DoD Buzz

Army Program Whacks Coming

The Army Vice Chief of Staff said program terminations and trims loom as a result of the portfolio reviews ordered earlier this year by the Army Secretary, John McHugh.

Gen. Peter Chiarelli also said that the service had expanded the use of the reviews into the ever-dangerous and complex waters of force structure, including the current modular structure of the Army.

Tactical wheeled vehicles, with the plethora of programs -- MRAPs, M-ATVs, Humvees, JLTV etc. -- seems a logical place to whack. And Chiarelli said the modular force is "not as efficient as a division" and that he is looking at "adjustments" to it.

This is all part of the portfolio review.

Another area to watch is precision munitions which the vice cited as an example of the effectiveness and complexity of the review process. "You can make almost anything sound really if you look at it all by itself," Chiarelli said at a Wednesday lunch with reporters, pointing to a fundamental weakness of the requirements process, where a system is examined largely in terms of threat and response and is not usually measured against all service or U.S. capabilities available.

During a review of one precision munition, Chiarelli found another four months later that was very similar so he decided to look at all precision munitions. And he had to balance the use and capability of precision munitions against their conventional counterparts. One standard conventional shell costs $600 compared to $100,000 to $300,000 for a precision shell.

Perhaps the biggest news over time will be Chiarelli's disclosure that the Army has expanded the use of the portfolio review to the entire service, including force structure and related personnel issues. This may well lead to significant changes to the structure of the force and the numbers of people in it, the single area where significant amounts of money can be saved over time.

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