Esper Says Army Needs Industry Support to Build Next Generation Systems

Mark Esper, Secretary of the Army and a 2019 Wash100 Award winner, called on the private sector to support the service’s plans to dedicate most of its upcoming budget to next-generation systems and less for legacy platforms, National Defense Magazine reported Monday.

The statement was made in response to some contractors and lawmakers who are expected to oppose the Army’s new spending plans, Esper said at a recent meeting hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association in Arlington, Va.

“My ask of all of you is that you focus less on resisting cuts to legacy programs and more on future growth opportunities,” he said. “The Army is moving out rapidly to equip the force for the future conflicts and we want all of you to move with us.”

The secretary noted that companies will have the opportunity to participate in development of next generation systems including vehicles, weapons and platforms. The Army Futures Command is expected to manage over $57 billion in the military’s future years defense program that will run from fiscal years 2020 to 2024.

The Army also plans to eliminate, reduce or delay 186 legacy programs to generate up to $30 billion over the next five years for six modernization priorities focused on long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicles, future vertical lift, network, air-missile defense and soldier lethality.

“Our legacy combat systems, designed for high-intensity conflict, entered service when I first joined the Army in the early 1980s,” Esper said. “While they dominated in past wars, incremental upgrades to some of these systems are no longer adequate for the demands of future battlefields.”

The Wash100 award, now in its sixth year, recognizes the most influential executives in the GovCon industry as selected by the Executive Mosaic team in tandem with online nominations from the GovCon community. Representing the best of the private and public sector, the winners demonstrate superior leadership, innovation, reliability, achievement and vision.

Visit the Wash100 site to learn about the other 99 winners of the 2019 Wash100 Award. On the site, you can submit your 10 votes for the GovCon executives of consequence that you believe will have the most significant impact in 2019.

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