Panel Blocks Network Cuts After Lobbying Push

Panel Blocks Network Cuts After Lobbying Push

A U.S. House of Representatives panel has denied an Army request to transfer funding from a battlefield communications network made by General Dynamics Corp. to pay for more urgent needs.

The House Armed Services Committee, headed by Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., rejected the service’s attempt to transfer $128 million from the program, known as the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T, this year as part of a larger Defense Department effort to shift $9.6 billion to pay for higher-than-expected war costs and other expenses.

“The committee recognizes the tactical network provides units with more channels for voice and data communications, increased security and enhanced mobile communications,” McKeon and Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the highest-ranking Democrat on the panel, wrote to Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale in a letter dated June 21 and obtained by Military​.com.


The move comes two months after the Falls Church, Va.-based defense contractor deployed hundreds of suppliers and dozens of lobbyists on Capitol Hill to argue against the Army’s proposal to shift funding from WIN-T and other acquisition programs in part to pay for the war in Afghanistan.

The service is facing a potential budget shortfall of more than $15 billion in fiscal 2013, which ends Sept. 30, top service officials have told Congress. More than half of that stems from war-related expenses, including higher-than-expected costs to remove equipment from Afghanistan.

Lawmakers and company officials said the Army’s decision to cut funding from the battlefield communications network didn’t make sense because the service itself has identified it as one of its highest priorities.

A group of 71 members of the House pressed the Pentagon to avoid transferring the funding for the program, according to a May 10 letter sent to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and obtained by Military​.com. Of those, 44 were Democrats. The largest groups of signatures came from Arizona, where the General Dynamics C4 Systems unit is based, and Massachusetts, where program work is performed.

Reps. Joseph Kennedy and Niki Tsongas,  both Democrats from Massachusetts who signed the letter, as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who signed a similar letter, in a joint statement today welcomed the continued funding for the program.

“As the landscape of modern warfare gets more complicated and multi-dimensional – and as the technology used by our enemies continues to improve – ensuring communication on the battlefield is part of our responsibility to the men and women we put in harm’s way,” Kennedy said.

Tsongas acknowledged the challenge that automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, and other budgetary pressures pose for the Defense Department, “but slashing funding for the most critical R&D and procurement programs giving our military its competitive edge is not where we should look for savings,” she said.

Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems unit, in an e-mailed statement said the company is “grateful for the efforts of the Massachusetts and Arizona delegations, who advocated tirelessly to stop this reprogramming action. This action demonstrates the broad support that exists for the soldier’s network, but there is more work to do.

“It is now critical that the president’s full request for 2014 funding be supported by the House and Senate in the upcoming budget process,” he added. “The next generation of WIN-T will make our soldiers safer and more effective, and consistent funding will help us place this technology in the hands of active duty and National Guard soldiers as quickly as possible.”

The Army requested a total of $1.23 billion for the WIN-T program in fiscal 2013, according to Pentagon budget documents. That figure includes $893 million for procurement, $278 million for research and development and $55 million for spares. It asked for $1.28 billion for the effort in fiscal 2014.

The second installment of the program, known as Increment 2, is estimated to cost $6.2 billion, a 64-percent increase in cost from 2007, according to a Government Accountability Office report from March.

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“…The move comes two months after the Falls Church, Va.-based defense contractor and its subcontractors deployed hundreds of lobbyists on Capitol Hill to argue against the Army’s proposal to shift funding from WIN-T and other acquisition programs in part to pay for the war in Afghanistan.…”.…..

Um, uh, well, why doesn’t General Dynamics instead deploy hundred of TROOPS to Afghanistan?…
While our Troops fight the “enemy” in Afghanistan, our CITIZENS fight the “enemy” in D.C.…???…
Or aren’t those “lobbyists” “citizens”…???…
Am I the *only* one who sees how screwed up our priorities have become, while we struggle under the burden of the Military-Industrial-Complex?.…
Wouldn’t it make more sense for GD to employ more *WORKERS*, actually *WORKING* on more better comms gear for our Troops, than to “deploy lobbyists”…???…
>Yes, I support the imminent Military Coup<.…
Got that, NSA?…

I’m not sure I support a military coup, but clearly we need regime change.

Unfortunately, the guys who will get to the top first will be the ones with the connections and deep pockets, who will go from the behind the throne to sitting on it.

So some may stop the mothballing of divisions but congress wants there pet projects saved more. See why we are doomed.

…it’s a meme, “blight”…and note that key word “imminent”…plus, I like yankin’ the NSA’s chain, too…
…&think about it…*IF* there was a military coup, *WHO* would the military take OUT of power, to then put BACK in power…???…The Military, by vast numbers of veterans in police & “law enforcement” roles, has created something that both can’t “coup”, and can’t win, both…
…it’s hard to put in words, but really, I’m not worried…
…of course, maybe it’s time to replace my tinfoil hat, too, so.….
But it’s a serious question…How can the U.S. afford “hundreds” of “lobbyists”, but NOT be able to afford hundreds of Troops…???…The MIC is both so STOOPID, and so BIG, that it can’t defeat itself, but it’s to screwed up to NOT defeat itself…So, life goes on in America…
I support the imminent military coup, and
*Semper*Fidelis*AMERICA*…

Bet the Romans were thinking the same as the Germanics swarmed across the Rhine.

…ok, assuming I correctly understand your historical reference, and if U.S.A. is the Romans,
…then *WHO* is the “Germanics” this time…???…
What, China invades West Coast, while Russia invades East Coast CONUS…???…
…didn’t we drop MAD as a policy…???…
…suicidal enemies are the easiest to defeat…

It was in response to

“…How can the U.S. afford “hundreds” of “lobbyists”, but NOT be able to afford hundreds of Troops…???…The MIC is both so STOOPID, and so BIG, that it can’t defeat itself, but it’s to screwed up to NOT defeat itself…So, life goes on in America…”

In that their previously vaunted legions no longer had the Pixie Dust to keep the empire safe. At this point we are speaking in hypotheticals, and we are not yet at that point where people are crossing the Rhine on us. The Germanics of the future are unknown, it may be any of the rising powers of today, it may even be India instead of China, or a unified Middle East turning on us.

…Well, the “Rhine” must be Polar, Atlantic, Pacific, or Mexican border…Let’s see, 12+million illegal wetbacks, check…bogus synth-drugs from China, & India, check…
…a UNIFIED Middle East?.…now I know you’re crazy, “blight”…
…the MIC machine has grown so pervasive, that it can ONLY go to war AGAINST ITSELF…
…you don’t get that, do you, my friend…???…
…so, either humanity is genetically-coded for suicidality, or NOT…
…Singularity by 2045, posits Kurzweil…but it’ll be too late by then…We won…
Game Over…
…we’re just *Silent*Running*, now…(…great Bruce Dern flick, btw…)…
~silentum~:~excubitor~
.rides.legacy.773.

To quote a well know sage “we have met the enemy and it is ourselves”.

MMCS(SW)(SS) Ken Bdoian

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