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Army FY 2015 Omnibus Funding: Highlights and Observations

Published: January 07, 2015

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With the exception of a $1.2 billion decline in operations and maintenance funding, Army funding for the remaining nine months of the 2015 fiscal year will come in at levels close to those requested in the FY 2015 President’s Budget. This will include slight growth in both the Procurement and Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation budgets.

Just before the holidays Congress passed the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015.”  Shortly thereafter, Federal Industry Analysis posted a quick analysis of the Defense portion of the bill that highlighted some of the legislation’s high-level funding plusses and minuses.  This post dives a little deeper into the Army portion of the FY 2015 Omnibus bill to unearth some additional details and outline some of Army’s IT spending priorities over what remains of the fiscal year.

Top Level Numbers

Recapping the Army top-level budget numbers from the earlier blog, we can see that the Service’s budget didn’t take as hard a hit as may have been expected.

Operations and Maintenance Funding

Receiving $1.2 billion less for Operations and Maintenance will hurt programs in progress.  This includes IT programs, the funding for which was cut by $71.7 million compared to the Army’s FY 2015 request in the President’s Budget.  A $5 million reduction in the non-Cyber IT programs run by the Army National Guard is also called out specifically in the bill.  Similarly, the budget for Army Service-Wide Communications will receive a haircut, dropping from a requested $1.62 billion to $1.61 billion.  The $100 million cut is made in the budget of the Integrated Personnel and Pay – Army (IPPS-A) program thanks to what Congress deemed an “excessive” amount requested compared to the actual requirement for IPPS-A.

The news in O&M is not all bad, however, as the Army’s Facilities, Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization Budget receives a $400 million increase from $2 billion to $2.4 billion.  Some work centered on the installation of cyber-physical systems for energy management at Army facilities is likely to be funded from this budget line.

Procurement Funding

The addition of $400 million to the Army’s procurement budget will provide a boost for vendors chasing new business.  Most of the largest Army programs in procurement will be funded 100% in FY 2015, so anticipate that the next 3 fiscal quarters will be busy as Army contracting shops rush to push out acquisitions in a “shortened” year.  As the following list shows, however, the picture is not rosy for every program.

  • Aerial Common Sensor Program – $130 million vs. $185 million requested
  • Network and Mission Plan – $105.4 million vs. $114.2 million requested
  • WIN-T Ground Forces Tactical Network – $664 million vs. $763 million requested
  • Defense Enterprise Wideband SatCom Systems – $3.5 million vs. $5.4 million requested
  • IPPS-A – $17 million vs. $33 million requested
  • Joint Battle Command – Platform (JBC-P) – $88 million vs. $98 million requested
  • Total Communications and Electronics Equipment – $2.83 billion vs. $3.24 billion requested

Research, Development, Test, & Evaluation Funding

Lastly, RDT&E funding will be up slightly.  This is good news for some initiatives and programs, including the following:

  • Basic Research – $460 million vs. $424 million requested. This will benefit vendors who maintain research facilities and are part of research consortia.
  • Sensors and Electronic Survivability – $46.3 million vs. $33.5 million requested. The increase includes $7.7 million for cyber security training funding and $5 million for Force Protection Radar Development
  • Advanced Weapons Technology – $38.5 million vs. $28.5 million requested
  • High Performance Computing Modernization Program - $221.6 million vs. $181.2 million requested. FIA has been forecasting that HPC is an area where increased investment would be made.

And the not so good news for other programs:

  • Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System – $1.3 million vs. $22.4 requested.  The reduction of $21 is due in part to Increment II program delays.
  • Army Integrated Military Human Resources System – $68.5 million vs. $138.5 million requested
  • Technology Maturation Initiatives – $44.5 million vs. $74.7 million requested
  • Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) Core – $34.7 million vs. $42.4 million requested
  • Brigade Analysis, Integration, and Evaluation – $85.3 million vs. $105.3 million requested
  • Army Integrated Military Human Resources System (A-IMHRS) – $68.5 million vs. $138.5 million requested