This week the Military Department Secretaries and Service Chiefs testified before the Armed Services Committees on U.S. military posture and the FY2011 budget. Secretary of the Army, John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff, GEN George Casey told the House and Senate Committees that the budget addresses the Army’s two major challenges—“restoring balance and setting conditions for the future.” To restore balance, the Army will: 1) sustain soldiers and their families; 2) prepare forces for current conflict; 3) reset and rebuild returning units to achieve improved readiness; and 4) transform to meet future challenges. For the future, the witnesses stated, the Army needs a force that is a mix of networked organizations, operates on a rotational cycle, and provides a sustained flow of trained and ready forces operating at a sustainable tempo. Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, Navy Chief of Staff, ADM Gary Roughead, and Commandant of the Marine Corps, GEN James Conway testified that the Navy’s budget supports the QDR priorities to: 1) prevail in today’s wars, 2) prevent and deter conflict; 3) prepare for the future; and 4) enhance the all-volunteer force. Secretary Mabus told the committees that the Navy plan will maintain a commitment to a strong industrial base. The shipbuilding and aviation programs sustain U.S. naval superiority and achieve a balance of capability and affordability. Witnesses stressed that the Navy’s plan is based on four imperatives: 1) care for sailors, marines, civilians and families; 2) give prominence to energy as a national security issue; 3) create acquisition excellence; and 4) optimize unmanned systems. Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff, GEN Norton Schwartz, appearing before the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), stated that the Air Force’s FY2011 budget request achieves “the right balance between providing capabilities for today’s commitments and posturing for future challenges.” They emphasized that the budget enhances the ability of the Air Force to take care of Airmen and their families. The Air Force budget supports the strategic priorities of the QDR. Witnesses stressed that the Air Force made a determined recapitalization choice to improve existing capabilities where possible and develop new systems when needed. Secretary Donley underscored that this recapitalization strategy will allow the Air Force to keep up with existing and new threats. You can view a video webcast of the hearings on the House and Senate Committee web sites.