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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Army Communities Pull out All the Stops ahead of Listening Sessions

  • January 26, 2015
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The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance is asking area residents to wear green when Army officials visit next week to hear public comments about Fort Carson before the service deliberates over a second round of restructuring intended to shave its end strength to 420,000. The post could lose a maximum of 16,000 soldiers over the two rounds. “The Army is sending out some pretty significant officials,” Andy Merritt, who oversees military affairs for the alliance, told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “We certainly want to be able to make sure those guys go back with a positive view of what is going on here …

South Sound Stands up for JB Lewis-McChord

  • January 25, 2015
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More than 500 residents from many of the 15 communities that surround Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., made the case for shielding the installation from further cuts during a listening session the Army held last week to gather public input before it decides how to shrink the service’s end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. The installation located at the south end of Puget Sound already suffered the loss of about 5,000 soldiers during a previous round of Army downsizing. Now officials are considering eliminating up to 11,000 additional personnel during a second round of restructuring intended to cut the service’s end strength to 420,000. More than 60 people offered comments during the three-hour session. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) highlighted the support the state provides military personnel and their families as well as veterans …

Further Cuts to Follow Loss of Brigade at Ft. Carson

  • January 25, 2015
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The inactivation of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Carson earlier this month is slated to be followed by the loss of another unit later this year and potentially further cuts in the coming years after the Army figures out how to trim its end strength to 420,000. Many of the brigade combat team’s personnel will remain at the Colorado post, with 1,500 troops assigned to other units there and 2,700 soldiers relocated or separated, reported the Colorado Springs Independent. Later this year, an Apache helicopter unit is scheduled to move to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Also looming is the second round of Army restructuring needed to eliminate up to 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. Fort Carson could lose a maximum of 16,000 soldiers and civilian personnel over the two rounds …

Hagel Offers Warning on Spending Caps

  • January 22, 2015
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During what he called one of his last official news conferences, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters Thursday that many of the gains achieved by the military will be lost if lawmakers fail to provide DOD relief from the statutory spending cap for fiscal 2016. “The progress we have made will quickly evaporate if sequestration returns in 2016,” Hagel said. “We need long-term budget predictability and we need the flexibility to prioritize and make the difficult decisions … more effectively …

Thousands Turn out to Support Ft. Campbell at Listening Session

  • January 21, 2015
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Tuesday’s listening session at Fort Campbell, Ky., was marked by an overwhelming turnout, with an estimated 1,900 people filling seats at the post’s family resource center and two other venues receiving a live feed, and 2,500 others turned away. And with more than two dozen speakers making presentations in support of the installation and its host community, the session extended more than two hours after its scheduled ending time. In addition, the session was streamed online and broadcast on two radio stations. Afterward, the Army official in charge of the session — held to gather public input before deciding how to shrink the service’s end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020 — said the community did “an awesome job …

Thornberry Hopeful Lawmakers Will Relax Spending Cap

  • January 19, 2015
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Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he was optimistic Congress would relax the stringent cap on defense spending for fiscal 2016, but at the same time offered no clear strategy for achieving that aim. “I think we will find some way to improve the situation and I think we definitely should,” Thornberry told CQ last week. “And I really believe that most Republicans and Democrats in the House also agree with that — that there needs to be a fix to sequestration,” he said. The chairman acknowledged, however, that it is not clear how the two parties could strike a deal to lift the defense spending cap in the 2011 Budget Control Act …

Air Force Confirms Intention to Ask Congress for BRAC Authorization

  • January 15, 2015
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Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James on Thursday acknowledged DOD would be asking Congress to hold another BRAC round as part of the fiscal 2016 budget request. James, who was delivering a “State of the Air Force” briefing at the Pentagon along with Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, also told reporters that the new budget would ask to retire fleets of aging aircraft, including the A-10 Warthog, as it did last year. “We are going to be asking the Congress of course to eliminate sequestration, we will renew that call, as well as to allow us to get rid of excess base infrastructure. We’ll be renewing that as well. And we will once again ask for the authority to divest some of our older aircraft in order to free up money to plow back into people, readiness, and modernization …

Western Pennsylvania County Seeks to Recover from Defense Cutbacks

  • January 15, 2015
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Cambria County officials last week approved a $350,000 grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to revitalize Johnstown, Pa., following cuts in the local defense industry. “The main reason they approached us really is because of the amount of job cuts that our defense industry has experienced in the region,” John Dubnansky, county grant writer, told WTAJ News. The county will use the funds for several renovation projects including one to convert a building in downtown Johnstown so it can house college classrooms, retail space and a rooftop restaurant. “This is an economic development project for us to create jobs in the area versus just seeing job losses like we have had,” said Dubnansky. The county also will conduct a study to look at the region’s economic strengths, he said. “We’ve tailored this great opportunity to what our community needs were,” said Doug Lengenfelder, the county’s president commissioner.

Residents, Leaders Highlight Contribution Played by Ft. Eustis

  • January 15, 2015
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Local leaders on Tuesday highlighted the devastating impact a reduction of up to 4,200 soldiers and civilians at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., would have on the surrounding Hampton Roads region, during the Army’s seventh listening session devoted to the community impacts of shrinking the service’s active-duty end strength to 420,000 by fiscal 2020. “This base is so central to our community,” Newport News Councilwoman Sharon Scott said during the meeting attended by about 300 people. “You’re going to take away dollars, you’re going to take away businesses, you’re going to take away jobs. That is going to be so critical …

Budget Deal Will Be Difficult to Justify, Sessions Says

  • January 14, 2015
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Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Budget committees, says the bar will be relatively high for fiscal conservatives to sign off on an agreement to relax the Budget Control Act cap on defense spending. “I believe if people want to raise the defense cap, then they’re going to have to justify it,” Sessions told DefenseNews. “We’re going to have to talk about it, and we’re going to have to go to more than just general rhetoric but specific justifications because it doesn’t do any good to have … the Budget Control Act if we’re not going to adhere to it but [for] a year or two …

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