Army releases modernization strategy

The Army on Wednesday released its 2010 modernization strategy, outlining how it will accomplish its goal of fielding a sustainable mix of units with the necessary troops, training and equipment to contend with a range of conflicts.

While previous editions essentially cataloged various Army modernization efforts under way, the 2010 strategy sets overarching priorities and highlights select programs. It's the first strategy to explicitly address changes the service needs to make in the way it equips troops and units as it adapts to a new force generation model, the rotational plan that aims to balance readiness among units based on where they are in the deployment cycle.

The strategy also incorporates recent Defense Department guidance on the Future Combat Systems program that forced the Army to overhaul its plans for a new ground combat vehicle.

"After eight years of combat, our Army is stretched -- the supply of force exceeds the sustainable demand, putting the Army out of balance," wrote Lt. Gen. Robert Lennox, deputy chief of staff, G-8, in a memo accompanying the strategy.

"We must continue to transform into a force that is versatile, expeditionary, agile, lethal, sustainable and interoperable to give our soldiers a decisive advantage in any fight," he wrote.

The Army wants to field a versatile and affordable mix of equipment that will allow soldiers to prevail in both current and future conflicts. The strategy addresses the development and fielding of new capabilities, upgrades to existing capabilities, and the refurbishment and disposal of existing equipment.

The strategy supports two key objectives in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review: rebalance the armed forces to prevail in today's wars while building capabilities needed for future threats; and reform institutions and processes to better support urgent combat needs and buy weapons that are both affordable and needed.

The Army's plans depend on a steady stream of predictable funding, Lennox said: "We must make the best possible use of our limited fiscal resources and ensure that no significant modernization decision is made without a thorough review of its costs, projected benefits, and the trade-offs that might be required to pay for it."

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