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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Air Force Explanation over Dismantling of Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing Unsatisfactory, Tillis Says

  • March 25, 2015
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Questions regarding Air Force moves to deactivate Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing even before it issues a congressionally mandated report justifying the action remain unanswered even after a long-awaited meeting with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said Wednesday. “The Air Force continues to state that removing airmen from the 440th does not constitute an attempt to shutter the air wing, despite the fact that C-130s cannot be flown without pilots and maintainers,” Tillis said following the meeting with James and Rep. Renee Ellmers. “Additionally, the secretary of the Air Force has not yet provided the metrics and policy rationale underlying the Air Force’s decision regarding Pope Airfield …

DOD Should Consider Trimming Civilian Workforce to Generate Savings, Defense Analysts Say

  • March 22, 2015
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One area the Pentagon should target to slash spending is its civilian workforce, four defense analysts said March 16 at a Cato Institute forum. The number of civilian workers has grown since 2009, even as the size of the armed forces has been shrinking, said Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. The Pentagon has not kept good records of the number of civilian workers it has, Eaglen pointed out, making it difficult to craft plans to roll back the size of the workforce. Conducting a round of base closures would be another way to find budget savings, the experts said …

Community Braces for Potential Changes at Ft. Drum

  • March 17, 2015
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Officials in northern New York are alarmed over the prospect that Fort Drum potentially could lose a total of 16,000 soldiers and civilians as the Army deliberates over a second round of restructuring slated to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 420,000. The post will experience a net loss of 1,500 personnel following an earlier round of restructuring when officials decided to eliminate one of its brigade combat teams. But now local officials are focusing on the worst-case scenario for the North Country region and placing heightened importance on the listening session scheduled for Friday, reported the Post-Standard. “I would tell you that this is very real, and there’s a real potential that we could take significant cuts here at Fort Drum,” said Col. Gary Rosenberg, Fort Drum’s garrison commander …

DOD May Need to Rely on War Account to Make up Budget Shortfall, Thornberry Says

  • March 16, 2015
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If the fiscal 2016 budget resolution fails to provide spending beyond the statutory cap for DOD, lawmakers may use the Pentagon’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account, which is not subject to the cap, to provide the department more funding, Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters Monday. There are “a number of options that are being looked at,” he said, reported the Hill. “We’re just going to have to take it step by step and see.” Thornberry told reporters he and other committee members have discussed the possibility of increasing defense spending with members of the House Budget Committee …

DOD Grant Helps South Carolina Defense Firms Diversify

  • March 16, 2015
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Two state agencies in South Carolina are helping defense businesses diversify into other industries through a $700,000 grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. The initiative — offered through the Department of Employment and Workforce and the Department of Commerce — is intended to help businesses in the defense industry prepare for reductions in spending by DOD. The program offers companies support in strategic planning, sales and marketing, lean product development and quality certifications, reported GSA Business. Two industries that defense firms are being encouraged to pursue are aerospace and automotive …

Army Installations Fight Uphill Battle against Sequestration

  • March 15, 2015
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Mandatory spending caps in the past three years have taken a toll on Army readiness as reductions in installation support have hurt spending on training facilities and soldier and family readiness programs, Lt. Gen. David Halverson, commander of Installation Management Command, said Tuesday at an Association of the U.S. Army forum. “A near-term threat to our effectiveness is sequestration. … It can’t be ignored,” said Halverson, who also serves as assistant chief of staff for installation management. “The Army has been on a tight budget for a few years … fiscal year 2015 doesn’t look any better …

No Avoiding BRAC under Budget Constraints, Graham Says

  • March 11, 2015
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A new round of base closures will be needed if lawmakers keep the statutory caps on defense spending in place,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said at a hearing of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. “At the end of the day, as much as we all love our bases, we’re going to have to address this problem,” Graham said, reported CQ. “And if we want to insist upon sequestration,” he said, “then we’d better be willing to go back home and tell people, ‘You can’t get there from here and every base that’s open today is not going to survive …

Army Listening Session Underscores Ft. Gordon’s Growth Plans

  • March 11, 2015
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In contrast to the two dozen listening sessions held in other communities over the past several months, speakers at Tuesday’s meeting about Fort Gordon focused on the post’s opportunities for growth following the move of Army Cyber Command to the Augusta, Ga., installation. “I think what the community should be confident in is the type of forces we have at Fort Gordon right now. Those are ones that are in high demand,” Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, the post’s commander, said after the meeting. “If you think about high-demand, low-density forces — intel, signal, cyber — that’s really what we have here at Fort Gordon. What I’m confident in is that demand is going to continue into the future …

Reserve Fund Plan May Draw Necessary Support for Budget Resolution

  • March 11, 2015
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Republican lawmakers have come up with a maneuver that may satisfy both defense and fiscal hawks as the House and Senate Budget committees craft a fiscal 2016 budget resolution, but it wouldn’t solve the underlying dispute over whether Congress will raise the $523 billion national security spending cap. Under the idea that has been discussed, the Budget committees would establish a reserve fund, which would allow the discretionary spending limits in the budget resolution to be raised later in the year as long as the new spending is offset by either other spending cuts or revenue increases, reported CQ. The resolution still would set FY 2016 spending at the Budget Control Act limits …

McCain Pledges to Shield A-10s from Air Force’s Retirement Plans

  • March 9, 2015
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Sen. John McCain on Friday vowed to reverse the Air Force’s recent decision to place nine A-10 close air support aircraft based at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson into backup status. Officials last year proposed retiring the entire fleet of nearly 300 A-10s to save about $4 billion. Lawmakers rejected that plan in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill but included language permitting the Air Force to place up to 36 A-10s this fiscal year into backup status, reported the Arizona Daily Star. “That was a compromise that was made last year in response to the Air Force’s misguided attempt to retire all the A-10s …

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