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Army Review to Rank 780 Programs by Priority

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AUSA News
Thursday, September 15, 2016

A broad strategic review of about 780 Army weapon and equipment programs is about to get underway in an effort to set priorities for the future, a top Army official said.

The goal of the Strategic Portfolio Analysis and Review, or SPAR, is “very simple,” Lt. Gen. John M. Murray, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for programs, said Sept. 15 at a breakfast hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare.

“We’re going to go through every program we have—780-ish programs in the Army—and model them in a high-end, near-peer scenario with an actual simulation,” he said. “We’re going to try to figure out how to assign some sort of value to that capability based on its contribution to the fight.”

Murray said the review is partly driven by Army leaders’ realization that other nations are making significant capability gains. “Our near-peer competitors have been watching us very closely and have developed ways to defeat what I would call the American way of war, the way we prefer to fight,” he said. 

“We are approaching the point where we’re going to see parity with our most capable combat systems,” Murray said at the event, held at AUSA’s Conference and Event Center in Arlington, Va.

In the ratings, programs will be ranked by priority, with programs deemed to provide a “decisive advantage in the future” ranking the highest, Murray said. Highest-ranked programs will have to be useful beyond the current counterterrorism fight, he said.

The lowest rankings will go to programs that may have some importance but could be slowed or sacrificed if money is tight, he said. “The whole goal of SPAR is to find room within existing resources,” Murray said.