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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

JBLM to Lose Medical Headquarters

  • July 9, 2015
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The Army’s Western Regional Medical Command will be moving to Hawaii, costing Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., about 60 jobs and a command position for a two-star general, officials confirmed this week. The move comes as the Army is consolidating its five regional medical commands into four headquarters. The medical command will relocate to Honolulu, home of the Army’s Pacific headquarters, reported the News Tribune. A deputy commander for the medical command, a position most likely assigned to a brigadier general, will remain at JBLM and focus on patient care throughout the Pacific …

Planning Agency to Craft Diversification Plan following loss of Aviation Brigade at Ft. Campbell

  • July 9, 2015
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The Pennyrile Area Development District will receive a $393,348 community adjustment assistance grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment to mitigate the loss of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell, Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield (R) announced last week. The planning district for western Kentucky will use the funds to put together an economic diversification and growth plan for a six-county region in Kentucky and Tennessee. The plan will examine earlier and proposed reductions; assess the impacts of those reductions; identify and analyze the capacity of the region in several key areas; and define strategies for local, regional and state leadership needed to mitigate impacts and spur growth in the area …

Army Set to Announce Cuts in Force Structure

  • July 8, 2015
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The Army’s announcement as to how it will shrink its active-duty end strength by 40,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal 2017 is expected Thursday, with congressional delegations and defense committees likely being notified on Wednesday, according to defense community officials and Washington insiders. The Army has not commented on the pending announcement, however. Two weeks ago the service had been expected to identify which installations and units would suffer personnel cuts needed to comply with the statutory spending caps, but officials postponed the announcement. The service’s chief of public affairs told community representatives at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit that a decision to trim the number of troops from 490,000 — the Army’s end strength target for the end of the current fiscal year — to 450,000 by FY 2017 already had been made. Somewhat less certain, said Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, is the service’s plan to shrink its active-duty forces to 420,000 …

Pending Army Cuts Underscore Changing Attitudes about BRAC

  • July 8, 2015
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With the Army expected this week to identify up to 30 installations that could lose thousands of personnel, defense communities are bracing for the worst. “We’re on pins and needles,” Carl McLaughlin, executive director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, told the Washington Post. “To not create a Detroit-like scenario, we cannot lose soldiers. We’ll feel every soldier we lose,” McLaughlin said. A worst case outcome for Fort Drum would mean the loss of 16,000 soldiers and civilians at the post in New York’s North Country. Counting spouses and children, a third of Jefferson County’s population could disappear …

Next DOD Budget to Consider Eliminating Select Missions

  • June 26, 2015
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After three years of living within tight fiscal constraints, defense officials will begin to consider jettisoning lower-priority missions to free up funds for the department’s most critical functions.
The wholesale cancellation of select missions is the only way to free up billions of dollars in a single budget year, Robert Work, the deputy secretary of defense, said this week. And regardless of whether lawmakers strike a deal to give the Pentagon more breathing room under the statutory spending caps, top officials are preparing for an extremely constrained topline budget number, reported Federal News Radio. “It’s going to be tough. There’s no simple way out of this problem,” Work said at a conference sponsored by the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. “The fact is that we’re going to have to really prioritize and be ruthless about it …

Smith Outlines Recipe for Sustaining DOD

  • June 26, 2015
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It’s not exactly a tightly-held secret that the Defense Department would like to spend a lot more money in the coming years than it is likely to get. And as long as the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act remain in effect and partisan differences prevent Congress from striking a long-term budget deal, the Pentagon will continue to struggle to carry out all of its missions. But there is a way out of this predicament, Washington Rep. Adam Smith (D), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said this week during the congressional keynote at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. The first step is for lawmakers to scrap the Budget Control Act and replace it with a new long-term spending plan …

Military Will Manage Even as Infrastructure Scrapes By, Conger Says

  • June 24, 2015
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The nation’s defense infrastructure has not been adequately maintained for the past several years as the Pentagon diverts funds for installation support to higher priority readiness needs, but the military will be able to cope even if the stringent budget caps forcing officials to skimp on facility needs continue through the end of the decade, the department’s top installations official said this week at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. “We’ve done this before and survived it,” said John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, referring to a similar situation in the 1990s. “It takes years for buildings to crumble …

Army Faces Limited Options in Addressing Excess Capacity

  • June 24, 2015
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The Army is paying $480 million a year to maintain more than 160 million square feet of excess infrastructure, and the service has only a limited ability to trim that cost, officials said Tuesday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. The service estimates that 18 percent of its infrastructure is excess. One tack it is taking to address the surplus is asking garrison commanders to identify their unutilized and underutilized space, and to consolidate activities into their most efficient facilities, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment. Facilities in the worst condition can then be mothballed or torn down. But this initiative will not produce significant savings, Hammack said …

Army Postpones Restructuring Announcement

  • June 23, 2015
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The Army’s announcement as to what units and organizations will be eliminated to comply with spending caps prompting the service to shrink its active-duty end strength to 450,000, and possibly to 420,000, has been postponed, officials revealed Monday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. “I expect it within the next month,” Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, the service’s chief of public affairs, told representatives from Army communities anxiously awaiting the pending announcement. When the announcement is made, officials will first inform a variety of affected groups, including Congress and communities, in a 24-hour period before they publicly release the news …

Senate Democrats Make Their Stand on Defense Spending Bill

  • June 19, 2015
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Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked the chamber from starting debate on the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill, the first step in a strategy designed to force Republicans to enter talks to raise the Budget Control Act spending caps. The chamber’s 50-45 vote fell 10 votes short of the 60 votes need to proceed to the $575 billion measure and left uncertain how Congress would enact spending bills for the next fiscal year. The Democrats’ risky move had been expected, as party leaders had threatened in recent weeks to filibuster appropriations bills that either stick to the spending caps or shield the Pentagon from the budget limits while ignoring domestic agencies. The defense measure stashes $38 billion of funding beyond the Obama administration’s request in the department’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to get around the statutory spending cap …

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