AUSA’s Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members
Army Secretary Mark T. Esper, nominated to become the next defense secretary, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that passing a permanent 2020 budget by Oct. 1 is important because a lapse of funding or operating under temporary funding hurts national security. Every day without full funding is ?one more day we don?t have what we need,? he said. ?In many cases, like training, you can never make it up.?
What to Watch: The Senate is poised to confirm Esper as defense secretary before the August congressional recess, but it doesn?t appear anywhere close to a federal spending agreement that would lead to full funding by the start of the fiscal year.
2Old Mill Making New Uniforms
A 166-year-old Connecticut textile mill has signed on to make the throwback Army Greens uniform. American Woolen Co., which has owned the historic plant in Warren since 2014, has signed a deal to make fabric for the World War II-style uniform that is already being worn by recruiters, Army bands and other highly visible soldiers, including senior leaders.
What to Watch: A wear test for the uniform continues as the Army prepares to begin issuing Greens to new soldiers in 2020 as standard business wear.
3Why Friends Matter
?We cannot be everywhere,? said Col. Owen Ray, 1st Special Forces Group commander, during a Pentagon media roundtable discussion. ?We are a limited-sized force. We have to work through our partners for them to be able to solve some of their own issues,? Ray said, describing recent training programs with the Philippines and Mongolia.
What to Watch: Building self-reliant partners strengthens U.S. national security, said Ray, who recently marked his first year in command. ?Those are what give us a comparative advantage against near-peer competitors.?
4Richardson in Command
Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson took command of U.S. Army North in a July 12 ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. A career aviator who previously served as acting commander of the Army Forces Command, she?s the first woman to head U.S. Army North, the Army component of the U.S. Northern Command that has responsibility for homeland defense, support for civil authorities and North American security.
What to Watch: Richardson and her husband, Lt. Gen. James Richardson, the Army Futures Command?s deputy commander, are the Army?s only married three-star generals. They?ve been married for 31 years, making them one of the highest-ranking and longest-serving dual-service couples in U.S. military history.
The Army has a requirement for a medium-weight, air-deployable tracked vehicle that also has some lethal firepower. A sort of light tank, the Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle program is part of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle effort now overseen by the Army Futures Command.
What to Watch: Prototypes will be handed over to the 82nd Airborne Division for assessment. The Army expects to pick a vendor in fiscal 2022 so the first vehicles can be fielded in fiscal 2025.
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