WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today expressed support for the Army’s portion of the fiscal year 2011 (FY11) Budget Request, but remains concerned over failures to aggressively and expediently move forward with Army modernization and instead choosing to focus on “updating” or upgrading legacy Army systems.
Prior to today’s SASC hearing on the Army’s budget, Inhofe met with John McHugh, Secretary of the Army, and Gen. George Casey, Jr., the Chief of Staff of the Army.
“As I have said before, I am concerned that Obama’s overall defense budget does not sufficiently provide our military with the equipment and resources it needs,” Inhofe said. “While we must sustain and improve legacy systems such as the Paladin with programs such as the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM), we must modernize the Army with equipment and capabilities that will sustain them for the next 40 years. The cancellation of the Armored Gun System, Comanche, Crusader and the Future Combat System Manned Ground Vehicle program, along with recent reports on the uncertainty of the Ground Combat Vehicle as part of the Brigade Combat Team–Modernization program, gives me cause for concern over the Army’s capabilities in the coming years.
“That being said, I am grateful that our senior Army leadership is focused on achieving success in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and other areas around the world. I also appreciate the candor of both Secretary McHugh and General Casey as they voiced their concerns over the potential impact to a fighting Army if the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is repealed without fully understanding its affect on readiness.”
The FY11 request of over $143 billion for base requirements and $102 billion for Global War on Terrorism funding heavily supports the current fights in both Iraq and Afghanistan, executes the Brigade Reset Program, and mans the Force for the current fight. However, it remains lean with respect to fielding the systems and technologies that have given America the most premiere fighting force in the world’s history.