WASHINGTON — The Army’s wish list of additional funding that it couldn’t include in its fiscal 2017 budget request amounts to over $7.5 billion.
Also called an unfunded requirements list, it helps guide Congress in considering what additional funding it might give to the services as it hashes out its appropriations.
The Army particularly wants more funding in aviation procurement and modernization, force management, training and military construction projects, according to a draft version of the list.
The Army would like an additional $795.9 million for Army modernization, which includes five more AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, 17 more LUH-72 Lakota light utility helicopters and 24 UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters. The funding would also include Assured Position Navigation and Timing enhancements and CH-47 Chinook modifications.
Also, the Army wants another $316.7 to buy 12 more UH-60 Mike-models and five CH-47s to restore funding reduced to meet budget control caps imposed by Congress. The funding would include improvements to aircraft survivability research and procurement.
The Army’s wish list indicates it is taking the National Commission on the Future of the Army’s recommendations, released just prior to the FY17 budget request, to heart. The commission was tasked by Congress to make recommendations on the future force structure of the Army no later than Feb. 1.
To resolve a dispute between the active Army and the Army National Guard over where Apache helicopters should reside in the force, the commission recommended the Guard maintain four attack helicopter battalions. The Army wanted to shift all of the Guard’s Apaches into the active force.
The Army’s wish list asks for $62.1 million to retain four attack battalions in the Guard and notes that would require an additional 72 Apaches.
The wish list also asks for $305.4 million to retain an 11th Combat Aviation Brigade. The funding would pay for manning and training costs that enable retaining the 11th CAB. The Army had originally planned to reduce its force down to 10 CABs. The commission recommended the Army have 11 CABs and keep that 11th CAB forward-stationed in Korea.
The Army also lists in its unfunded requirements the need for $70 million to maintain National Guard readiness from the platoon to company levels and would prepare Guard units to attend Combat Training Center rotations in future years.
Another $1 billion would go toward global force posture, boosting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, and improving ammunition stocks in an operational war reserve, among other things.
The service would also like to have $25 million to enhance its prepositioned stock due to “significant growth to support expanded posture,” according to the unfunded requirements list.
The Army wants $583.3 million in research and development and procurement that would fund technology upgrades, installation infrastructure and cyber defense.
To enhance training, which has suffered in previous fiscal years, the Army would like $1.35 billion to build capacity for home station training and the flying hours program, which has taken painful decrements in past budgets. The funding would also go toward training ammunition and CTC improvements.
The service also wants to buy 12 more Q-53s Counterfire radars, 16 more M-88 Hercules Armored Recovery Vehicles, 133 Javelin anti-tank missiles, 32 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, 36 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) fire control units, and M1 Abrams tank modifications, among other procurements.