Service Secretaries Link Reform to Greater Lethality

Army Secretary Mark T. Esper, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson spoke about reform today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here.

“Reform is the means by which we free up time, money and manpower to do modernization and readiness better,” Esper said. Modernization has to do with producing more lethally effective weapons and equipment, and readiness includes such things as training and exercises between the services and with the nation’s allies and partners.


The Army last year stood up Army Futures Command, the biggest organization in the Army in 45 years, Esper said. The command, he explained, will focus on the Army’s six modernization priorities: long-range precision fires; a next-generation combat vehicle; future vertical lift; network, air and missile defense; and soldier lethality.


Those are areas needed to counter high-end threats from nations such as Russia and China, he said. The reform aspect had to do with eliminating, downsizing or delaying other programs that, while important, didn’t directly contribute to the six focus areas, he added.


Wilson said the Air Force equivalent of the Army Futures Command is its Warfighting Integration Center. Spencer said the Navy is collaborating with both and also is reviewing every plane, ship, submarine, weapon and piece of equipment it designs or turns out to ensure they’re closely…

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