US CBO Reports on RESET Programs
DID’s FOCUS Article covering the US Army’s RESET maintenance programs shone a light on an under-appreciated aspect of defense spending. Now a Congressional Budget Office report says the US Army has received $38 billion to date to replace, repair, and recondition equipment that has been lost, damaged, or used extensively in conducting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Using any vehicle heavily will lead to maintenance needs, and combat usage is always far higher than non-combat usage; unsurprisingly, RESET and replacement requests have increased steadily from 2005 to 2007. The US Army has also said that it will continue to need approximately $13 billion annually for that purpose for as long as operations continue at their current pace – and for at least 2 years after hostilities cease.
In short, RESET needs are a big deal, and they are getting high level attention. The recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) paper [PDF Format, 1.2 MB] was prepared at the request of the House Armed Services Committee. It examines the Army’s requirements and the Administration’s RESET/replacement funding requests, developing estimates of annual costs and comparing them with the Army’s estimated requirements and the Administration’s funding requests. Nevertheless: “In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, the paper makes no recommendations.”