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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Sequester Would Force Army to Trim National Guard, Reserves

  • February 23, 2012
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After crafting a long-term spending plan that largely spared the National Guard and Army Reserve from personnel cuts, the Army would have to impose significant reductions on reservists in the event DOD is forced to identify an additional $500 billion in budget savings through 2021, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno told reporters this week.

The fiscal 2013 budget request unveiled last week calls for the number of active-duty soldiers to drop from 570,000 to 490,000 by 2017. The plan sets the end strength of the National Guard at 350,000 and the Reserve at 205,000.

Budget sequestration — the result of the congressional debt supercommittee’s failure last fall to reach a deficit reduction agreement — would require the Army to eliminate up to 100,000 additional soldiers from the active and reserve components, Odierno said, according to the Watertown Daily Times.

“You’re going to see reductions in both, and they’ll be pretty significant,” he said. Odierno stated that the cuts would be “in the tens of thousands,” but said he has not yet decided on the mix between cuts to active-duty forces versus reserve troops.

Regarding the possibility of new BRAC rounds, the chief of staff said the Army achieved a high degree of transformation in the 2005 round. As a result, the next round would just be “culling around the edges”; larger installations will “just reduce populations,” he said, reported the Times.

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