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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Senate Hearing to Provide Joint Chiefs Chance to Defend Cuts in Benefits

  • April 17, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee is providing the Joint Chiefs of Staff a rare opportunity to make clear the tradeoff between accepting the changes in military pay and compensation the Pentagon has proposed or risking further deterioration in the military’s readiness. The May 6 hearing is slated to include testimony from all seven of the four-star officers that make up the Joint Chiefs of Staff. To mitigate the impact of spending caps initially mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act, defense officials have looked for savings in skyrocketing personnel costs. The cutbacks to compensation included in the department’s five-year budget would save $2.1 billion next year and $30 billion through fiscal 2019 …

Air Force to Eliminate 2,700 Civilian Positions in FY’15

  • April 16, 2014
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The Air Force plans to trim its civilian workforce from 186,026 employees to 183,328 through a combination of early retirements, buyouts and attrition. The elimination of 2,698 positions comes as the Air Force searches for ways to cope with spending caps first mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act, reports the Federal Times. “Our entire workforce — military, civilian and contractor — must be appropriately sized to support and execute our piece of the National Defense Strategy while concurrently considering fiscal realities …

Pay, Benefits Reform is Needed, Marine Corps’ Enlisted Leader Tells Lawmakers

  • April 15, 2014
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The highest ranking enlisted Marine is under fire from his own troops after telling a congressional panel that a deterioration in readiness due to sequestration is more harmful to personnel than moderate cuts to pay and benefits. Marines are not running around thinking about “compensation, benefits or retirement modernization,” Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett told the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee last week …

DOD Report Reveals Extent of Facility Budget Cuts under Spending Caps

  • April 15, 2014
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Spending on installation services, facilities sustainment and military construction would be trimmed by $17.5 billion if the defense budget were held at sequester levels from fiscal years 2016-2019, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pentagon. The Army would be forced to make the most far-reaching reductions to installation services, with the report projecting it would need to cut spending by $3.8 billion over the four-year period. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are projected to cut installations services spending by a total of $1.0 billion from FY 2016-2019, compared to the department’s five-year spending plan submitted as part of its FY 2015 budget request …

Senate to Take up Milcon Spending Next Month

  • April 10, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to mark up the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill before the end of May, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said Thursday. Mikulski said the milcon measure “definitely will be the first” spending bill her committee marks up as the House and Senate Appropriations committees attempt to coordinate their schedules, reported CQ. But the schedules won’t be identical …

Appropriators Highlight Deficiencies at DOD Facilities

  • April 10, 2014
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The House Appropriations Committee cited a variety of shortcomings in DOD’s military construction program, including a lack of priority placed on projects that affect safety and health, and antiquated dining facilities at several joint bases, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. “The committee believes that the Department of Defense should consider more than the mission requirements and training objectives of installations when prioritizing MILCON projects …

Battle over A-10 Heats up on Capitol Hill

  • April 10, 2014
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Republican lawmakers and local officials on Thursday pledged to save the A-10 attack aircraft from an Air Force proposal to retire the fleet in the face of strict spending caps originally mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The challenge for the lawmakers, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), is finding an offset to make up for the $3.5 billion the Air Force intends to save by eliminating the aircraft that specializes in close air support, reported Defense News. “I am working this issue with my colleagues,” Ayotte told reporters …

Army Drawdown Would Require Large Cut in Brigades, Odierno Says

  • April 9, 2014
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If the full force of sequestration returns in fiscal 2016, the Army would be forced to eliminate up to 46 percent of its active-duty brigade combat teams, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Those cuts would be accompanied by a 22 percent reduction in brigade combat teams from the National Guard, Odierno told the panel. Those changes would result in the Army going from a mix of 51 percent active and 49 percent reserve component personnel, to a 46 percent active and 54 percent reserve-component split …

BRAC Is Only Way to Alleviate Excess Capacity, Hammack Tells Lawmakers

  • April 8, 2014
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The Army’s top installations official made the case for a new BRAC round during a Capitol Hill hearing last week, citing the service’s declining force structure and recent efforts to downsize its footprint in Europe. “The best and proven way to address excess and shortfalls in facility requirements in a cost-effective and fair manner is through the BRAC (base realignment and closure) Commission process,” said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment …

SASC Members Launch Effort to Reverse Spending Cuts

  • April 8, 2014
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Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee plan on holding informal discussions on ways to loosen the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps. Congress has provided partial relief to the automatic cuts in the first three years of sequestration, but starting in fiscal 2016 they are slated to be fully imposed, amounting to more than $50 billion in spending reductions annually. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said the committee is well-suited to tackle the issue because it’s bipartisan, broadly representative of both parties and more familiar with the impact of sequestration than other committees since DOD represents half of the spending cuts. Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) previously has talked about the effort. “I don’t know where it’s going. I just wanted to open up a discussion in the committee about what to do about sequester instead of just complaining about it,” King told the Hill on Tuesday.

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