FY2018 FVL Actions

US Army Establishes Futures & Modernization Command; FVL is a Top Priority

(On Oct. 3, 2017, US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and Acting Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy disseminated a memorandum entitled, “Modernization Priorities for the United States Army.” It listed Future Vertical Lift (FVL) as the third of six modernization priorities:

  1. Long-Range Precision Fires capability
  2. A Next Generation Combat Vehicle
  3. Future of Vertical Lift [sic] platforms: “attack, lift, recon – in manned, unmanned, and optionally-manned variants that are survivable on the modern and future battlefield.”
  4. The Army Network
  5. Air and Missile Defense capabilities
  6. Soldier lethality

The memo stated: “Today, our Army is not institutionally organized to deliver modern, critical capabilities to Soldiers and combat formations quickly. Our current modernization system is an Industrial Age model. It was sufficient for past threats but insufficient to ensure future overmatch and rapid procurement of the six modernization priorities.”

To remedy the situation, the Army “will establish unity of command and unity of effort that consolidates the modernization process under one roof.” The memo also announced the establishment of “responsive cross-functional teams for each of the six modernization priorities” with the intent to “reduce the ‘time to deliver’ for the new systems we need to regain our competitive advantage before the next first battle.”

On Oct. 6, McCarthy signed "Army Directive 2017-24 (Cross-Functional Team Pilot In Support of Materiel Development)."

Subsequently, the Army requested that the White House Office of Management and Budget allow the service to redistribute more than $1B in science and technology investments over 2019-2023, in order to provide more resources to the “Big Six” modernization priorities.

McCarthy said that a Futures & Modernization Command (FMC) will be established in mid-2018 to keep these Big Six programs on track. Transition planning efforts are being headed by Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, the director of the Army’s Office of Business Transformation. In two briefings at the AUSA Annual Summit, McCarthy [video] and Milley [video, comments at 44:30] clarified these and other efforts. 

Brig. Gen. Walter (Wally) Rugen will lead the FVL cross-functional team. Rugen is currently the Deputy Division Commander for Support at the Army’s 7th Infantry Division. He previously spent three years at Army Headquarters in the Pentagon as Chief of Aviation Force Development and then Director of Materiel. From 1995 to 2009, Rugen held various special operations assignments.

More Congressional Support for FVL

On Nov. 21, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its Department of Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal 2018. Included in the bill was an additional $5M for Aviation Advanced Technology, the funding line that contains the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) technology demonstration, the science and technology component of FVL. The mark appears in two places in the FY2018 Senate SAC-D Report, on pg. 152 and pg. 156. This is the first time that the US Senate has added a plus-up for FVL. 

These additional funds, like the $10M that the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee approved in June, resulted from advocacy by AHS, the Vertical Lift Consortium (VLC) and our industry members.

The difference between these two Defense Appropriations bills will be adjudicated in a joint conference. If successful, this will mark the fourth straight year that the AHS/VLC/industry advocacy effort has resulted in a substantial increase in funds for JMR/FVL. At the behest of AHS-VLC advocacy, 11 members of Congress signed a Letter to the FY18 Conference Committee, dated Dec. 18, 2017, urging them to support the full $10M recommended by the House. 

AHS will continue to work with our partners and our representatives in the US Congress to support robust funding of Future Vertical Lift in the coming years. 

Updated Dec. 29, 2017