Army prepares a needs list

In anticipation of Congress and the Trump administration boosting defense spending, Army leaders have created funding wish lists that focus on troops, modernization and delayed installation maintenance.

The lists, totaling $8.2 billion for 2017 and $18.3 billion for 2018, reflect unfunded priorities aimed at both near- and long-term readiness.

For 2017, the Army’s request includes $2.5 billion for aviation programs, $1.8 billion for armored vehicles, $1.3 billion for air defense, $500 million for command and control, $500 million for installation maintenance and operations, and $100 million for test and evaluation.

For 2018, the Army seeks $7 billion to cover the cost of higher troop end strength plus $2.5 billion for aviation, $2.5 billion for armored vehicles. $1 billion for air defense, $800 million for Stryker vehicle improvements, $800 million for installation maintenance and operations, $500 million for command and control, $300 million for soldier equipment, and $200 million for test and evaluation.

The list of unfunded priorities was prepared after President Donald Trump charged Defense Secretary James Mattis with conducting a 30-day review to assess readiness conditions including training, equipment maintenance, munitions, modernization and infrastructure. That information will be used to draft an amendment to the 2017 budget, and to help form the 2018 budget.

Separately, President Trump has directed reviews of the U.S. nuclear posture and ballistic missile defense capabilities.