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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Work Upbraids Congress over Opposition to Cost-Saving Reforms

  • October 1, 2014
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The almost universal rejection by lawmakers of a series of belt-tightening reforms to military compensation and weapons systems retirements proposed by the Pentagon will create an estimated $70 billion hole in its five-year budget, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told the Council on Foreign Relations this week. The department’s fiscal 2015 budget called for slashing the subsidy for commissaries and slowing increases in the basic allowance for housing, along with retiring its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft and other weapons. “These were what we considered to be pretty reasonable approaches, but Congress said ‘No …

Aberdeen PG Faces Loss of Chemical Battalion

  • September 30, 2014
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The 22nd Chemical Battalion, a 270-soldier unit responsible for assessing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats, may be relocated from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2016 or later, the post’s garrison commander said at a public meeting last month. While the number of personnel is relatively small compared to a workforce of 22,000, such a move would represent a significant portion of Aberdeen’s military component. Service members make up only 3 percent of the workers at the installation …

Ryan Sets Sights on ‘Medium’ Budget Deal

  • September 30, 2014
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A “grand bargain” budget agreement replacing the existing Budget Control Act spending caps with alternate deficit reduction measures most likely is off the table for the remainder of the Obama presidency, but a smaller-scale deal may be possible, says Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee. Ryan blames Obama’s unwillingness to consider wholesale reform of entitlement programs for the failure of Congress and the administration in recent years to reach a deal to get the nation’s debt under control. As a result, he is abandoning his pursuit of a comprehensive deficit reduction agreement …

Washington State Receives $4.3M DOD Grant to Prepare for Downsizing

  • September 29, 2014
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Washington state will received a $4.3 million grant from DOD to support local efforts to address the impact of potential downsizing of the military and the state’s defense industry, Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week. The grant, from the Office of Economic Adjustment, will help carry out a statewide strategy to minimize the impacts of military downsizing on regional businesses and communities. The plan, developed in collaboration with the Washington Military Alliance and the Department of Commerce, will: assess the extent of the military and defense contracting footprint in the state; create a strategy and support system to reduce the exposure of regional businesses that are overly reliant on defense spending …

House Republicans Question Defense Cuts amid Renewed Mideast Operations

  • September 29, 2014
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Senior House Republicans are questioning how the Pentagon can adhere to the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps at the same time it is forced to respond to the rise of the Islamic State and other missions around the globe. On Monday, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said the defense spending cap slated to be imposed in fiscal 2016 would create a challenge as the nation opposes the Islamic State, reported the Hill. “I don’t think sequestration and increased efforts in Syria, in Iraq are compatible,” Rogers said …

Chairmanship is ‘Thornberry’s to Lose,’ HASC Watcher Says

  • September 28, 2014
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Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) appears poised to become the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, though Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) has left the door open to seek the gavel, too. The current chairman, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), announced in January…

Military Families Enjoy Moderate Savings at Commissaries in Hampton Roads

  • September 23, 2014
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Military families and veterans shopping at a commissary in Hampton Roads, Va., save an average of 16.5 percent on their groceries compared to shopping at local retailers, according to a survey conducted by the Virginian-Pilot. The average savings differed, though, depending on what supermarket chain was used for comparison. Harris Teeter showed the biggest gap, costing 30.1 percent more for the basket of 30 randomly selected items. Walmart’s prices were only 11.4 percent more expensive than the commissary, and Kroger’s were 13.3 percent higher …

Lewis-McChord Could Lose Headquarters under Medical Command Reorganization Plan

  • September 23, 2014
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Western Regional Medical Command, which employs about 200 people at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., would close under an Army proposal intended to shrink overhead costs. The proposal, which has not yet been approved by the Army, would reduce the number of regional medical headquarters from five to four, reported the News Tribune. The Army Surgeon General’s office sent the proposal to employees at the installation’s Madigan Army Medical Center last week. It could be carried out as soon as 2016 …

Comments to Downsizing Analysis Surge Past 100,000, Army Says

  • September 22, 2014
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Defense communities have submitted more than 108,000 comments to Army Environmental Command in response to the service’s assessment of the environmental and economic impacts expected from shrinking its active-duty end strength by 70,000 troops by 2020. By the time officials finish counting all of the comments sent in response to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA), the total likely will surpass 110,000 comments, spokeswoman Cathy Kropp told Defense Communities 360. Of the 108,411 comments the command has processed, 105,119 were either form letters or petition signatures …

Budget Caps, Global Demands Jeopardize Army Response

  • September 21, 2014
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The fiscal 2016 budget Pentagon officials currently are working on could represent a “breaking point” if Congress fails to extend relief to the budget caps at the same time global threats continue to surface, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters Friday. The active Army, which now stands at 510,000 soldiers, is slated to drop to 490,000 by the end of FY 2015, 470,000 by FY 2016 and 420,000 by FY 2019. Earlier this year, Odierno testified that a reduction to 450,000 would pose a significant security risk, while an end strength of 420,000 would prevent the Army from carrying out its current strategy …

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