No Immediate Army Plans to Retire M16 or M4

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No Immediate Army Plans to Retire M16 or M4

The combat-tested M4 carbine will remain in soldiers’ hands for a while even as the service develops a new, next-generation weapon as one of its top modernization priorities.

The Next-Generation Squad Weapon, a key part of the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team’s portfolio, is undergoing “rapid prototyping right now,” said Douglas Bush, acting assistant Army secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology.

Critical Requirements Come First at Army Depots

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Critical Requirements Come First at Army Depots

Depot-level maintenance and reporting are challenges for the Army, Lt. Gen. Duane Gamble, deputy Army chief of staff for logistics, told Congress. 

“We are executing our most critical requirements, but our critical requirements don’t always fulfill our core workload requirements,” Gamble told a House subcommittee at a hearing focused on the need for the military’s organic industrial base to support modernization efforts. 

IVAS is Prime Example of Moving Fast

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IVAS is Prime Example of Moving Fast

The Army’s speedy efforts to field augmented reality glasses is a prime example of how the military can move quickly on technology if it tries, said Ellen Lord, the defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment.

Lawmakers Criticize Modernization Efforts

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Lawmakers Criticize Modernization Efforts

Congressional appropriators who oversee military spending have expressed concern about the risky nature of Army modernization efforts.

In creating Army Futures Command in 2018 as a way of speeding development and delivery of cutting-edge capabilities to the force, Army leaders spoke about the need to overcome a risk-averse culture that had slowed research, development and the acquisition process to the point where it was hard to stay ahead of global competitors.

House Committee Prevents Diversion of Army Funds

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House Committee Prevents Diversion of Army Funds

The House Armed Services Committee has moved to protect $801 million in Army funds from being diverted for other purposes.

On Feb. 13, the Defense Department asked permission to shift $3.8 billion in unspent fiscal 2020 dollars to be used for other purposes. This would have included $395 million for Army National Guard equipment, $205 million for Army Reserve equipment, and $201 million for Army tactical and support vehicles.

Proposed Reprogramming Takes $801 Million From Army

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Proposed Reprogramming Takes $801 Million From Army

The Army stands to lose $801 million in funding for vehicles and equipment as part of a Defense Department reprogramming.

At stake is money approved by Congress last year as part of the fiscal 2020 budget that has not yet been spent. On Feb. 13, the Defense Department told Congress that $395 million for Army National Guard equipment, $205 million for Army Reserve equipment, and $201 million for Army tactical and support vehicles are part of a $3.8 billion shift of funds from DoD to the Department of Homeland Security.

Soldier Tests Speed Fielding of New Equipment

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Soldier Tests Speed Fielding of New Equipment

The items soldiers carry into battle today and into the future are being identified and developed with more precision, thanks to at least one new process that has emerged through the Army’s modernization initiatives.

Refining an early modernization idea of the “soldier as a system,” the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team at Fort Benning, Georgia, said it has adapted and codified a new way of approaching soldiers’ needs, through a process called “soldier-centered design.”

Army Accelerates Laser Weapon System

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Army Accelerates Laser Weapon System

The U.S. Army is now on course to field a platoon of laser-armed Stryker vehicles within three years and a full battery in four years, a rapid move to high-energy weapons that helps meet one of the Army’s top modernization priorities.

“The time is now to get directed energy weapons to the battlefield,” said Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, who heads the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office and is director of hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition.