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Unpredictable Funding Haunts Army Planners

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Army National Guard
Monday, April 30, 2018

The Army’s logistics chief warns unpredictable funding in 2020 and beyond continues to create problems for Army planners.

Lt. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee, deputy chief of staff for logistics, described his job as predicting “what soldiers will need, where they will need it and how much to give them,” telling a House subcommittee that he’s seen improvements thanks to two years of stable budgets made possible by a bipartisan budget agreement. That is good, he said, but “two years won’t get us where we need to be. Predictability has to become the norm.”

The two-year budget agreement sets defense spending levels for fiscal 2018 and 2019 but does not extend to 2020 and beyond. Fiscal 2020 begins Oct. 1, 2019.

Piggee said the Army is “looking at where to pre-position our most critical equipment for the beginning of a conflict, and how to maintain and store it to be ready for combat within hours.” An assessment is underway of the Army’s civilian workforce, infrastructure and equipment, he said, “thinking about how we should modernize to meet future needs.” And, “we are making progress to ensure we have enough of our preferred munitions in the right places,” he said.

The planning doesn’t mean much if money isn’t available, he said. “None of this is possible without the ability to plan ahead. We are committed to being ready, but we need your support to make that happen.”

Lawmakers aren’t ready to make a commitment about funding for 2020 and beyond. Work is just now underway writing the fiscal 2019 defense budget.