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Posts Tagged ‘debt ceiling agreement’

Southeastern Arizona Officials Attempt to Head Off Prospective Cuts at Ft. Huachuca

  • June 29, 2014
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Prompted by earlier indications that the Army was contemplating eliminating almost 50 percent of the personnel at Fort Huachuca as part of a looming round of force reductions that could shrink the service to an active-duty end strength of 420,000, officials representing Sierra Vista, Ariz., and the surrounding region have been scrambling to stave off the cuts. “We’re trying to get ahead of whatever curve you can get ahead of with something like this, and we are working to try and diversify our economy,” said Mignonne Hollis, executive director of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation …

Army Expands Scope of Basing Analysis beyond Operational Forces

  • June 29, 2014
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The Army assessment released last week of the impacts associated with trimming its active-duty end strength to 420,000 evaluates nine installations without significant operational forces that were not included in the analysis it completed last year before determining how it would shrink the service to 490,000 personnel. The 2013 analysis primarily focused on deactivating brigade combat teams at 21 candidate posts, but with the need to consider eliminating an additional 70,000 troops, officials expanded the latest assessment to its “generating force,” according to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) released Thursday by Army Environmental Command …

Despite Long Odds, BRAC Still Worth Fighting For, James Says

  • June 18, 2014
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Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James is pessimistic about the prospect that Congress will approve the Pentagon’s request for a new BRAC round in 2017, but believes DOD will continue trying to persuade lawmakers of its importance at a time when it is coping with stringent spending caps. “As a person who came out of business, the last things a corporation would do is spend money on facilities that are no longer needed,” James told defense reporters Wednesday. “You would never, never, never run a business this way. I realize government is not a business. But there are certain principles [that] make good common sense …

Emboldened Tea Party Republicans Could Slow Progress on Spending Bills

  • June 15, 2014
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With Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the favorite to replace Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as House majority leader following his stunning primary defeat last week, House leadership’s goal of passing all 12 individual spending bills before the new fiscal year begins seemingly will remain on track. McCarthy, an establishment Republican, supported the December budget deal relaxing Budget Control Act spending caps for fiscal 2014 and 2015 and, as result, favors the overall spending levels reflected in next year’s appropriations bills over the option of a continuing resolution …

Senate Panel Requests Details on Army Process for Making End Strength Reductions

  • June 10, 2014
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With the Army undergoing an effort to determine which installations will lose brigade combat teams (BCTs) as it plans to trim its active-duty end strength below 490,000, the Senate Armed Services Committee is directing the service to describe the decision-making processes and analytical methodologies it will employ. The Army has said it will need to eliminate an additional 40,000 troops to reach an end strength of 450,000 by fiscal 2017 to meet Budget Control Act spending caps …

‘Money Isn’t Coming Back Soon,’ Analyst Says

  • June 6, 2014
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The steady decline in defense spending on both products and services almost certainly isn’t turning around anytime soon, according to a panel of defense industry experts appearing Thursday at the Defense Communities National Summit. DOD’s total obligations were down 16 percent from fiscal 2012 to 2013, said David Berteau, senior vice president and director of the national security program on industry and resources at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Contract spending dropped 25 percent since 2008, while spending on pay and benefits rose over that five-year period …

House Spending Bill Rejects Many DOD Cost-Cutting Proposals

  • May 29, 2014
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The $491 billion fiscal 2015 defense spending bill unveiled Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee ignores many of the Pentagon’s plans for cutting back programs aimed at keeping its budget under next year’s statutory spending cap. The draft measure includes $789 million to refuel the USS George Washington in a reversal of DOD’s budget request, which assumes the carrier would be retired to save money. The bill also includes language barring the Army from shifting the Army National Guard’s fleet of Apache attack helicopters to active-duty forces …

Republican Gains in Midterm Election May Not Translate into Spending Gains for DOD

  • May 28, 2014
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It’s not clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate, considered a solid prospect in the midterm election, would result in a spending boost for the Pentagon or other policy changes beneficial to the defense industry. With a Democratic president still in the White House for two more years and the House still controlled by the Republicans, gridlock likely would continue on Capitol Hill no matter who controls the Senate, reported Politico …

Senate Committee Will Try to Preserve A-10 Fleet, Levin Says

  • May 13, 2014
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Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that he and other senior members of the panel will try to find an offset to pay for the cost of operating the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. The committee, however, won’t follow the lead of its counterpart in the House, which last week voted to preserve the aircraft through fiscal 2015 by allocating $635 million from DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to cover the cost. “We’re going to try to save it …

Authorization Bill Places Pentagon on Path toward ‘Hollow’ Military

  • May 12, 2014
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By voting to block most of the Pentagon’s proposals for coping with stringent spending caps imposed through fiscal 2021, the House Armed Services Committee last week could jeopardize the military’s readiness while raising questions as to how DOD will meet the mandated budget limits starting in FY 2016. “When we are told we can’t reduce infrastructure, we can’t retire weapons systems, we can’t change pay, compensation, health care, what’s left … is readiness and modernization,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters over the weekend. “So we are going to have to raid our readiness accounts and our modernization account …

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