Last week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Exhibit 53 document for Fiscal Year 2014. This document provides data concerning agency IT budgets for the last couple of years and outlines where agencies plan to spend in fiscal 2014. In this post we will take a look at the Army’s IT investments, including the overall numbers and programs experiencing declining funding. In an effort to identify potential business opportunities, we’ll also take a look at a few smaller programs (total FY 2014 funding <$50M) slated to receive high percentages of development money. We will focus on smaller programs because much of the funding for larger programs is already wrapped up in large multi-year contract efforts. Industry is going to have to dig deeper into the budget this year to find opportunities worth pursuing.
The Big Picture
Drilling into the available data, we find that like other areas of the Defense budget, Army IT funding has been declining. Specifically, Army’s IT budget has decreased from $9.76B to $9.27B, or -4.94%, over the period from FY 2012 to FY 2014.
Programs with Declining Funding
Starting with programs whose funding is declining, listed below are the five programs experiencing the largest percentage decrease.
Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP) – Seeing I3MP on this list is somewhat surprising given the emphasis in recent years that Army leadership has placed on modernizing the infrastructure of the now primarily CONUS-based Army’s camps, posts, and installations. This said, budget trimming has forced the Army to downsize its modernization efforts. These are proceeding apace at select locations – Europe, Korea, and some CONUS – but the pace and extent of modernization has been reduced out of fiscal necessity.
Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P) – Investment in the JBC-P remains a high priority for the Army, but the level of funding has been declining for a couple of years now. Looking at the Army’s detailed budget submission for JBC-P reveals that the drop in FY 2014 will be the largest, followed by a rebound in FY 2015. The Army anticipates funding required for the JBC-P will rise in FY 2015 to $119M and $113M in FY 2016.
Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System – LRAS3 is a legacy system that has been fielded.
Biometrics Enabling Capability (BEC) – Another surprising name on this list, funding for BEC in fiscal 2014 is limited to just under $4M to support the technology refresh of BEC Increment 0, ensuring requirements for system availability, throughput and capacity continue to be met by refreshing the hardware infrastructure with latest generation technologies. Given a pending Full Deployment Decision and designation of BEC as a Program of Record, I would expect funding to pick up in the years ahead.
Movement Tracking System (MTS) – Funding has been cut entirely for the MTS because it is converged into the PM FBCB2 Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P), as the 'JBC-P Log'.
Programs Receiving Development Funding
Lastly, here is a quick look at programs receiving 100% DME funding. These programs may be efforts for which new contracts will be competed or which will require follow-on contracts for the work to be completed.
Army Processing Centers – An APC is an Army Theater-level hub located in a DoD facility where IT applications are centrally, executed, stored, replicated, and managed. Otherwise known as the “cloud,” APCs are provided via the Army Private Cloud (APC2) contract. GovWinIQ is already tracking the potential re-competition of these contracts in 2015.
Close Combat Tactical Trainer – The CCTT is a networked system of manned simulators that provide combat support, combat service support, and computer generated forces. It trains crew through battalion level combat elements of both the RC and AC in their collective tasks. This is a requirement managed by Army Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI). Lockheed Martin holds the latest contract to be awarded for CCTT and this expires in 2016.
Electronic Data Manager v1.2 – The Electronic Data Manager is the rugged computer element of Air Warrior (AW) ensemble worn as a kneeboard. A requirement managed by Army Aviation and Missile Command, work for EDM has been provided by Raytheon since 2006.
Army Contract Writing and Management System – A system to support the full spectrum of the Army's acquisition, technology and logistic (AT&L) end-to-end business processes. The requirement is for a single uniform solution for contract writing and management capability and financial auditability. This requirement is being competed under the name Army Procurement Execution Program (APEX).
Unified Command Suite – The UCS vehicle is a self-contained, stand-alone C-130 air mobile communications platform that provides voice and data to civil support teams. FY 2014 Base funding in the amount of $18.000 million will modernize, upgrade, and procure components for the Unified Command Suites for Civil Support Teams. Funding supports the UCS platform shelter and integration for 22 UCS systems, Video Teleconference (VTC) upgrade for 21 UCS systems, Satellite Communication (SATCOM) terminal upgrades for 22 UCS systems, and cryptological device modernization of 21 UCS systems. Two current contract competitions related to UCS are underway - The Unified Command Suite & Transportable Communications Package Advanced Echelon (ADVON) and UCS Basic Operator Course Instructional Support.
As we can see, the Army’s FY 2014 request registers a slight rebound from FY 2013, when annual Army IT spending sank below $9.2B for the first time in years. Given that Army’s IT budget is declining, what can be said about those programs that the Army is cutting spending on and those in which it is investing?