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Posts Tagged ‘automatic spending cuts’

Decision on Next Round of Army Restructuring Expected by Next Summer

  • December 14, 2014
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The Army likely won’t announce until June how it will realign its forces as it eliminates up to 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020, according to comments made at a listening session for Fort Leavenworth, Kan., last week. The Army — which already is slated to trim its active-duty forces from 562,000 to 490,000 by the end of FY 2015 — now is gathering public input at 30 installations with the potential to lose between 2,500 and 16,000 military and civilian personnel by the end of a second round of troop cuts needed to accommodate stringent budget caps. If Congress does not offer the Pentagon any relief from the spending caps, the Army’s active-duty end strength could fall to 420,000 …

BRAC Tops the Alternative, McHugh Says

  • December 10, 2014
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A new round of base closures would be the least painful way for the military to cope with the spending cuts forced by the 2011 Budget Control Act, Army Secretary John McHugh said during a ceremony this week at Fort Drum honoring the 10th Mountain Division. One alternative to BRAC that would generate savings for the Army would be to continue downsizing actions at installations across the country, as was the case earlier this year when the post experienced the loss of a brigade and about 1,500 soldiers …

Defense Spending Will Dominate Next Secretary’s Schedule

  • December 8, 2014
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Ashton Carter, President Obama’s nominee to succeed Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, is not expected to face an arduous confirmation in the Senate, but he will be confronted with major tests over the department’s budget as soon as he takes the helm at the Pentagon. When Carter arrives DOD’s fiscal 2016 budget request most likely will be completed, leaving him the exercise of selling the proposal — which is expected to exceed the Budget Control Act spending cap by $36 billion — on Capitol Hill …

FY’16 Budget Request Expected to Exceed Spending Cap by $36B

  • December 7, 2014
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The Pentagon’s fiscal 2016 budget request is expected to surpass the corresponding Budget Control Act spending cap by $36 billion, bringing its base budget request in line with its long-planned $535 billion top line, Defense News reported. The higher figure was approved last week by the Office of Management and Budget, according to the story. The gap between DOD’s topline for its next five-year budget, which will cover FY 2016-2020, and the spending caps is expected to jump from $115 billion to $147 billion due to a request from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which says it cannot carry out the current national security strategy without additional resources …

Defense Budget Insufficient to Meet Strategic Guidance, Independent Panel Concludes

  • December 2, 2014
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The defense budget is inadequate to meet the Pentagon’s strategic requirements, even in the absence of threats which emerged over the past year, two members of an independent panel formed to assess the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Michèle Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, said the Budget Control Act spending caps pose “a threat to national security” and could jeopardize the lives of service members if another conflict were to arise. Congress should approve the department’s proposals to slash spending through a new BRAC round and reform military compensation …

Compensation Panel Not Aiming to Solve Pentagon Budget Challenges, Commissioner Says

  • December 1, 2014
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The Defense Department should not pin its hopes on finding major budget savings in the final report of a nine-member commission established by Congress to review military compensation, according to one member of the commission. “We’re going to work on what’s important to properly recruit and retain and resource the force necessary for the war after next,” former Congressman Stephen Buyer (R), who represented Indiana for nine terms, told Stars and Stripes. “I have told leadership at the Pentagon that their present budget issue is not my problem. Don’t look to me to solve your present budget problem. If you’ve got issues with sequester, then you deal with that with the Congress. That’s not my job …

Army Realignment Should Be Conducted under BRAC, Community Leaders Say

  • November 23, 2014
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The decision-making process the Army is using to shrink its active-duty end strength to 420,000 by fiscal 2020 lacks transparency, say leaders in two Army communities that stand to lose thousands of troops as officials decide what installations will lose up to 70,000 soldiers. Instead, the Army’s force structure realignments should be made through a formal BRAC round, they say. “No one is comfortable with the process of this whole drawdown and the way it’s being managed. The citizens at large, Congress, the Army — nobody’s happy with this process. … The meat-cleaver approach that is being taken to defense spending is unconscionable,” said John Crutchfield, president and CEO of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce …

Emerging Threats Upend Assumptions behind Sequestration, Odierno Says

  • November 19, 2014
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Reductions in the size of the Army forced by the Budget Control Act spending caps need to be reconsidered given the emergence of multiple global threats over the past year, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Wednesday. Many of the assumptions made when officials decided to shrink the size of the active-duty Army — initially to 490,000 and now to about 440,000 — have not played out as planned. “We made assumptions that we wouldn’t be using Army forces in Europe the way we used to. We made assumptions that we wouldn’t go back into Iraq. We are back in Iraq. Here we are worried about Russia again …

Armed Services Leaders Split over Military Compensation Reforms

  • November 19, 2014
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Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees negotiating a compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill remain at an impasse over two DOD proposals intended to save billions of dollars in military benefit costs through FY 2019. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the outgoing chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday it’s worth “fighting for” the reforms advocated by Pentagon leaders. One would slow the growth in the basic allowance for housing below the rate of inflation over the next three years so that the benefit only covers 95 percent of average rental costs. The other would increase pharmacy co-pays for prescriptions filled outside of military treatment facilities …

Incoming Armed Services Chairs Decry Strict Spending Caps

  • November 19, 2014
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Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who will lead the House Armed Services Committee starting in January, on Wednesday urged his fellow lawmakers to reverse the stringent spending caps imposed on the Pentagon by the Budget Control Act. “Obviously that’s a big issue. [The] Armed Services Committee cannot solve that problem, but it needs to be solved and so working with others, we’re going to do our best to try to solve it,” Thornberry told reporters, according to the Hill. After being selected by the House Republican Steering Committee for the chairmanship on Tuesday, the House Republican conference affirmed his selection on Wednesday …

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