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Posts Tagged ‘automatic spending cuts’

Prospect of Further Army Downsizing Generates Massive Public Response

  • September 1, 2014
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Army Environmental Command (AEC) has received tens of thousands of public comments to the service’s assessment of the environmental and economic impacts from shrinking its active-duty end strength to 420,000 troops by 2020, far surpassing the response last year to the analysis prepared for a previous round of cuts. As of last Wednesday, the command had received more than 40,000 public comments from supporters of the 30 installations included in the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA), with additional deliveries yet to be counted. The deadline for submitting comments was Aug. 25 …

Army Task Force Hashes out Force Structure Changes, Other Strategic Issues

  • August 26, 2014
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Army Undersecretary Brad Carson, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John Campbell and other senior Army leaders have been meeting weekly to figure out the best way for the service to address a variety of strategic decisions, including personnel cuts and other changes stemming from stringent spending caps. “The future [decisions] will be about all of the issues you can imagine … from controlling compensation, cyber and the Army strategic planning process,” Carson said of the forums. “There are probably 20 or 30 different budget issues and programming issues that are important in the Army …

Campaign to Support Ft. Benning Gains Foothold in Face of New Round of Cuts

  • August 24, 2014
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With the deadline fast approaching for the Chattahoochee Valley to demonstrate its support for Fort Benning, Ga., while the Army considers eliminating up to 70,000 soldiers by 2020, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce redoubled its effort to boost the number of public comments submitted to the Army. The initiative seems to be working as support for the post has grown ahead of the Aug. 25 deadline established by Army Environmental Command to accept public comments to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment now under way …

Central Kentucky Officials Seek Community Support to Fend off Cuts at Ft. Knox

  • July 21, 2014
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Local and state officials in Kentucky’s Heartland are urging residents in communities neighboring Fort Knox to write the Army in support of the post as the service considers where to eliminate personnel as it further shrinks its active-duty end strength. “We need the public’s help in making our case,” said Brad Richardson, president and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the group One Knox. The supplemental programmatic environmental assessment released by the Army last month evaluated a maximum reduction at Fort Knox of 5,954 soldiers and 1,651 civilians …

Appropriations Panel Blocks Most Cost-Saving Reforms

  • July 17, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a $490 billion fiscal 2015 defense spending bill that rejects many of the Pentagon’s cost-savings proposals intended to comply with the Budget Control Act spending caps. The measure blocks DOD’s plan to slash subsidies for military grocery stores by $200 million in FY 2015; however, it embraced one of the department’s reforms — limiting housing allowances below the rate of inflation. The plan to slow the growth in the basic allowance for housing would save $8.8 billion in personnel costs over the next five years, according to a committee summary of the spending bill …

Wittman Tries to Raise the Profile of ‘Readiness’

  • July 15, 2014
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The budget accounts that fund military readiness, operation and maintenance, typically suffer disproportionate cuts when the defense budget needs to be trimmed in the near term because other accounts often are tied up in long-term spending commitments. But while operation accounts are seen as a convenient place to take budget cuts, Virginia Rep. Rob Wittman (R), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, would like to change that perception, especially as the Pentagon needs to cope with steeper cuts in the coming years …

North Country Officials Focus on Potential School Cuts Triggered by Army Drawdown

  • July 13, 2014
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Under the worst-case scenario considered by the Army in its analysis of the impacts of trimming its active-duty end strength to 420,000, Fort Drum, N.Y., would lose up to 16,000 personnel. If the full reductions were realized, the economic consequences would overwhelm the region as the post’s total population of soldiers and civilians is only 19,000. Similarly, such an outcome would devastate area schools that support Fort Drum personnel, resulting in a 60 percent reduction in enrollment at public schools and a one-third cut in the number of students at the community college in neighboring Watertown …

Replacing Uniformed Personnel with Civilians Would Save Billions, CBO Says

  • July 10, 2014
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The Pentagon could save $19 billion from fiscal 2014-2023 by replacing 70,000 service members with civilian employees, according to a recent presentation by a Congressional Budget Office analyst. The 70,000 military personnel could be replaced with only 47,000 civilian workers partially because civilians have fewer ancillary responsibilities, reported Army Times. Other advantages to using civilians include savings from lower costs for pay and benefits, less frequent transfers and a reduced need for job-specific training …

Once More unto the Breach: Central Louisiana Leaders Urge Support for Ft. Polk

  • July 6, 2014
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One year after a local outpouring of support for Fort Polk helped to bolster the post’s position amid an effort to trim the Army’s active-duty end strength to 490,000, area leaders again beseeched the public to act to prevent the installation from losing up to 60 percent of its personnel. “Last year, for the first time, we changed the perception of Fort Polk by the Army,” Michael Reese, chairman of Fort Polk Progress, said at a press conference Wednesday. The Army received about 4,300 responses from area residents last year during the public comment period as it assessed how to restructure its brigade combat teams …

Budget Constraints Should Force DOD to Focus on Primary Foes, CSIS Concludes

  • July 6, 2014
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With the Pentagon’s budget slated to drop 21 percent from 2012 to 2021, the military’s priority should be to modernize its existing forces and to ensure it maintains its technological superiority in preparation for a conflict with Russia or China, according to a new study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Preparing for a “great power conflict” would mean maintaining its nuclear triad of long-range bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Such an approach also would call for an emphasis on special operations forces and heavy ground units, along with a focus on surveillance in air and space …

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