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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Army Launches Urgent Initiative to Cut Spending at Headquarters by 25 Percent

  • August 21, 2013
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Senior Army managers and officers have been given only several weeks to craft recommendations to achieve 25 percent cuts in funding and staffing levels at all Army headquarters elements at the two-star level and above, according to an Aug. 14 memo from Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno. “A comprehensive set of recommendations” from a newly established Army Focus Area Review Group is due by Sept. 11. The review group will include seven teams, covering institutional and operational headquarters reductions; operational force structure; readiness; acquisition workforce; installation services and investments; and intelligence and cyber …

Inspector General Cites Geospatial Agency for Violating BRAC Law

  • August 19, 2013
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By failing to close one of its leased facilities in northern Virginia, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) did not comply with the BRAC 2005 recommendations and spent $11.4 million that could have been avoided, according to a report released last week by the DOD Inspector General (IG). The last BRAC round called for the NGA to close multiple sites primarily in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington and relocate those offices to what is now the NGA Campus East at Fort Belvoir, Va. Instead, the agency continued operations at the leased facility in Newington, claiming it did not have the authority to close it, according to the IG report …

House Republicans Weighing ‘No-Drama’ CR

  • August 19, 2013
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By the time Congress returns to Capitol Hill next month, House Republican leaders probably will have a clear sense as to whether they will move a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running after Sept. 30 that will be palatable to Senate Democrats. Opting for that route would mean rejecting the call by many conservatives to use the fiscal 2014 stopgap spending measure to protest the Affordable Care Act. It also could point to a decision to fund government operations at an annual level of $988 billion, the discretionary topline for the current year …

House Lawmakers Press Navy on Impact of Eliminating Carriers

  • August 18, 2013
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In a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services’ Seapower Subcommittee express their concern about the impact of reducing the number of carrier strike groups from 11 to eight or nine, an option under consideration as the Pentagon attempts to cope with $500 billion in further spending cuts imposed under sequestration. “We understand that discussions at this time about future force structure decisions are based solely on potential approaches for dealing with sequestration,” Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee Chairman Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and ranking member Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) wrote Mabus last week …

Possible Consolidation of Regional Commands Would Eliminate Thousands of Positions

  • August 18, 2013
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The Pentagon is considering a handful of options for realigning its six regional combatant commands and eliminating thousands of military and civilian positions as the department struggles to find ways to absorb up to $500 billion in further budget cuts through fiscal 2021. Taken together, the realignments under discussion could eliminate two commands and eight service-supporting commands, totaling more than 5,000 service members and civilian employees, reports Defense News …

Senate Appropriators Support Drawdown from Lajes Field

  • August 8, 2013
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The Defense Department should try to minimize the local economic impact from the Air Force’s plan to consolidate its force structure and operations at Lajes Field on the Portuguese island of Terceira in the Azores, according to the report of the Senate Appropriations Committee that accompanies the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill. The committee said it recognizes the fiscal constraints prompting the Air Force’s planned drawdown at Lajes, but indicated it was concerned about the effect on host country civilian positions and the local economy …

Obama to Exempt Military Personnel from Sequestration in FY ’14

  • August 8, 2013
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President Obama plans to exempt military personnel from next year’s sequester cuts, as he did this year, reports CQ. The decision is significant as it means about $154 billion in spending on military personnel would be shielded from sequester cuts in fiscal 2014. The remainder of the Pentagon’s budget then would bear the brunt of an estimated $52 billion in automatic cuts next year …

Forbes at Odds with GOP Budget Cutters

  • August 7, 2013
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Caught in an internecine battle within the Republican Party over the primacy of defense spending, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), one of Congress’ staunchest defenders of the nation’s military, is uncertain whether fellow lawmakers will turn off $500 billion in defense cuts set to be imposed over the next eight years. With Congress moving toward a second year of automatic spending cuts, it’s impossible to know what will happen, Forbes told the Virginian-Pilot. “Nobody knows yet,” he said. “The president doesn’t know. The speaker doesn’t know. We don’t have a script written …

Potential Force Reductions Go Too Far, Experts Say

  • August 7, 2013
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Many of the scenarios outlined last week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to accommodate $500 billion in further spending cuts through fiscal 2021 would jeopardize national security, according to the panelists at a symposium sponsored by the Brookings Institution on Tuesday. “The kind of cuts to the U.S. Army being considered, I think, are highly imprudent and leave us catching onto the latest fad in warfare,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at Brookings. “We’ve made that kind of mistake before as a country; we shouldn’t make it now …

Officials to Draw up Plans for Force Reductions in FY ’14, Carter Says

  • August 7, 2013
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Defense officials are drawing up plans for possible reductions in force (RIFs) during fiscal 2014 to prepare for the likelihood that the department is required to find $52 billion in savings from its budget next year, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters Wednesday. “We can’t rule out RIFs and involuntary separations if there’s sequester in FY ’14,” Carter said. “We don’t know what our budget is, so we’re not in a position to make final decisions about what we’re going to do …

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