Stratcom determines necessary assets for DoD

As the U.S. Department of Defense faces shrinking budget cuts, U.S. Strategic Command is helping the DoD to determine what assets it requires and where they should be dedicated.

Stratcom is the DoD's global synchronizer for capabilities in every command including the ones dealing with cyberspace, space, missile defense and intelligence and reconnaissance and surveillance. Kenneth Callicutt, Stratcom's director of capability and resource integration, said the issue is that there will never be enough of these capabilities to satisfy the requests of each combatant commander.

"Every (combatant commander) wants more," Callicutt said. "But there are only so many Aegis ships and only so many radars that can be deployed."

The leaders of Stratcom weigh requirements against assets to determine how to best allocate available resources.

"We take the viewpoint of how to do this globally, taking into account everyone's requests," Callicutt said. "What we try to build is a common understanding of where we can get the best bang for the dollars we are spending to solve the common set of problems, and to synchronize those efforts across the department."

Callicutt said Stratcom has a team to walk through the analysis year by year for current allocations, but also future requirements. He said that by focusing too much on training and the ability to do something now, capability gaps could result in vital areas that cannot be quickly or easily filled. For instance, the development and deployment timeline for nuclear weapons can approach 35 years.

"So we maintain a very long time horizon here," Callicutt said. "The Defense Department relies on us to keep that longer-term view."

John Dodson, the DoD's chief of staff for capability and resource integration, said Stratcom helps the DoD to optimize its capabilities.

"We have to continue to prepare for the future while at the same time, executing today," Dodson said. "And how to do that has to be an informed discussion. One of the biggest contributions Stratcom brings to this discussion is its global view. It enables us to synchronize and optimize the capabilities out there. For the Defense Department, that is huge."

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