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Army Officials Hold a Press Briefing on President Biden's Fiscal 2024 Army Budget

STAFF: (Off mic.) today to discuss the Army's fiscal year '24 budget request. The Honorable Gabe Camarillo, Under Secretary of the Army and Major General Mark Bennett, the director of the Army budget, will provide you with an in-depth overview and then take a few questions.

Please hold all questions until the end, and until called upon, to give us the opportunity to get a microphone to you before asking. For transcription, please also state your name and your news organization.

For the time that we have, please limit to one question. And we will also hold a media roundtable for any questions that we don't get to on this topic on Thursday, March 16, where you'll have the opportunity to ask additional questions.

We have 40 minutes total for today's event. And, gentlemen, the floor is yours.

UNDER SECRETARY OF THE ARMY GABE CAMARILLO: Well, good afternoon, everyone. It's great to be here with all of you. I'm Gabe Camarillo, the under secretary the Army. And for the second straight year in a row, I get to do this rollout presentation with Major General Mark Bennett, our director of the Army Budget Office.

So if you can go to the next slide, please?

We're very pleased to be able to roll out the F.Y. '24 budget submission, which enables us to continue to implement our national defense strategy with a top line of $185 billion overall for the Army. The budget submission enables us to do a couple of different things at the same time.

First we continue to implement the NDS and transform the Army to meet the demands and requirements of large-scale combat operations and a shift to multi-domain operations. And it also enables us to maintain a budget that's very much driven by our strategy and the priority set out by Secretary Austin and Secretary Wormuth.

So first I'd point out, on this point, people are our top priority and our greatest asset. So we're able to fund significant investments to address our continued challenge faced across all of DOD to meet our recruiting goals and to help invest in attracting the nation's best talent to the Army.

There is significant emphasis in soldier housing, both in barracks and in family housing; significant investments in quality of life and in access to childcare.

Second, there's a key point in terms of emphasizing readiness and capabilities, defending the nation and building deterrence. First, we fully fund all of our CTC rotations and flying hours and we invest in key exercises such as Pacific Pathways and Defender Europe. And then of course we continue a lot of momentum on our modernization strategy with continued development and procurement of all of our major programs, while increasing our overall investment in capabilities that are relevant to the Indo-Pacific, long-range fires, air defense and deep sensing, as well as logistics in a contested environment. Next slide, please?

I'm going to turn it over to General Bennett.

MAJOR GENERAL MARK S. BENNETT: Thank you, (Honorable) Camarillo.

Good afternoon. I'm Major General Mark Bennett, and I am honored to serve as the Army's 32nd director of the Army budget.

This slide shows a comparison between last year's F.Y. '23 president's budget request to the current F.Y. '24 president's budget request. The '24 request resources the Army to train, operate, sustain and modernize the force.

The Army's F.Y. '24 base budget request is $185.5 billion, an increase of roughly $8 billion above our '23 request. This total reflects the combined resource requirements for all three components, active, U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard, and includes overseas operations costs.

Addressing the increases you see within the RDT&E increase, I will note that 82 percent of the Army's science and technology budget is aligned to our top modernization priorities.

Two significant examples of our RDT&E investment areas are '24 funding of $1 billion for the long range hypersonic weapon, to support the further development and demonstration of the prototype battery that will provide the Army a strategic attack weapons system to defeat Anti-Access/Area Denial capabilities. There's also (inaudible) fighting vehicle RDT&E funding of nearly $1 billion, $997 million, to support the maturation of detail, design and prototyping phases with the competition.

Increased procurement includes critical munitions for combatant commanders, such as the precision strike missile of -- at $584 million, and the Patriot missile segment enhanced missiles of $1.2 billion. Other modernization priority efforts include the armored multi-purpose vehicle at $555 million, mobile protected firepower at $395 million, and the next generation squad weapon at $293 million.

The Army continues, as well, to invest in upgrading industrial base facilities, with over $1.5 billion to meet the requirements of upcoming next generation ammunition and equipment.

Increased military construction funding addresses Army senior leadership's commitment to soldier housing and barracks, which we will talk more about later.

Lastly, included in this budget is a 5.2 percent pay raise, which is the highest in 20 years for our military, and for our civilian employees, 40 years. The increases for housing and subsistence allowances for our soldiers and their families are included as well.

Honorable Camarillo, back to you.

MR. CAMARILLO: Thanks. Next slide please? So just briefly wanted to highlight -- as the Army continues to transform to the Army of 2030, engaged in multi-domain operations as part of our National Defense Strategy, there are a couple of highlights we'd like to flag as part of the F.Y. '24 budget.

You know, first is our continued investment in key capabilities that are ramping up in F.Y. '24 -- deep sensing, significant investments in TITAN and HADES -- $142 million first for TITAN and $191 million for HADES respectively -- long range fires, continued development of our mid-range capability, long range hypersonic weapon, as General Bennett just said, and increment one of our precision strike missile, as well as continued development of PRISM's capabilities.

Air defense to protect all of our Joint Forces in any theater, significant investments in IFPC, M-SHORAD, and counter-UAS, with the latter being $400 million, integrated air and missile defense, $697 million, M-SHORAD, $590 million, and IFPC, $509 million.

And also don't want to forget to mention the significant investment in our major modernization programs, like future vertical lift and combat vehicle modernization, as well as significant investments, as I mentioned earlier, in contested logistics.

But how does this come together? We develop capabilities but we field units and formations, and that's how we actually fight, and significant effort and ground will be covered in F.Y. '24, to include converting our first multi-domain task force to full design with long range fires, our SFABs' continued efforts to build partnership capacity around the world, the development of watercraft companies and cyber warfare detachments, to just name a few.

And we wanted to also mention that there is investment within the F.Y. '24 budget to build and develop skills that we need, particularly, for example, data science to access and unlock data, and technical skills to help us drive interoperability with our joint sister services, our partners and our allies.

Next slide please? So as we said, people are our number one priority. And as we looked ahead and we talked last year at the budget rollout about end strength and the uncertain recruiting environment, we wanted to flag where we are in the F.Y. '24 budget.

Certainly, we did not choose or -- nor are we selecting to choose to reduce the size of the Army in the F.Y. '24 submission. We do plan an active duty end strength. We programmed against the requirement of 452,000.

But this reflects our desire over the FYDP to build our end strength but there are significant uncertainties regarding the recruiting market. As Secretary Wormuth has said in many instances, it did not take one year to get into this situation, it'll take several years to get us out of it.

We are not alone across the department in facing a historic recruiting challenge and we are pulling a significant number of levers and undertaking a significant number of reforms, all of which are resourced in the F.Y. '24 budget, to help us improve our recruiting performance.

So what we programmed in this budget is based on our projections of where we think we will be but that's two years from now and there's a significant amount of uncertainty and we will continue to update those numbers, both with Congress and our stakeholders, as we continue to get closer to execution.

But I do want to take a moment about what we're doing in the F.Y. '24 budget as it relates to recruiting. So we are fundamentally improving our recruiting enterprise, which we've begun already, and we continue to fund efforts to train our recruiters, to ensure that they're placed in those markets where they can have the greatest impact, giving them the best tools, utilizing incentives, like our soldier referral program, creating targeted incentives for potential recruits, such as a duty station of choice and our various recruiting bonuses that we've been employing since last year.

Communicating with our target population is a significant part of our efforts to drive and build our recruiting performance, and so we fully fund in the F.Y. '24 budget our marketing and advertising efforts and requirements, and we also fund emphasis in select markets, such as key 16 cities that are going to help us drive performance, not only in F.Y. '24 but also in the year proceeding it that we're currently executing in.

But again, it will take time, I do want to emphasize, to get there. This is not going to be done overnight and this is something that we see happening across the entire Department of Defense, to all of the services. We will continue to innovate and experiment with ways to improve our recruiting performance overall but this is what we're funding in the F.Y. '24 budget.

Next slide? Oh, before I leave that slide, if I could, I just want to also mention the future soldier prep course. We are funding expansion of that. As you know, it's going from Fort Jackson to Fort Benning. We will continue to use that pilot as a model for a way to invest in America's youth, whether it's academic skills or meeting physical standards.

We're finding that there's significant success in the number of -- of potential recruits that are graduating from the program, a little bit over 3,700 so far just through Fort Jackson, and as we expand it, we'll continue to track the data on it, but that program is funded in F.Y. '24.

Next slide? I want to also emphasize something that Secretary Wormuth has -- has pointed out very publicly, is that if we want to be able to be an employer of choice, if we want to recruit and attract and retain the nation's best talent, we also need to make significant investments in quality of life and in housing, not just for families but also for individual soldiers and barracks.

And so there are -- you'll see that in the slide, it reflects a significant increase and emphasis in these areas of investments, with five new barrack -- barracks projects projected in F.Y. '24 at $287.5 million, and those include projects at Fort Wainwright, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, two projects at Fort Bragg and at Soldier Systems -- Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Massachusetts, and these are of course just the ones that are entering into the MILCON phase. Significant investment in planning and design for other projects across the portfolio.

It is really part of an overall 10 year strategy to invest $10 billion over time to upgrade and address, you know, housing and infrastructure debt across the Army.

I'll turn it over to General Bennett for some more specifics.

GEN. BENNETT: Thank you, sir. Our family housing program in F.Y. '24 includes two projects at Kwajalein Atoll and at Baumholder, Germany, for $177.3 million, as well as two equity investments at Fort Gordon and Fort Leonard Wood.

Army leadership is also focused on expanding childcare, and there are several initiatives that are aimed at improving the recruitment and retention of childcare center providers through an entry-level pay-raise increase to $17.34 an hour, providing a 50 percent employee childcare discount, as well as annual retention bonuses. The Army has also planned to invest over $200 million in future child development center facilities and youth centers over the next several years.

Sir, over to you.

MR. CAMARILLO: Next slide.

Secretary Wormuth (has said ?) one of our key -- key priorities is to build positive command climate to scale. Taking care of our people, as Secretary Austin has said, is our number-one priority, and we have done a lot in the F.Y. '24 budget to be able to drive that change that we want to see.

First and foremost, continued investment in strengthening our efforts to prevent sexual assault anywhere in the Army and to respond to it, with $290 million that addresses our ability to hire prevention expertise across our installations to help advance our prevention strategies, to prevent harmful behaviors and also, to implement some of the reforms that were legislated by Congress in the NDAA and recommended as part of Secretary Austin's Independent Review Commission On Sexual Assault Prevention. So for example, we're fully implementing the Office of Special Trial Counsel, which kicks in at the very end of 2023.

Suicide prevention measures are also fully funded in this particular budget, to include expanding access to behavioral health as much as we possibly can to ensure that we're resourcing suicide prevention training for leaders that will help identify harmful behaviors before they become a challenge, and then also, of course, investing in how we're selecting and building our leaders to make sure that, whether it's the BCAP or CCAP program, to be able to identify the right leader for the right assignment moving forward.

Also, I'll note there is investment in MWR to help build some of the positive command climates and assistance to help place spouse employment and address some of those gaps that we have on our installations.

Next slide.

I mentioned very early on that we fully fund readiness in this budget, our CTC rotations and flying hours, and I'll let General Bennett give you some of the specifics.

GEN. BENNETT: Thanks, sir.

We plan to conduct 22 combat training center rotations in F.Y. '24, the same number in F.Y. '23, that include two for the National Guard and two exportable rotations conducted in Hawaii and Alaska. Over 140,000 soldiers will participate in our worldwide exercise program, including 30 -- and by training -- supporting our campaigning by training in over 115 exercises, including 33 of those in the Pacific. We will continue to implement our Regionally-Armed -- Aligned Readiness and Modernization Program, which seeks to balance the building of readiness and modernization of our formations and supports the transition to a division-centric Army. There is an increase of 14 percent in funding for our prepositioned stocks that could utilize in our exercises, as well as real-world mission support, and there are several facilities projects aimed at improving our total Army readiness with investments in Guard and Reserve readiness centers, maintenance facilities, instructional facilities and water and utilities in Hawaii.

MR. CAMARILLO: Next slide, please.

So I talked earlier about significant continuity year-over-year in our modernization strategy, and I think you'll see that once you read the details of our F.Y. '24 budget submission. I'd like to note that we are delivering and -- and continuing to build momentum on our programs, to include several I'd point out here.

First unit equipped for mid-range capability is planned within F.Y. '24; delivery of counter-small-UAS M-LIDS prototypes in the third quarter; PrSM Increment 1 continuing to develop -- or, to deliver prototypes in the fourth quarter of F.Y. '24; and Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense fielding in the first -- first half of the year in F.Y. '24, as well as a Next Generation Squad Weapon with first unit equipped in the second quarter of F.Y. '24 all demonstrate that we're continuing to build significant momentum in this particular effort.

There are procurement quantities of note in this particular budget as we continue to invest in programs that are in full rate to include ANT-B, 191 in terms of the quantity, JLTV, 1,753, and then of course, continued procurement of PAC-3, in terms of size, 230 that fully make use of our investments in production capacity in the industrial base.

Significant quantities for a whole host of other programs, all of which I won't list here, but I will say that across the board, over F.Y. '23's budget submission you see an increase in investment in RDT&E and procurement.

I'll turn it over to General Bennett for some more details.

GEN. BENNETT: I'll talk some more on the program investments, which include developing a resilient tactical network that includes 13,701 HMS radios consisting of 5,465 of the Leader and 8,236 of the Manpack variants. This also addresses our crypto requirements. We're going to purchase 34,221 low-cost tactical radio replacements, which replaces our SINCGARS system, as well as 2,241 high-frequency radios.

Lastly, the Mobile Protected Firepower for the second lot of 33 low-rate initial production vehicles, which will provide two company sets of MPFs for fielding.

MR. CAMARILLO: Next slide, please.

So it's no secret that as part of our National Defense Strategy, the pacing challenge is in the Indo-Pacific region, and we wanted to highlight some of the significant investments that we're making in our F.Y. '24 budget submission that are aligned to that pacing challenge.

As Secretary Wormuth has also said in many cases, we are -- we are fully funding our efforts to do three things in the Pacific:

First, it's to build deterrence as part of the Joint Force, and we're supporting those efforts to build capability and partnerships with allies and partners throughout the -- throughout the region, to include investments in our Security Force Assistance Brigades that trained with over 12 countries this -- in the Pacific this last year, and fully funding our exercises like Pacific Pathways, and development of the JPMRC for coalition-based training both in Hawaii and Alaska.

As the linchpin force as part of the Joint Force in the Pacific, we are supporting the Joint Force ability to establish potential hubs of operation in the region and to defending it through investments in integrated air and missile defense such as Patriot, IFPC and others.

Secondly, we're enabling ground-based long-range fires and deep-sensing capabilities to go with it as part of the Pacific. You'll see a significant investment in the F.Y. '24 budget related to that. As General Bennett has pointed out, significant investments in long-range hypersonic weapons, the continued fielding of our MRC capability and the ongoing development of our PrSM -- Precision Strike Missile -- capability, as well.

And then third, sustaining the force through contested logistics in this particular area. So what you'll see in the F.Y. '24 budget includes investment in watercraft, to include the Maneuver Support Vessel Light and Heavy, various enablers to support contested logistics operations such as fuel, distribution and storage systems, and other investments in Army pre-positioned stock.

I'll turn it to General Bennett for any other detail.

GEN. BENNETT: I would note that the 33 exercises in the Pacific are the highest number of the Army's total program in -- in F.Y. '24 of 115 programs. I'll also note (the LTAMs ?) investment of 100 and -- I'm sorry -- of $384 million to provide three sensors.

Sir, back to you.

MR. CAMARILLO: Next slide, please.

As we all saw last year with the acute threat of Russian aggression and the invasion of Ukraine, obviously, the tremendous support for the Ukrainians through drawdown assistance, the administration has made a significant effort, and I'm proud to say that the Army's played a leading role in that.

One of the things that we are working through, not only in the base budget but also with Congress' support through supplementals, is investing in the resupply, particularly in the area of critical munitions. So I wanted to talk just a little bit about what the F.Y. '24 budget does.

You know, in addition to the supplementals, which are not part of the F.Y. '24 ask obviously, an significant investment that has been made there not just to buy back these munitions but also, in many cases, to invest in enhanced production capacity in the industrial base, we're able to take advantage of that as we put together the F.Y. '24 budget.

So for example, you'll see significant investment in procurement of Patriot and Tomahawk missile quantities, fully taking advantage over time investments that have been made in production capacity. GMLRS is another example, with $942 million in the base budget. 155 ammo, $221 million just in the base budget alone that will be paired with additional funds that were used -- or that were -- are appropriated through supplementals. And then of course next generation squad weapon ammunition, $191 million.

We are pursuing, as part of the department-wide effort, enhanced multi-year procurement authority in F.Y. '24 on select programs. At this point, we are not prepared to be able to identify which ones they are but we are working our way through that, and certainly we hope to have more on that as we are able to work through those -- that particular process.

But I would note also that F.Y. '24's base budget also includes significant investment in the organic industrial base. Now, some of this was funded in the supplementals in F.Y. '22 and F.Y. '23, but in addition, we do have money in the base budget because we were able to develop, before the Ukrainian invasion, a long term, 10 year Organic Industrial Base Modernization Strategy by which we were able to pull projects forward.

When some were funded from the supplemental, we had the next wave of projects that will drive production capacity across the industrial base, ready to be funded into the base budget, and you'll see here it's $1.5 billion in the F.Y. '24 base that goes towards those investments.

Taken together with significant help with the supplementals, we see that we are driving long term stability, predictability, and most importantly, capacity in the industrial base over time.

General Bennett, do you have anything to add on that one?

GEN. BENNETT: No, sir.


GEN. BENNETT: Thank you.

MR. CAMARILLO: The next one -- next slide is a -- a key issue in terms of Army digital transformation. There's no secret that if we're going to be able to fight, to perform multi-domain operations and to execute the National Defense Strategy, we have to be able to unlock data, ensure that we have the right skills in place, and to develop the right tools at the -- at the pace that we need them moving forward.

There has been a concerted effort over this last year to relook our entire network spend across the Army through a series of capability portfolio reviews, and what that did was allow us to align our F.Y. '24 investments in a way that will help us to achieve foundational gains to enable us to accelerate our digital transformation.

That includes, for example, key investments in zero trust implementation of $439 million in a much more concerted way to be able to effectuate the department's strategy to get at zero trust and higher security.

Unlocking data, significant investment in the cloud, our transition to cloud for certain key applications, as well as efforts to unlock our data through data platforms, upgrading user experience -- we've all heard about Fix My Computer and there is, in the F.Y. '24 budget, significant investment in order to retire technical debt that has accumulated over many years across the DOD but certainly within the Army, to upgrade user experience and also experiment with pilots that might make it easier for soldiers and civilians in the Army to be able to use the right tools in a way that -- that's very effective for them.

And the two that I would mention is bring the -- bring your own device pilot and the virtual desktop interface.

Secondly, I point out that we continue to experiment with artificial intelligence and machine learning in our war fighting capabilities and also on -- on our enterprise side in how we do business and back office operations, 283 million of investment in this particular area.

Significant investment, 639 million in crypto modernization compliance and modernization to ensure that we're fully compliant with NSA standards. And then of course there are funded investments to upscale our workforce to bring in software development expertise, cyber expertise within the Army and to insure that we've got people who have an understanding of the types of best practices the industry employs to help us steer and guide our efforts within the Army.

Next slide. Turn it back over to General Bennett.

GEN. BENNETT: Thanks, sir.

This chart lists select procurement programs and their requested quantities. Our highlight a few programs or items that we've not mentioned before. The precision strike munition, double investment there of 384 million in the missiles for procuring 110 of those as well as 273 million in continued research development and technical evaluation.

Our procurement of two launchers and 58 new Block 5 tactical tomahawks for our mid-range capabilities system. And along with the list of NGSW rifles that'll enable the field into two BCTs in F.Y. '24. We do plan to procure 105 million rounds for the four NGSW ammo variants.

Next is our facilities. The Army's facilities infrastructure is a critical aspect of Army readiness. We spoke with you earlier about our several efforts aimed to improve our barracks and family housing provided to our soldiers and families. The Army's F.Y. '24 military construction and family housing budget request is roughly $900 million above the '23 request.

However, the '23 enacted level includes over a billion in additional one time project funding in over $868 million additional funding for rising cost to complete expenses the Army is experiencing and appreciative of the Congress' support.

The Army's 24 MILCON request of $2.8 billion addresses family housing, readiness and modernization needs to include the $287 million we mentioned for the five barracks, 197 million for eight readiness centers, 7 of those in the national guard, one in the Army Reserve, 95 million for five Army Reserve National Guard maintenance facilities, $132 million for five range improvements; four of those in the active component, one at the National Guard.

$163 million for state-of-the-art cyber instructional classroom facility Fort Gordon, $56 million for a 300,000 gallon water storage tank at the Aliamanu Military Reservation in Hawaii. And $305 million for the family housing projects at Baumholder and (inaudible) as well as the equity investments.

Lastly the Army's BRAC funding request supports environmental clean-up, restoration in conveyance of excess properties at locations designated under previous BRAC rounds, the roughly $150 million in F.Y. '24 invested funding keeps those planned cleanup efforts on track.

Thank you and I will now turn it back to Honorable Camarillo for his closing comments.

MR. CAMARILLO: I just want to close by saying that, you know, we're very pleased with the F.Y. '24 budget submission. It enables us, as I said earlier to continue our momentum on the modernization programs, fully fund our efforts to address recruiting and to effectuate the national defense strategy. So with that we're looking forward to your questions.

STAFF: Okay. Let's start here. Ashley.

Q: Hi, Ashley Roque with Breaking Defense. Is it on?

MR. CAMARILLO: I can hear you.

Q: Okay. I wanted to go back to the multi-year munition buys. I understand you don't want to talk about it but OSD has already disclosed that it is GMLRS and Patriot. And I wanted to clarify if that's Patriot launcher or munitions and see what the sticking point is for the Army, you know, working to get the multi-years when the Navy and the Air Force have been able to move forward with some theirs?

MR. CAMARILLO: When the -- I'm sorry, can you repeat that last part?

Q: Sorry. When the Navy and the Air Force have been able to get some of their munitions?

MR. CAMARILLO: There's an administrative process to just get through the paperwork with OMB, and we're in the process of finalizing that. So I think as soon as we have a little bit more details in terms of all of the exhibits, we'll be able to share all of that with you.

STAFF: Okay, Jeff?

Q: Thank you. The budget shows increase in funding for munitions, but when it comes to GMLRS the Army is purchasing about 1,000 less than it did in fiscal '23 and the Army's purchasing fewer Javelins. Does the Army expect that it will need supplementals this in fiscal '24 to buy more GMLRS, Javelins and other critical munitions?

MR. CAMARILLO: So the hard constraint that we have here is production capacity, which we're also investing in through the supplementals, but the hard ceiling, if you will, is what can the vendor produce year-over-year? So that is funded through a combination of our base budget and prior-year supplementals because even though the money was appropriated as a supplemental, for example, in F.Y. '23, it will be executed over a couple of years just given the production capacity increase. But the key takeaway for you is we're making full use of that production capacity year-over-year.

Q: So it's producing less because it can't produce more?

MR. CAMARILLO: No, no, no. They're producing a certain quantity, which is the maximum they can produce. We're funding up to that quantity through a combination of either the supplemental and the base budget if that makes sense.

STAFF: Jen Judson.

Q: Hi. Jen Judson with Defense News.


Q: I saw in the big book here directed energy maneuver, short-range air defense, the 50 kilowatt on the Stryker. And it says that it funds in F.Y.'24 delivery at the end of F.Y. '24.

Now I thought that the 50 kilowatt Stryker was supposed to be delivered -- actually should have been delivered maybe by now to the first platoon, to the first unit. So can you talk about what this means? Are you on track with the 50 kilowatt Stryker or has it been delayed for whatever reason? If you could just provide a little more clarity on what all this means here?

MR. CAMARILLO: I'll let Mark fish it out, but I think the difference is just the delivery of a prototype to go into testing versus kind of issuing with a unit, but I'm going to let Mark kin of find the numbers.

GEN. BENNETT: Yes. It's on -- I'm showing two -- two on-shore IDE prototypes at Yuma in testing, two more prototypes to be delivered in '23 as well.

MR. CAMARILLO: So it's not that the program is delayed. Just got to go through the testing paces before it gets fielded.

GEN. BENNETT: Yes, sir.

STAFF: Okay. Steve Beynon.

Q: Steve Beynon, I'm looking at your barracks projects, and you know, there's a lot of installations that need new barracks. I understand you can't do them all at once, but can you talk a little bit about how you triage that? And also I'm sure I'm reading it wrong, but the books and the slides have completely different barracks construction numbers if you can kind of clarify that?

MR. CAMARILLO: Sure. I'll let Mark speak to the numbers, but you know, we do have a facilities investment plan that's basically a one to endless based on a variety of factors. It's run by the Army Material Command. It factors in life, health and safety as obviously our top priorities, age of the installation, the number of people that use it, a whole host of factors. You know, there are environmental conditions where, for example, there are more likelihood of, you know, finding mold, for example, at a particular barracks facility.

So all of those come into play to allow that one to endless to get developed. It is refined continuously overtime, and as we build our budget we look through it. As we put together the F.Y. '24 base budget, it's informed by a couple of different factors.

First, what was funded in F.Y. '23, and there were some projects that were funded in the base budget, some that were funded through congressional ads, and those were executed. In addition which projects are ready in terms of shovel-readiness because the planning and design has been done. They're ready to go.

And so, I think we look at that subset to figure out what we can put in the base budget that's based -- you know, that's ready to go from that perspective. So Mark, if you want to speak to the numbers?

GEN. BENNETT: Yes, and I'll have to check that. I don't know which figure you're referring to in there, but our barracks projects are the $287.5 million that we spoke of earlier.

Q: So that'd be the slide numbers?


Q: Okay.

GEN. BENNETT: So I'll have to take a look at that and update that if necessary.

Q: Thank you.

STAFF: Okay. Tony?

Q: I have a couple questions. One, IVAS, what's the procurement in R&D funding? And two, Abrams. Your document indicates 34 Abrams to be upgraded. Do I take this as the Pentagon's made a decision that the Ukraine M1 -- 31 M1A2s are going to be basically taken from Army stocks? And these are -- these 34 represent 34 of the 31 are buried in here?

MR. CAMARILLO: So I'm going to answer your first question first on the IVAS, and Mark can double-check the numbers, it's 1.2 variant that we're buying procurement quantities because we had bought the other ones in '23, and he can -- he can add something afterwards.

I would not read anything into the Abrams procurement quantities that are the current, most-modern version. I think it's the SEPV 3 version that are in the base budget of F.Y. '24. We have not used the F.Y. '24 budget submission as a means to indicate how we're going to source the requirement from Ukraine.

Q: Is it -- has the sourcing for that been determined?

MR. CAMARILLO: All of the options are being looked at right now, and I think we'll have more to say whenever it's finalized.

Q: Okay, thanks.

GEN. BENNETT: To address your specific question for IVAS, the RDTE in the amount of $76 million and the procurement amount $89 million for a total of $165 million.
Q: Thank you. Jon Harper with DefenseScoop. In the documents, there's a reference to a remote combat vehicle. Is that the same thing as a robotic combat vehicle? Has that just been kind of rebranded? And then how much funding is there in F.Y. '24 for the RCV, and what are your kind of plans for that program in the next fiscal year?

MR. CAMARILLO: There's no brand name change, so it should be RCV, the robotic combat vehicle, and General Bennett can give you the numbers.

GEN. BENNETT: It's $142 million in RDTE in '24.

Q: Thank you. Omedia Network. I have a question about oversea operation cost. For fiscal year 2024, you requested 12.409 for your oversea operation cost, which is less than your fiscal year 2023. Why you requested less money for the operations in oversea? Does that mean the threats of ISIS and other tourist group is decreased? And just too add to this question, how much of this $398 million goes to Iraq and how much of this goes to Syria?

MR. CAMARILLO: General Bennett, I'll have to defer to you on that one.

GEN. BENNETT: Okay. So yes, you're correct. Our F.Y. '24 request does go down slightly and compared to the F.Y. '23 number. I will note in there that the decreases are tied to procurement, which is a decrease in some of the munitions and replenishment requirements for Operation Enduring Sentinel and a reduction in base-funded EDI requirements. Again, base funding there.

The -- your question around -- about the counter-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria trained and equipped for under SETAF that does go down as well to adequately resourcing anticipated requirements, and I'll have to get you the break between Iraq and Syria. I don't have that handy now.

STAFF: Todd South.

Q: Hi. Todd South, Army Times. I see that the end strength numbers are down about another 20,000 soldiers as compared to last year's request. I'm aware that the recruiting goal's gone up about -- by about 5,000. With the numbers still lowering considerably, where's the difference being made up? Are we just -- even though we have a higher recruiting goal on the recruiting -- on -- on -- for the Army side, are we getting fewer folks in there or more people leaving? Is the Army cutting people from the ranks to make that number? And then I have a follow-up.

MR. CAMARILLO: No, I think our retention numbers, as we closed F.Y. '22 and as -- certainly going through F.Y. '23, show significantly high performance on retaining our soldiers. I think we ended last year at 105 percent of our requirement and we're seeing every indication that we're doing really well on the retention side.

And as I said earlier, our program, in terms of what we're putting in the F.Y. '24 request, based on where we think we could land in F.Y. '24, is our best projection, based on where we currently were as we put the budget together, which is, you know, static year over year. You know, in the omnibus F.Y. '23, we ended up with a active duty end strength of 452,000. That's what was appropriated and that's the number that we're starting in with F.Y. '24's budget submission.

But there's a lot of uncertainty and I think there's a lot of time between now and then, and certainly I think that as we continue to learn more about what the long term projections are of where we're going to land, we'll be able to update that.

Q: One follow up on a separate program. With the next gen squad weapon, the senior officials have previously announced that they were going to have that fielded by first quarter of '24. That had been announced multiple times publicly. What's the delay to the second quarter?

MR. CAMARILLO: We'll have to confirm whether there is a delay or whether, you know, we're -- we'll confirm that for you and get it back to you.

STAFF: (Inaudible)?

Q: Hi. Brian Everstine with Aviation Week. I was hoping you could expand a little bit more on the $1.5 billion for FVL, for advanced air -- aviation -- aviation advanced development. Can you talk a little bit about the schedule for these six FLRAA prototypes, the flight demonstration for FARA? And it mentions $458 million for FARA. How do you see that number progressing over the FYDP?

MR. CAMARILLO: Okay, I'll -- Mark, I'll let you start and then I'll jump in.

GEN. BENNETT: So the -- for the -- for the -- the FARA showing what -- the $458 million, that's for competitive prototype flight testing in F.Y. '24. The RDT&E for the FLRAA is $1 billion, and that's at the analysis stage to determine how many projected to be fielded, but not until 2030.

MR. CAMARILLO: What was your other question? I mean, it's fully funded in the FYDP. So I think we're -- you know, we're still planning to do the flight demo. It's got more development, more testing that goes through that, and then it would obviously go into, you know, kind of the next phase of the program. So it's fully funded, both FLRAA and FARA, in this particular FYDP.

Q: Hi. I'm Kamala Abdi, reporting for ABC Daily Pakistani Media outlet. Okay, I have a -- one question on your recruitment challenge, as -- as you were speaking of. So can you speak a little bit more about it?

And my specific question, do you plan to go big about it, like going on campus and looking around and motivating them? Because, you know, it requires a lot of effort to attract and get them. And, you know, so can you speak a little bit more about it?

And my second question is on Guantanamo Bay. Like, you know, it's one of the most critical bases of U.S. military. So there -- I've been there in person and I've seen the soldier barracks and, you know, townhouses and it's a very nice base. And so can you speak how -- do you have big plans about the barracks there, the soldier barracks and the housing at Guantanamo Bay? Thank you.

MR. CAMARILLO: Well, thank you for the question. I'll first tackle recruiting. As I said earlier, it's not a challenge that happened overnight. I think it took many years to get there. There's some long term and there's some short term trends.

Some of the short term trends, you know, are conditions in the labor market, fierce competition for talent, lack of access, in some cases, to high schools, and then of course, you know, there are the longer term trends, which are declining propensity to serve in the military more broadly, not unique to the Army. I think all of the services are feeling that challenge, in addition to the fact that, you know, fewer and fewer of America's youth population have an understanding of the range of career options in military service.

So we're undertaking a broad effort, not just to retool our recruiting enterprise but also to reintroduce the Army and the notion of military service to the American public more broadly. And to be very honest and candid, I think we need all of your help as well to do that because the reality is parents, you know, aunts, uncles, grandparents of students that are coming out of high school, in many ways don't know that if you join the Army, you have an opportunity to get funds to go to college while you serve, you have an opportunity to learn skills in high end, very technical skill sets, to be either a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, software developer. You can even be a veterinarian in the Army, interestingly enough. So just about any career you can think of, it's available to you in the Army.

So we are making a concerted effort to make sure that we're communicating that message and to talk about the possibilities in career choices that exist within the Army.

But more broadly, we need to continue that. We do not think that the recruiting challenge will go away overnight. We think it's a multi-year challenge but it's something we're pulling every lever we can at our disposal to make sure that we're addressing it, both internally and externally to the Army. But again, we could use everyone's help.

Your second question had to do with Guantanamo Bay and barracks and investment housing there. I was trying to give General Bennett here a lot of time to be able to find the numbers --


-- but if he doesn't have it, we can certainly get you any investment regarding MILCON there.

GEN. BENNETT: Yeah, sir, thank you. No, we share resource and responsibility down there at Guantanamo Bay. Permanent-type facilities like you're describing there would be likely the responsibility of the Department of the Navy, so I'll recommend you ask them when they come up.

STAFF: All right, ladies and gentlemen, that's all the time we have for this briefing. As a reminder – we are going to have a media roundtable on Thursday, March 16th at 3 pm. If you're on the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs' distro, you should already have that in your inbox from this morning, but if you don't, you can come see me after this briefing -- or actually, I'll be located to the -- my back right here, that I can take your information down.

So we just need to clear out this area for the next briefing. So thank you very much for your participation.