Army Lists Unfunded Priorities

Army Lists Unfunded Priorities

Abrams tank firing
Photo by: U.S. Army

On top of its $185.5 billion budget request for fiscal 2024, the Army has prepared a supplemental list of $1.93 billion in unfunded priorities.

The so-called wish list of additional spending was provided to Congress under a long-standing request from lawmakers to show how additional funds might be spent.

The 2024 supplemental request is far smaller than last year’s $5.1 billion unfunded priorities list.

The other services also prepared 2024 supplemental funding lists. The Navy’s list totaled $2 billion, with a separate $1.71 for the Marine Corps. The Air Force prepared a $2.5 billion request. Details about the Space Force request are mostly classified.

The biggest request on the 2024 Army list is $533 million for Abrams tank upgrades. An additional $120 million is listed for Integrated Visual Augmentation System goggles, one of the Army’s transformation initiatives for soldiers.

Replacement helicopters are part of the request, with $121 million for Apache helicopters and $61 million for Black Hawks.

The Indo-Pacific has become an increasing focus of DoD and the Army. The Army’s unfunded priorities list includes $102.5 million for Indo-Pacific programs, which is in addition to a separate $3.4 billion unfunded priorities request from the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

Fulfilling unfunded priorities requests requires lawmakers to increase spending or cut from some programs to shuffle money to other areas.

Some lawmakers have talked about capping defense spending at fiscal 2022 levels, which would make it difficult to provide increases, but the top Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have talked about increasing Army funding.

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, an Army veteran and the committee chairman, noted that the Army’s 2024 budget request marks “the fourth straight year of a flat budget” while the other services have received significant increases. “The Army has seen its funding essentially plateau,” Reed said. “We risk the Army’s combat credibility if we do not provide it with the resources it needs.”

Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the committee’s ranking Republican, said he agrees with Reed. “When accounting for inflation, this year’s budget is about a 2% cut compared with last year,” Wicker said. “I am confident my colleagues, on a bipartisan basis, will join me to correct this inadequate budget and ensure the Army has the right resources to confront the nation’s current and future challenges.”