Congress has been reluctant to accept the Defense Department‘s proposal for another Base Realignment and Closure Round the Pentagon believes could help it reallocate funds toward modernization and readiness initiatives, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday in Washington.
Work told an audience of GovCon industry leaders at the Newseum Tuesday that the Pentagon has had to “take risks with modernization and infrastructure accounts” with the previous round of sequestration cuts and the prospect of another in fiscal year 2016.
Modernization spending has been hit due to a three-year period of flat budgets, Work said.
“We’ve had the slack taken out of our defense programs and have nowhere else to go,” Work said at the event hosted by Credit Suisse and McAleese & Associates.
“Modernization is at risk in the short-term and readiness in the long-term,” he added.
The Pentagon’s budget request for 2016 will aim to cover what Work called a “loss in readiness” and meet global demand for U.S. forces to handle issues such as the Islamic State group and the conflict in Ukraine.
Work said the Pentagon’s technology spending requests include $77 million for sea mines, $470 million in new submarine weapons, $760 million for railguns and $730 million for lasers.