Department of Defense Press Briefing by Maj. Gen. Horlander on the FY 2017 Army Budget Request in the Pentagon Press Briefing Room
Major General Thomas Horlander, director for Army budget
STAFF: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Lieutenant Colonel Seiber. I'm chief of the Army Media Relations Division over at OCPA (Office of the Chief of Public Affairs - Army).
It's my honor today to introduce to you Major General Thomas Horlander. He's the director for the Army budget. And he's going to spend the next several minutes providing you of an overview of the Army's FY 2017 budget.
Following his presentation we'll provide you with a few minutes to ask questions. I will moderate the Q and A portion of today's presentation. As we are the first of the services to brief, we will be held to a strict 40-minute session, to include taking questions.
If we don't get to your question today, we encourage you to participate in our budget roundtable tomorrow afternoon, which I will discuss at the end of today's presentation. Please wait for me to call on you when we get to the Q&A section.
So without further ado, it's my honor to introduce Major General Horlander. Sir?
MAJOR GENERAL THOMAS GEN. HORLANDER: Thank you.
Good afternoon. It's great to be here, great to see everybody. I see a few familiar faces. So I'm happy to have the opportunity to present to you an overview of the United States Army's 2017 budget request. And I'll start by spending a few minutes providing you an overview of the Army today, our fiscal posture and then spend some time providing a second level of detail about the Army's request.
I start by providing you a little context, first highlighting for you the increased velocity of instability throughout the world and the magnitude of changes in the United States Army's missions and operations in the last several years to keep up with the growing instability in the global security environment.
What you see before you is a representation of some of these changing missions. As you are aware, the president made the decision to extend the true presence in Afghanistan in order to continue to train the Afghan Security Forces and support ongoing counterterrorism operations.
The U.S. Army has returned to Iraq this past year to lead the operation Inherent Resolve mission to train, advise and assist the Iraqis to conduct counter-ISIL combat operations.
To assure our NATO allies and fully support the president's European Reassurance Initiative, U.S. Army Europe has a large role in supporting European Command operations, conducting regional engagement assurance missions, and prepositioning equipment set to further deter Russian aggression on the European continent.
In the Pacific the U.S. Army continues to engage Asia, conducting its third year of Pacific Pathways, the key regional engagement operations throughout the Pacific theater, enhancing the invaluable partnership with our allies in the region.
I would assert that what is most important to observe is that all of these operations were very much different or even nonexistent one or two years ago, and require a greater level of U.S. Army ground force involvement.
As you can see from the map before you, a large portion of America's Army continues to serve around the world in virtually every corner of the globe and in every combatant commander's area of operation. And the current trend is that these numbers are on the rise to support the combatant command missions.
In the nation's Africa Command, Army soldiers are supporting Joint Task Force operations in the Horn of Africa and in northern Africa. The Middle East remains a very active and dangerous area of the world with Army soldiers deployed or stationed in many of the 20 countries that make up the Central Command's area of responsibility.
Ongoing operations include the missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, previously described; the Multinational Observers mission in Egypt; and Operation Spartan Shield conducting regional engagements in much of southwest Asia. As you can see, a similar level of activity is occurring in the other combatant commanders' areas of responsibility as well.
What I ask you to take away from all this is the unpredictability of the global security environment, the growing forward presence of U.S. Army soldiers across the globe, and the integral role the U.S. Army plays in protecting our national security interests at home and abroad.
In all of the five evolving security challenges laid out by Secretary Carter earlier this month, those being the return of great power competition of the resurgent Russia and a rising China, the North Korean threat to U.S. and our allies, the countering of Iranian mal-aligned influence that threatens U.S. friends and allies, and defeating terrorism. The U.S. Army has a significant role in each of those.
These points alone highlight the imperative of having an army that is ready not just for today's known operations, but for those unknown operations of tomorrow that may develop. To ensure America's Army is ready, this requires a full commitment of predictable and consistent resourcing from year to year commensurate with the operational needs of the force.
The readiness levels required for today's ground forces, capable of generating the right level of combat power, requires the total Army to be manned, trained, equipped, its equipment and installation sustained at a higher rate of readiness, and our soldiers led by the best leaders we can develop. Only then can the Army address any number of ongoing and emergent missions that may arise, while simultaneously having an effective engagement capability with regionally aligned forces in an advise and assist capability.
Through this regionally aligned capability, the United States Army can shape the strategic security environment with the aim of foregoing any force-on-force kinetic operations that may develop.
Should efforts to prevent and shape the security environment not yield the intended results, of course we want our nation's army to continue to be the most formidable land force in the world, capable of winning in today's very complex environment, requiring capabilities that range from low intensity counterinsurgency to conducting major combat operations.
It's valuable to start by looking at the Army's budget over time, and providing a little commentary that may inform your views of the Army's current funding request. As you can see from the chart, the Army's budget is both base and Overseas Contingency Operations funding, commonly referred to as OCO. And it has been on the decline since 2010, while inflation during this same time period has averaged between 1 to 2.5 percent each year.
In the base, which is meant to man, train and equip the nation's army, we spent in the year 2010 at the highest point in this century, $144 billion. And as you can see, we have been trending downward since that time. With today's base funding levels about 12 percent less than just six years ago.
And the Army has only been able to maintain that level of funding through the OCO flexibility provided by our government. Of course this marked decrease in our base funding is partially attributed to the fact that we are a smaller army. But I offer that is not only a reflection of the fiscal pressures on the budget -- the defense budget, but is also a reflection of the great stewardship of the leaders across the force.
Likewise, as large contingency operations have become smaller, the Army's OCO budget has been reduced to about 20 percent of what it was in 2010. And consistently over the last several years the department has been directed to leverage OCO flexibility to help support our readiness requirements.
With the FY 2017 president's budget, the following are some of the main highlights of our request. This budget has been formulated to provide the combatant commands with the best trained and best led forces that we can generate. As I alluded to earlier, this requires a balance between Army readiness, end strength and modernization, a balance that takes years of consistent funding to achieve.
Before I leave this slide I want to point out two words: prioritize and readiness. As we built this budget and sought to strike the best possible balance within our top line funding level, we ensured that our absolute number one priority remained readiness. This remains our commitment to the nation to send its sons and daughters as ready as they can possibly be for the mission they are sent to do.
The Army's base budget request is $125.1 billion when OCO flexibility is accounted for as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. This is less than what was provided in FY 2016 to budget -- I'm sorry, in FY 2016's budget to man, train and equip the nation's army. And as such, you will note reduced funding levels from the previous year in both our military personnel and our research, development and acquisition accounts.
This slide represents funding requirements for all three components: the regular Army, the National Guard and the Army Reserve. And is a breakout in the aggregate across the major defense appropriations.
We will talk about each appropriation in more detail on subsequent slides. I will take this opportunity, however, to point out a couple of items.
The Army is people. While the Army's MILPERs (Military Personnel) request accounts for approximately 44 percent of its top line, another 16 percent of it is used to pay for its civilian workforce, bringing the Army's total personnel cost to roughly 60 percent of the total budget.
As the Army's biggest cost driver, of course we spend a lot of time with personnel and talent management, and have continued to reduce the size of the civilian and contracted workforce on par with the drawdown of the military force.
As you can see, the Army's procurement and RDT&E accounts represent only 18 percent of the entire budget, much less than the historical norm of 20 to 22 percent.
And lastly you can see that the only growth from FY 2016 to 2017 is in our Operations and Maintenance accounts. This is the funding primarily used to generate current readiness. Resourcing constraints did not allow us to modernize our equipment and facilities at the same pace as we sought to minimize the risk to current readiness.
This slide provides you a clear picture of military strength levels and how they continue to trend downward as land force requirements are on the rise. As you can see, the Army is reducing its end strength in both the regular Army and the reserve components.
These strength levels are generally aligned with force structure reductions, as the Army reorganizes its brigade combat team formations and support enablers. All critical components of the Army support to the joint force.
The final point on this slide is that while these reductions are spread across the total Army, the majority of them are coming out of the operating force as opposed to the institutional army that has already been sized to keep the operation forces trained and ready as possible.
The military personnel appropriations account for the largest portion of the Army budget. Our request funds a multi-component army of just less than a million soldiers. This account covers pay, allowances, recruiting and retention incentives, permanent change of station moves, and some training, primarily in the reserve component.
Given our projected end strength ramp, you can see that our request is almost a full $1 billion less this year than last year -- as you were. Almost a full $1 billion less than this year's funding levels, and accounts for some of the rate increases in our soldiers' basic pay, housing allowances and subsistence.
I will transition now to the Army's Operations and Maintenance appropriations. As I mentioned earlier, this is the one funding area where we are requesting growth from the current year's budget.
Starting with the regular Army, this 2017 budget request totals $35.4 billion and seeks to resource a more balanced readiness across the force instead of the tiered readiness of previous years where only approximately one-third of the Army's brigade combat teams were ready for contingency force operations.
Consistent with both the current and future threat environments, the Army's readiness goals are to have two-thirds of its regular Army forces ready at any one time. This readiness also includes the necessary resourcing levels to sustain an installation support that is largely funded from the Army's own O&M accounts.
This readiness is more than being ready for current-day contingency operations, but includes readiness for decisive action missions, with the capability to conduct major combat operations. This fuller spectrum sustained readiness model is reflected in the Army's 19 combat training center rotations for which we are seeking funding. These rotations are focused on decisive action training for both the regular Army and the reserve components.
The Army's request also provides for critical funding for regional engagement activities with our allies and strategic partners for training missions like Pacific Pathways that I mentioned previously.
This request will cover the sustainment of the Army's equipment, and represents an increase in depot maintenance to help bring our equipment to a greater level of repair, and by enhancing Army preposition stocks that will improve expeditionary force capabilities. This request strongly supports the base operation support requirements under the Army's 74 major installations, funding it at 95 percent.
Unfortunately, we could only afford to fund about 67 percent of our facilities sustainment requirements. This is consistent funding -- this is a consistent funding level across the entire Department of Defense, and an area of risk for the Army as it will exacerbate the amount of backlog maintenance that already exists on our installation facilities.
The Army's 2017 budget request supports $9.6 billion of O&M for the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.
For the Army National Guard its 2017 O&M request is also nominally higher than its 2016 funding levels. Consistent with the regular Army, it seeks to grow readiness to include decisive action training, sustain the force and fund critical base operation requirements. Like the other services, its facility sustainment budget is also suppressed in this request.
For the U.S. Army Reserve, their $2.7 O&M budget request supports the 72 functional brigades, its three installations and over 800 reserve centers and professional education and specialized skills training for its 195,000 soldiers. This request is consistent with FY 2016 funding levels, and also shares in the department wide risk of reduced funding levels for facilities sustainment.
Having spent a few minutes discussing the Army's near-term readiness in manning the force, I would now like to transition to the Army's modernization accounts. As mentioned earlier, this is an area where the Army has had to take risk as funding levels have come down.
Since 2013 the Army has made resource informed decisions in order to remain under the Budget Control Act and Bipartisan Budget Act caps by terminating programs, extending production schedules for most programs, and delaying developmental efforts on certain high-dollar systems like the ground combat vehicle, the armed aerial scout and full on-the-move tactical networking.
The Army's FY 2017 Research, Development and Acquisition budget request of $22.6 billion is a decrease of $1.4 billion from the 2016 enacted levels. This 5.8 percent decrease is largely attributed to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, as the Army had to make some difficult choices between current and future readiness. We assess that this risk will continue until we achieve a greater balance between readiness, end strength and modernization early into the next decade.
The FY 2017 budget request includes a dozen modest new start and no program terminations. The Army's request continues to support aviation modernization, offsetting some of the inherent risks associated with the Army's aviation restructuring initiative, funds incremental capability improvements to our current ground combat vehicle fleets, and begins efforts to increase lethality and mobility for brigade combat teams.
With the FY 2017 president's budget request, science and technology continues a relatively stable funding level in order to drive down future risks, find new capabilities with game-changing potential, and increase efficiencies and affordability to equip the force of 2025.
The funding table on this chart shows the inconsistent level of RDA funding from year-to-year since fiscal year 2013, and also represents an average funding level that is on the average 18 percent of the Army's total budget. This reduced investment in Army future readiness is where the Army has assumed risk to preserve current day ratings.
Additionally, the chart represents the Army's 11 largest equipment portfolios, and the proportionate distribution of funding for each.
What I'd ask you to take away from this is that the Army requires a very broad encompassing set of modernization efforts to be capable at being successful at any number of diverse missions in support of the combatant commanders.
Our focus remains on the soldier and the squad, providing aviation and combat vehicles that provide mobility, protection and firepower, to mission command that enables situational awareness and networking, to the soldier portfolio that provides the individual soldier with lethality, survivability and increased visibility dominance.
Breaking down the Army's modernization portfolio, I start with Procurement and then follow with Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation.
For the Procurement appropriation, our FY 2017 request of $15.1 billion is $1.3 billion decrease from the FY 2016 enacted levels. The largest portion of our procurement program remains aviation.
The FY 2017 request continues an investment plan consistent with the Army's aviation restructuring initiative. However, with the recent publication of the commission report, the Army is studying the recommendations and assessing the impact to its FY 2017 funding program.
The Army also continues to maximize buying power by requesting approvals of multiyear contracts for the Black Hawk M model and the Apache E model. These multiyear contracts will produce substantial savings and facilitate industrial-based stability for these critical programs. Additionally, the Chinook fleet conversion will be completed in FY 2018.
Finally, the FY 2017 request also includes critical investments in aircraft survivability improvements to defeat advances in our adversaries' capabilities.
In the mission command portfolio supporting network modernization, the Army is committed to developing and fielding an advanced tactical network as part of a modernized Army network that improves effectiveness, information security and efficiency, while providing robust voice and data communications from the theater to the tactical edge.
GEN. HORLANDER: The network supports the operating force, interfaces with the generating force, and provides reliable cybersecurity and connectivity with our joint force partners.
In our combat vehicle portfolio, the Army continues to provide incremental improvements to the mobility, protection and lethality of its battle-tested and proven combat vehicle fleet. For the M1 Abrams tank, the FY '17 request supports engineer change proposal 1-Alpha, next devolution armor packages, and an ammunition data-link to the M1 Alpha version three.
For the Bradley fighting vehicle, our request includes funding for track and suspension, power train, and electrical system upgrades to host technology and network insertions.
The Army request supports building the third Stryker double-V hull brigade set, electrical upgrades and converting the flat-bottom hull to a double-V hull as part of the fourth double-V hull brigade set. Our request also supports fleet modifications, network upgrades, training devices and the fielding of a 30-millimeter weapons system.
Our FY '17 request procures 36 Paladin self-propelled howitzers and 36 ammunition carriers. The full rate production decision is anticipated in January 2017. The joint light tactical vehicle, or JLTV, remains the centerpiece of the Army's tactical wheeled vehicle modernization strategy, and placing approximately one-third of the light-wheeled vehicle fleet by 2041. The FY '17 request buys just over 800 vehicles, compared to FY '16, where we purchased less than 700 of these vehicles.
The other portion of our modernization program is research, development, testing and evaluation, or RDT&E. The Army's $7.5 billion request for RDT&E funding is about the same amount as the 2016 enacted budget. Of this amount, we have preserved $2.2 billion of it for our science and technology, or S&T, efforts. This includes funding to refine concepts, requirements and key technologies for the Army's future ground combat vehicle.
Our S&T request includes funding to demonstrate feasibility of the developing an affordable medium-lift aircraft with greatly enhanced speed and distance capabilities and it continues the successes we have had in high-energy laser technology focused on defeating any number of airborne threats ranging from mortars to UAVs to cruise missiles.
In other major RDT&E categories, we are requesting funding for several key programs. For the Abrams, Bradley and Stryker programs, funding our engineered change proposals will address power deficiencies, improve protection, and provide the ability to accept future network and enabling space, weight and power cooling programs.
The Army's integrated air and defense missile -- missile defense program will provide advanced capabilities to the Army by allowing transformation to a network-centric systems of systems capability that integrates sensor and weapons with battle command system engagement operations centers.
The armored multi-purpose vehicle, or AMPV, will replace the Vietnam-era M113 family of vehicles, with our armored brigade combat teams. A critical design review is scheduled for the third quarter of this year and 29 full-system prototype vehicles will undergo developmental testing.
We remain committed to the improved turbine engine for our Black Hawk and Apache fleets. Our goal is to replace these 1970-era engines to meet increased operational requirements, flying at 6,000 feet altitude at 95 degrees. To protect our air crews in the aviation fleet, we are requesting almost $100 million in the common infrared counter-measure system, or CIRCM, to interface with the missile warning system to provide near-spherical protection in order to defeat an infrared missile threat.
We are also requesting funding for assured positioning, navigating and timing technologies that enable mission command and network operations in conditions that impede or deny access to global positioning systems.
To address the growing cyber threats, we are requesting almost $75 million for Army cyber efforts to advance and deploy cyberspace and electromagnetic capabilities. This will ensure the security of Army systems and networks and exploit cyber vulnerabilities in adversarial systems and networks.
Other small portions of our RDT&E request include long-range precision fires mentioned by the SECDEF that will provide our Army both rocket and artillery extended range capabilities, and two new starts for the Army infantry -- a ground mobile vehicle for a nine-man infantry squad and a mobile protective firepower that enhances direct fire capabilities of infantry brigade combat teams.
Wrapping up the modernization portion of this briefing, and to give you an idea in terms of the quantity of items we are purchasing, this chart lists the Army's larger base-funded procurement programs valued at greater than $200 million each, in descending order, many of which I have spoken about throughout this briefing.
As I stated previously, one of the keys to readiness is installation readiness and investing in the Army's infrastructure. I discussed previously during the O&M portion of this briefing the reduced funding levels to sustain the Army's existing infrastructure. Our request for MILCON is reduced as well.
As you can see, FY '17 is one of the smallest MILCON budgets in recent years. And the Army will fund only 29 MILCON-funded construction projects, totaling $805 million. In the Army family account, which totals $527 million, there is some growth primarily to support two new construction projects, new family housing construction projects in Korea totaling $200 million.
The Army's FY '17 BRAC funding supports environmental cleanup, restoration, and conveyance of excess properties at previously BRACed locations.
Within the Army's budget request are several requirements that are managed and funded separately outside the main appropriations. This year's request includes $71 million for the Arlington National Cemetery to fund day-to-day operations and 29 restoration and modernization projects. The Army is also requesting $551 million for the congressionally mandated chemical demilitarization program. FY '17 funding supports continued plan operations at Pueblo, Colorado and Bluegrass, Kentucky chemical agent destruction pilot plants, and the chemical stockpile emergency preparedness projects supporting both sites and the surrounding communities.
The Army has been managing large overseas contingency fund budgets since 2001. As illustrated earlier in this briefing, this has been an account that has ebbed and flowed as contingency operations have expanded and contracted over time. The Army's 2017 OCO budget request remains small when compared to past years. This year's multi-component request totals $25 billion when including the funding and pass-through accounts and the OCO flexibility for base readiness requirements provided by the BBA.
The 2017 OCO request supports Operation Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Qatar; Operation Spartan Shield in several CENTCOM countries; Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq; and the European Reassurance Initiative in Europe. This request also includes approximately $3.4 billion for the Afghan security force fund.
The 2.2 billion MILPERS portion of this request primarily supports mobilized reserve component soldiers and the recent decision by the president to extend end strength levels in Afghanistan. The operations and maintenance portion represents about two-thirds of the Army's OCO request and supports theater operations and support transportation force protection, support contracts, mobilization requirements and reset of equipment returning from theater. And a small portion of this request in our procurement accounts is for replacement of battle losses, ammunition consumption in theater and prepositioned stocks in Europe
One should note that in most areas of this program, the request is comparable to the FY '16 funding levels with large changes resulting from the leveraging of OC flexibility to fund approximately $2 billion of base requirements as provided by the BBA '15 and the growth in the European Reassurance Initiative funding request illustrated on the next slide.
The European Reassurance Initiative, or ERI, is a means to assure our NATO allies and deter a resurgent Russia and constitutes much of the growth in the Army's OCO request. Of the total 3.4 billion requested by DOD, it accounts for over 2.8 billion to support the rotation of an armored brigade combat team and its enablers currently in Europe conducting exercises with our NATO allies and partners a and a full armored brigade combat team static set for Army preposition stocks.
As we prepared this request, we were driven to make some difficult choices as fiscal pressures represented in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 funding levels drove the Army to reduce funding in some critical areas. To help mitigate these fiscal pressures, the Army continued to become more efficient and better postured to support the combatant commanders while funding levels trend down. We have reduced force structure and military end strength as well as the number of civilian personnel and the amount of funding we spend on contracted support. Modernization efforts have been leaned and our investment in installations and facilities has been reduced.
I wish to conclude our presentation by emphasizing several key challenges that face America's Army and that need to be the backdrop for any current and future budgetary discussions. In just the past several years, we have seen a number of emergent operations that required American soldiers to deploy and operate for extended periods of time for contingency operations. Some of these were not even anticipated a year earlier.
With a resurgent Russia, a rising China, mal-aligned Iranian influence, a threatening North Korea and continued counterterrorism operations, the world's security environment is changing so fast that the Army needs predictable and consistent funding across its entire funding portfolio year after year to keep pace with these changes, to protect America's national security interests from both current and future threats.
I can't over-emphasize that in order to have a formidable ground force capable of generating the requisite combat power to support our combatant commanders both today and tomorrow, the Army must achieve a greater balance between readiness, end strength and modernization, each inextricably linked to one another. Reducing funding in our modernization and equipping accounts put the Army's technological overmatch advantage at risk.
Similarly, reduced funding in the Army's installation and infrastructure accounts will further impact future readiness, as their disrepair will require larger investments in the future. Marginalizing one component of readiness to benefit the other may net a near-term solution, but may create an unacceptable risk in the out-years.
The U.S. Army needs to retain force structure and end strength readiness and cutting-edge equipment, all critical components to our national security. This FY '17 budget request supports readiness as the Army's number one priority. Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the formal portion of my brief.
STAFF: Ladies and gentlemen, we have seven minutes for Q&A -- (inaudible) -- one follow-up so we can get to as many of your questions as possible. Jen, we'll start with you.
Q: Hi, Jen Judson with Defense News.
GEN. HORLANDER: Hi, good to see you.
Q: I wanted to dive a little further into the ERI OCO funds. So my first question is will we see more than 34,000 presence in the European area of operations as a result of this, or will that stay the same? And also, if you could sort let us know what will be funded within some of these things, like building partner capacity, what are you going to be doing with that 50 million how many more training exercises are you adding, is there anything else in pre-position stock besides that ABCT. Just any more detail that you can provide.
GEN. HORLANDER: Sure. That's a loaded question. There's a lot of information there, so the -- one of the things you're going to see is a greater troop presence because what we are going to do is some heel-to-toe rotations. So where there's no gap or seams between when one unit rotates in and departs and another one follows behind it, so there will be a greater troop presence there. There's more than just an ABCT, there are some enablers in that APS set that you are referring to.
So there are a -- many more exercises today than there were even a year ago, so there's some good activity partnering with our allies. I know they're really excited and appreciative of this. So we do have a very detailed ERI briefing that we can provide you some more details on that, but in general terms, I think that's some of what you were asking for. Yes, sir.
Q: Sir, I'm Richard Whittle. I'm here from breakingdefense.com. I wonder if you'll shed a little light on the aircraft procurement accounts. You've got a $1.3 billion cut in total Army procurement, but you've got a 2.3 billion cut in aviation. The numbers of Chinooks go from 39 to 22, Black Hawks from 107 to 36, AH-64 from 64 to 52, but your document says you prioritized modernization of those aircraft.
What -- how much would they have been cut if they weren't a priority, and why is aviation bearing so much of the burden?
GEN. HORLANDER: So we did try to -- within what we could afford to do in our modernization accounts, we tried to keep those -- yet we kept them on defense industrial base and retaining some stability there, what our operational requirements were, and so -- and obviously had to balance that against the entire portfolio so --
And we also had a great advantage with some of these multi-year contracts for the Apache and the Black Hawk, so as we tried to balance across the entire RDA account, all the procurement, when we say we prioritize aviation, it was prioritized within the account. So I would say that, you know, by comparison to everything else within our portfolio, aviation seemed to -- we were able to keep it at a level commensurate with what we could be comfortable with.
Q: But it's a $2.3 billion cut in aviation and total cut of -- procurement of 1.3 billion. So it seems like aviation is actually bearing the entire burden.
GEN. HORLANDER: So I -- I would tell you, you know, we recognize that there were some reductions to the aviation portfolio. That's a big portfolio, and we had to make up some ground in terms of total reductions as we -- as we built this budget, but I don't think it was any more or less reduced than some of our other components of the -- of the procurement or the RDA portfolio. So I think, you know, we tried to strike that balance as best as we could.
STAFF: Yes, ma'am.
Q: Thank you. Sandra Erwin with National Defense. I wanted to ask you about the Commission of the -- on the Future of the Army. They pointed out that the Army is -- has some shortfalls in armor and missile defense, air defense, and they suggested maybe some trade-offs like reducing infantry brigades to beef up armor. Have you guys factored that into the budget? Is that something that you're considering at all?
GEN. HORLANDER: So that's a great question. Right now today, the Army's 2017 budget does not account for any recommendations from the National Commission on the Future of the Army. What we are doing is we have -- we're studying the recommendations pretty, pretty extensively, all three components together as a unified team, and we're looking at the recommendations, and based upon some decisions about the recommendations -- and we will determine how we're going to implement those recommendations.
So there is potential for something in the '17 budget to change, but right now, we're still studying the recommendations.
STAFF: All right. This will be the last question. You, sir.
Q: Thank you. Sebastian Sprenger with Inside Defense. I'm wondering if you could go through some of the upticks in the missiles portfolio, the TACMS, Hellfire, JAGM. Is this -- and this is not all war-related from what it looks like. Is there a specific reason why you're --
GEN. HORLANDER: So I would tell you, let me get back to you. Are you going to come to the roundtable tomorrow? Let us give you a really good answer for that tomorrow.
Q: And a follow-up, there's talk of converting a striker brigade into an infantry brigade combat team.
GEN. HORLANDER: Yeah, there is. That's part of the FY '17 program right now is that conversion.
Q: What's the rationale behind that?
GEN. HORLANDER: Some -- one, operational capabilities that we're looking at; and two, just some other -- some other factors.
STAFF: That was short. I'll give you one more. Yes, sir.
Q: Thank you. Jon Harper with National Defense Magazine. Is there any money in the budget request for the light reconnaissance vehicle, or has that been put on the back burner due to budget constraints?
GEN. HORLANDER: Let me ask one of my friends over there from my staff.
STAFF: No, there's no --
GEN. HORLANDER: Okay, no sir.
STAFF: Nothing in the request.
GEN. HORLANDER: Nothing right now.
STAFF: Ladies and gentlemen, General Horlander, thank you very much for coming today. Please note we we've stated earlier, Army Public Affairs is going to host a budget media roundtable tomorrow, Wednesday, in the OCPA conference room at 14:30; that's in 1 Echo 462. General Horlander and some other Army key staff personnel will be there to answer traditional questions and address what may not have been today.
If you have any questions on it, please see from my staff, Mr. Dov Schwartz over here, or come see me and I'll give you the contact information. Thank you very much.