U.S. Army COVID-19 Spending Plans

Published: June 16, 2020

Federal Market AnalysisARMYCoronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicForecasts and SpendingInformation TechnologyMedical & Scientific EquipmentOperations & Maintenance

Army reprograms millions of dollars for COVID-19 relief.

Key Takeaways

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency will continue to fund Army National Guard operations so that the Army can use its direct appropriations elsewhere.
  • Army plans to spend $121M on personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Significant spending will go to facility-related services, medical services, and supplies.
  • Army IT requirements will receive $60M in funding spread across hardware, software, network services, and contract support.

Last week’s post took a look at Defense Health Program activities outlined in the new “Department of Defense Spend Plan For Funding Received in the--Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ‘CARES’ Act” that was released at the very end of May. This week shifts the focus to the activities and spending planned by the U.S. Army in the same document. Numbers provided for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve are included.

The DOD’s plan begins with a discussion of funds that will be reprogrammed due both to the pandemic being less severe than anticipated and because funding from other federal departments has had an impact on the Army’s plans. Concerning the latter point, for example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was busy during the pandemic’s early days standing up emergency medical facilities to meet anticipated demand. The Army, however, did not fund these operations. Instead, the funding came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the tune of $723M, according to data reported at the beginning of June.

The CARES Act initially provided the Army National Guard (ANG) with $747M for personnel and an additional $187M for ANG Operations and Maintenance. Of the $747M appropriated, the Army spent $507M, leaving $240M to be reprogrammed for other priority COVID-19 expenses required by the DOD. As for ANG O&M funds, DOD is transferring $108M from this account to other priorities, largely because the ANG works in support of public health efforts run by FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services, each of which provide reimbursement for assigned operations. Additionally, the Army reduced its estimate of funding required for the Army Reserve to $36M from the $48M appropriated by Congress. This funding will be used to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) and to fulfill contract requirements for cleaning services.

The buckets into which other categories of Army COVID-19 response funding fall are as follows:  

Pharmaceuticals and Other Medical Supplies

Under this category, the Army will direct $103M in O&M funds to purchase non-medical PPE. The Army Reserve, meanwhile, plans to spend $8M of its O&M funds for non-medical PPE. The Army National Guard will spend $10M of its appropriated O&M funds.


Army funding to sustain operations will come from the four following accounts:

  • Military Personnel ($152M): Funds under Military Personnel will be spent on “Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) rations for isolated service members, temporary Basic Allowance for Subsistence for personnel who cannot access dining facilities, and Subsistence-in-Kind purchases to meet increased demand at on-base dining facilities.”
  • O&M ($50M): Funds the construction and sustainment of temporary facilities and provides isolation facilities and support for mission essential crews.
  • Other Procurement ($35M): Funds the procurement of essential medical equipment to ensure that field hospitals are equipped to deploy and respond to COVID-19 infections.
  • Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation ($64M): Funds Civilian and contractor salaries for personnel impacted by cancelled or deferred testing projects from reimbursable billing authority customers.

Information Technology (IT) Equipment/Support

  • O&M ($51M)
  • Other Procurement ($9M)

Funding here is for the purchase of laptop/notebook computers, Common Access Card readers, software licensing, increased bandwidth and associated circuitry, increased services and contract support, and other IT capabilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transactions with Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities (NAFI)

  • O&M ($57M)

These funds will help protect the jobs of 12,000 employees at food operations, fitness centers, golf courses, outdoor recreation, libraries, youth centers, bowling alleys, child development centers, and lodging facilities used by Army personnel, but which were forced to cease operations.