The Army’s equipment is rapidly aging and must be refurbished and selectively upgraded. The "procurement holiday" of the 1990s has left the Army with an effective but increasingly older set of vehicles and other equipment. Older equipment results in both lower readiness and higher repair and operating costs. The combined impact of these problems has become a serious readiness issue that is only worsening with time.
To address these problems, the Army has created the Army Recapitalization program to rebuild and upgrade 17 key Army systems. The Recapitalization program makes sense for many reasons:
- The Legacy Force is still vital to defending America’s interests at home and abroad. As the Army transforms, it is essential that the units of the heavy and light Legacy Force remain the best in the world. Recapitalization is the best way to retain this edge.
- Recapitalizing current equipment will save money. Instead of buying all new tanks and helicopters, the Army is wisely and carefully recapitalizing existing equipment. This will generate substantial savings in both reduced procurement costs and reductions in operating costs produced by the refurbished equipment.
- Recapitalizing current equipment will improve readiness. Better equipment will allow Army units to focus on training instead of constantly repairing their equipment.
- Recapitalizing current equipment will help maintain the industrial base and depot workforce. The work in the Recapitalization program will occur at Army maintenance depots and private-sector facilities. The knowledge and skills of the depot and private-sector workforce are key enablers for Recapitalization and future readiness.
The Army has made hard choices and scaled back its Recapitalization program goals significantly. The result is a program that recapitalizes only 17 key Army systems and focuses primarily on the counterattack corps--the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 1st Cavalry Division (Armored), the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, and supporting elements of III Corps. While AUSA applauds the President’s request for full funding of Army Recapitalization in the FY 2003 budget, Congress must follow through and provide the required resources. Any further reductions in the scope or funding of the Recapitalization program will needlessly place important U.S. security interests and the soldiers we rely on to defend the nation at risk.
Letter from Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan
Army Recapitalization--A Focused Investment in Today's Army
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