The vice chiefs of staff of the military services testified about the Pentagon’s budget at a Wednesday hearing of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee.
Lawmakers continued to question whether the budget leans too heavily on new technologies instead of current weapons systems.
Army Vice Chief of Staff General Joseph Martin said in his opening remarks that “readiness is fragile” without modernization.
“Relative to the challenges we face, our adversaries are achieving significant military advancements and now threaten many of our long-held advantages,” Martin said. “Technological progress is shifting the ground beneath our feet as we sit here and speak to each other. The world is changing, and the Army must change with it to meet future challenges.”
Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), the panel chair, said he also wants to see a focus on installation resiliency.
“For years, the services have taken considerable risk in the installation portfolio, deferring necessary maintenance and upgrades on existing buildings in order to fund new platforms and systems,” Garamendi said. “Deferring maintenance is a chronic issue.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), the top Republican on the subcommittee, said he is disappointed with the topline defense budget figure of $715 billion, and wants to see a 3% to 5% increase.
“We cannot and should not ask our men and women in uniform to prepare to execute an array of missions and tasks and then fail to provide them with the resources necessary to accomplish those assignments,” Lamborn said.
House Armed Services Committee video image