Geopolitical, Budget Challenges Vex Service Planners

May 10, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The U.S. armed services must plan around sustaining their core competencies to ensure future joint operations, said the commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Adm. John T. Harvey, USN, warned the Tuesday luncheon audience at the 2011 Joint Warfighting Conference in Virginia Beach that each service must refocus to ensure that they can contributed effectively to future joint operations. No one can predict what the future holds, as too many changes are taking place in the political and natural world. "Profound uncertainty with violent a rate of change is the salient characteristic of the age in which we live," the admiral declared. Given that uncertainty, the services must plan so that they are not unable to contributed to a joint mission. Budget cuts are coming-"White water ahead as far as the eye can see"-and the services must be able to sustain their defining capabilities, as no service will have the funds to re-procure the force as they have in the past. The foundation of the joint force is composed of contributing service units that are whole-well equipped, well trained, operating with confidence-provided by each of the services, he continued. Without that contribution, the joint force will not succeed. "The individual services must be properly resourced to deliver whole units to carry out their missions-especially in service unique missions-in a joint environment," the admiral explained. With reduced funding, the services will have to make tough decisions on how they will deliver their core competencies.

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