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Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Notations From the Grid (Mid-Week Edition): On the latest out of the ASUSA
As part of our on-going efforts, we hereby present the following courtesy the Association of the United States Army:
AUSA's Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members
1 Space Force Aids Army
The U.S. Space Force, the newest branch of the American military, has at least one major mission that is vital to the Army. Maintaining superiority in space is the first Space Force priority, defense officials said. That includes protecting freedom of operations in space, countering any efforts by adversaries to deny space capabilities to U.S. forces, allies, partners and even commercial assets.
What to Watch: The U.S. Army is the Defense Department’s biggest user of space-enabled equipment that provides communications, navigation and intelligence information, capabilities that give the service an operational advantage in combat. A standard brigade combat team has more than 2,500 items of space-dependent gadgets and gear.
2 Back for Retirement Benefits
Staff Sgt. Monte Gould left the Army Reserve in 2009 after a deployment to Afghanistan, just three years short of earning retirement benefits, a decision he now regrets. At age 59, he wants back in, losing 45 pounds to meet height and weight standards and applying for an age waiver.
What to Watch: Gould has been accepted on the condition that he make it through basic training, something he’ll attempt in June at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He made it through Marine basic training in 1978 when his military service began.
3 Housing Progress
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy says “positive steps forward” are being made to improve living conditions in installation housing, including finalizing a new fee structure for payments to the private housing companies that control most of the housing, giving them an incentive to put families first.
What to Watch: McCarthy pledges there will be quarterly town hall meetings at every installation so residents can raise concerns. Plus, he says the Army will hire 100 additional staff who will be responsible for overseeing maintenance.
4 Battle Buddies
In fast-moving battles, soldiers could benefit from sensor-laden manned and unmanned systems that provide real-time analysis of various threats and suggest recommended responses. These threat-recognition autonomous systems will require fast and secure mobile communications so soldiers can make the best use of the information.
The Army’s $178 billion budget request for fiscal year 2021 includes a 3% pay raise for soldiers and an emphasis on the service’s six modernization priorities. In addition to more than $12.7 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation, the Army also has realigned $2.4 billion through reforms and savings to invest in its cross-functional teams.