Army Leaders Talk Funding Need to Back Modernization Plan at Senate Subpanel Hearing

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A group of U.S. Army leaders appeared before a Senate Armed Services Committee subpanel Wednesday to testify that the service branch has begun modernization efforts and needs funding to support such initiatives amid threats posed by countries such as Russia and China, Stars and Stripes reported Wednesday.

“The Army has reached an inflection point,” Lt. Gen. John Murray, deputy chief of staff at the Army, told lawmakers.

“We can no longer afford to choose between near-term readiness and modernization.”

Army leaders said the service’s modernization plan will focus on six areas that include the need to build up communication networks; restoration of long-range precision fire systems; development of next-generation combat vehicles; soldier lethality; air and missile defense platforms restoration; and introduction of new aircraft designs.

Murray said the military branch has started to form a new futures and modernization command that is expected to reach initial operational capability by June or July and full operational capability by next year.

The service leaders’ testimony coincided with the Senate’s announcement on Wednesday that they struck a bipartisan agreement that would allocate a defense budget of $700 billion in fiscal year 2018 and $716 billion for FY 2019.

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