped. And we’re working very hard to ensure that that happens.
The budget has taken on a whole new importance in recent months because of the cuts that we know are going to have to be made, of the fiscal situation in the country. And we’re working very, very hard to ensure that we, as we make these cuts, have a balanced force. We’ve got to maintain our balance of the force to make sure it is both a trained, modernized force no matter what its size and we’ve got to maintain our commitment to soldiers and families who have been fighting these wars for the last 10 years.
Q. What are the next steps in reducing suicide, dependency — things of that nature?
A. Well, I’m looking forward to a brief that I’ll begin in the next month or so from our [Study To Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers] effort. I’m told — this is all preliminary, I haven’t had a chance to see anything — but they are really starting to get at some evidence-based things that may help us in the fight to reduce the number of suicides in the United States Army. I really believe the force is focused on this. I believe that leaders, both senior leaders, unit leaders, noncommissioned officers and soldiers themselves, are focused at keeping an eye out for high-risk behavior: soldiers who may be giving a sign to all of us that they could get themselves into trouble through high-risk behavior.
It’s really very, very difficult to identify in a population of 1.1 million who are the 250-plus over a year who are going to commit suicide. The way you do that is to focus on high-risk behavior. You focus on individuals who are abusing alcohol, abusing prescription drugs, getting into trouble, soldiers with anger management issues and do everything we possibly can to help those that are exhibiting high-risk behavior. And I think if we do that, we will avoid some of the tragedies that we’ve seen in the higher numbers of suicides. Albeit we’ve started to ramp that down, I hope we can soon ramp it down much, much quicker.
We want people to grow from the difficult experiences that they’re put in, rather than be beaten down by them. And that’s what Comprehensive Soldier Fitness does. We know we can train resiliency, and resiliency is key for a force that’s been fighting as long and as hard as this force has been fighting — for both the soldiers and their families.
Slimmed-down doctrine: Future manuals are fewer, shorter and handheld-accessible
Posted by Chris Kelly | October 10th, 2011 | AUSA 2011
New Army Doctrine
BY MICHELLE TAN – The Army is transforming the way it delivers doctrine to soldiers.
The effort, called Doctrine 2015, aims to make the Army’s fundamental principles more accessible, relevant and user-friendly.
First to be unveiled is the 10-page FM 3-0, the Army’s operational field manual, now known as Army Doctrine Publication 3-0.
Yes, 10 pages. And soon, there also will be an app for that.
Doctrine 2015 is a “significant attempt” to reach out to the Army’s new generation of leaders, said Gen. Robert Cone, commanding general of Training and Doctrine Command.
“Most of these leaders — captains, majors, sergeants first class — have known nothing in the last 10 years but a period of war,” Cone said. “They’ve been on a cutting edge, learning and adapting and, in many ways, setting the standard for how things are done. So … as we transition out of a period of war, how do we capture their imagination? How do we show that we listen to them? The way you do that is rewrite the fundamental, foundational documents that show how we do business and we reach out to them.”
The Army has about 350 manuals. Most of them are 80 pages or longer, and some are more than 300 pages, said Brig. Gen. Charlie Flynn, acting commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and recent director of the Mission Command Center of Excellence.
Five years ago, the Army had as many as 550 manuals. It is moving to 65 with Doctrine 2015, Flynn said.
Doctrine 2015 breaks Army doctrine into three key layers.
“You can call them gears that spin at different rates,” said Brig. Gen. Sean MacFarland, deputy commanding general of the Combined Arms Center Leader Development and Education.
Publications. At the top are the Army Doctrine Publications, or ADPs. Each of these will be 10 to 15 pages and will represent the Army’s enduring doctrines, MacFarland said.
There are 14 ADPs covering topics such as operations, intelligence, mission command, training, leadership, special operations, stability operations, and offensive and defensive operations.
The ADPs will not require updates as frequently because they are the Army’s fundamental principles, he said.
“We wanted to put them on a slower track and people could really take that and incorporate it into [professional military education], acquisition cycles and training,” MacFarland said.
Reference. Below the ADPs are Army Doctrine Reference Publications, which will provide detailed and expanded information on each fundamental principle and “will turn more rapidly,” MacFarland said. Breaking down the doctrine even more are 50 field manuals, which will cover tactics and procedures in about 200 pages or so.
Wiki-centric. Beyond that are wiki-formatted, wiki-based techniques, which will seek input from troops in the field, and applications for mobile devices. The wiki-based techniques portion and the apps are targeted toward the soldiers of today, Flynn said.
“We’re trying to deliver to the customer here, and the customer needs [information] pretty quickly, and most of our force is on some kind of hand-held device,” he said. “It’s tailorable to the learning needs of the generation that’s predominantly in our force right now.”
Doctrine 2015 is like a clock with three hands — one each for the hour, the minute and the second, MacFarland said.
“You want the enduring principles on the hour hand, giving everybody the opportunity to learn about it and implement it,” he said.
“The 50 or so field manuals and the tactics and procedures, that’s your minute hand, and that’s updated every couple of years as we field new equipment and [go through] environmental changes. And below that is your second hand, the wiki-based techniques. You want that to move at the speed of war, so it’s current, and the war fighter can fight the fight on his hands.”
Flynn said Doctrine 2015 was born from a question posed by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former Army chief of staff who commanded TRADOC and is now the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
“The demand for doctrinal information had far outpaced our ability to supply it,” said James Benn, deputy director of the Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate.
“Given that, it was time to step back, get some new eyes to look at the situation and try to take a fresh approach at how people learn, how we share information, how we generate information,” Benn said.
The result was a framework that “produces fewer manuals, is more concise in its language, is accessible across the Army at a greater speed, and is current with what’s going on forward in combat operations or at home-station training or at the training centers,” Flynn said.
ADP 3-0 is the first publication to be released and it will be unveiled during the Association of the United States Army annual meeting beginning Oct. 10 in Washington, D.C.
The goal is to complete the other ADPs and accompanying reference publications by August 2012, Benn said. The 50 field manuals are slated to be completed by the summer of 2014, he said.
To rewrite the documents, the Army is seeking the “best thinkers” in each functional area, Cone said.
“The more people who are involved in this, the more ownership they will have and the more widely accepted this will be,” he said. “What’s been really interesting is a lot of the youngsters, and they get the opportunity to write this stuff. We really want to touch the operational side of the house and make sure they have their input.”
The key to Doctrine 2015 is building on 10 years of combat and lessons learned while preparing for potential new threats, MacFarland said.
“As we go through this difficult transition and talk about how we’re going to fight in the future, we need to talk about what we learned in the past and get investment from the future leaders,” he said. “A profession must have a unique body of expert knowledge and we need to |be actively soliciting and building upon that unique body of knowledge.”
Buy-in and participation from young Army leaders is crucial, Cone said.
“It is up to us as leaders to capture the imagination of this tremendous generation of young leaders and energize them,” he said. “They helped us with the challenge of adapting counterinsurgency warfare, and now they’ve got to help us with the challenge of adapting to home-station-based and a contingency-based Army. You might have the most airtight doctrine in the world, but if people don’t use it or accept ownership of it, what good is it?”
Click here to read the new Army Doctrine.