The Army stood up the NIE to test the service's next generation battlefield radios. It has been lauded by Army leaders for allowing the service to have real soldiers test the radio prototypes in combat scenarios. The Army's top acquisition officer said the NIE has already saved the Army more than $6 billion.
However, some worried that the NIE would be a casualty of the massive budget cuts associated with sequestration. The Army will have to cut $18 billion from its budget between March and October should sequestration occur. The military stands to lose $500 billion over the next decade under sequestration.
Despite the cuts, the Army still plans to run the NIEs two times a year as previously scheduled, said Maj. Gen. Robert Dyess, director of Army Force Development.
The scope of the NIE might be reduced because of the cuts but the NIEs will still be held out in White Sands Missile Range, N.M. and Fort Bliss, Texas.