LOSING TIME: Army Ground Forces - A Bridge Too Far

Nov 21, 2017
Defense Drumbeat
“Every day we live under a continuing resolution is a day we do damage to our military.”  - Mac Thornberry, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee

Army Ground Forces - A Bridge Too Far


The Army’s modernization funding has declined 74 percent from 2008-2015 because of sequestration and continuing resolutions. Former Army Vice Chief of Staff, General Daniel B. Allyn, HASC testimony, 2/7/17: “Our modernization budget, which is how we build future readiness against the forces we will face in the future, is 50 percent of what it was in 2009.”  Under the President’s budget, the Army will not complete modernizing their Abrams tanks until 2035. As a result, General Dan Allyn, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army testified, today’s Army is “out-ranged, outgunned, and outdated; and on our present course, the U.S. Army will not be sufficiently modern to deter and defeat potential enemies.”


General Allyn has stated that “[b]ased on current readiness levels, the Army can only accomplish Defense Planning Guidance Requirements at high military risk.” A CR keeps the Army at a high-risk force and prevents any acceleration for critically needed Army modernization programs. Prevents quantity increases for the JLTV and AMPV programs. A CR prevents needed acceleration of critical vehicle equipment like vehicle active protection systems and Stryker lethality upgrades, both of which are needed for forces in the European theater.


The NDAA provides for significant upgrades and additions to the Army's ground combat force.  The NDAA: 

  • Authorizes an additional $5.6 billion to help accelerate armored brigade combat team modernization and other critical Army modernization programs;
  • Authorizes over $1.1 billion for 85 M1A2SEPv3 Abrams tanks, the most modernized version of the Abrams tank;  
  • Authorizes $311 million for 93 M2A4 Bradley fighting vehicles, the most modernized version of the Bradley, as well as other modifications;
  • Authorizes $194.4 million for 51 HERCULES improved recovery vehicles, the primary single recovery vehicle in ABCTs; 
  • Fully supports the President's initial budget request for the Armored Multipurpose Vehicle program and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program;
  • Authorizes an additional $93.0 million for vehicle active protection systems, and authorizes an additional $177.0 million for Stryker lethality upgrades.
115th Congress