DOD could use a break from Congress’ recent mandates to restructure the department, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event Monday. “There have been a lot of [organizational changes] in the Pentagon,” Wilson said, reported CQ. “We need to just let the org chart boxes stay where they are this year and focus on things like personnel reform and some fine tuning of acquisition.” … At the same event, Army Secretary Mark Esper urged lawmakers to provide DOD with the flexibility to spend some of its fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance funding during the next fiscal year as the department is expected to secure an $80 billion boost over the statutory spending cap this year but will have less than six months to use the extra money. DOD is operating under a continuing resolution through March 23, at which point lawmakers hope to have passed an omnibus spending bill. “I’ve talked to several members, some of whom are appropriators. They have all expressed an eagerness to do something, they understand the problem we face,” Esper said, reported CQ. “They are sympathetic to it.” … The Army has submitted a rather modest, $308 million request to Congress for requirements that were left out of its $182 billion fiscal 2019 budget request last month. The service’s unfunded requirements list includes $153 million in cyber electromagnetic activities of the Rapid Capability Office, $25.4 million for an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance quick reaction capability, and $33.6 million to support the Korea Yongsan relocation plan and land partnership program, reports Defense News. The small request comes as the Army’s formal budget proposal calls for an 8 percent, or $13 billion, increase in spending over its previous year’s request.
Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Brian Domzalski