WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has sent a one-page wish list to Congress seeking another $5.1 billion beyond its fiscal 2023 budget request to ramp up modernization efforts and more quickly improve its infrastructure.
The wish list — also called an unfunded requirements list — was obtained by Defense News. The list is traditionally sent to Congress after the budget is released, giving lawmakers an idea of what the service would have bought if given more money.
The list seeks $2.4 billion in equipping and modernization requirements, including $301.5 million for aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems, $333.5 million for combat platforms and watercraft, $117 million for information technology upgrades and $1.69 billion for weapons and communications equipment.
The Army would like an additional $524 million to upgrade and field another half of a Brigade Combat Team of Abrams tanks “to remain on pace with our modernization strategy,” the document says. The budget request only covers fielding half of a BCT, slowed from three-quarters of a BCT in last year’s request.
Additionally, the service would like to upgrade Bradley Fighting Vehicles and weapons on the vehicle for $56 million. Another $275 million would speed up the purchase of 10 Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense Systems, which would be fielded to the active and reserve forces.
The Army wants $121 million to accelerate the fielding of four more AN/TPQ-53 radars to Army National Guard armored division artillery units, while it seeks an unspecified amount of funding to buy Link 16 — a data link system for Army aircraft.
The service would like an additional $1.2 billion to improve infrastructure. This includes maintenance facility projects totaling $761 million, minor construction projects for $109 million and training and command and control facility projects for $310 million.
Another $166 million would go toward infrastructure improvements for National Guard projects and $231 million for Army reserve needs.
To keep pace with increasing production demand within the Army’s organic industrial base, the service would like another $190 million to cover 45 projects.
The wish list includes $330 million for family housing improvements mostly in the European and Indo-Pacific theaters. Another $267 million would pay for soldier housing improvements stateside and around the globe.
The Army is seeking $141 million in soldier protection improvements, including better cold-weather gear and properly fitting body armor for women.
As the Army sends Stinger missiles to Ukraine, it’s looking ahead to a next-generation Stinger missile replacement. The service requests $60 million in research and development funding to advance the effort.
The wish list also asks for funding for the Aerial-Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (A-ISR) Global Force Management Allocation plan to address “the emerging and increasing Combatant Command requirements from multiple COCOM theaters.”
The Army is requesting $96.5 million for Synthetic Training Environment (STE) One World Terrain and artificial intelligence upgrades, meant to enhance virtual training capabilities.
To address emerging homeland operations, the Army is asking for an additional $592 million.
“The Army has consistently supported requests for assistance from [the Department of Homeland Security] and other interagency partners in order to respond to multiple security concerns as well as natural disasters and challenges,” the document reads. “The Army has leveraged internal resources to support these requirements. Using the last two fiscal years as an indicator, it is prudent to assume these historical trends will continue in FY23.”
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College.