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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Personnel, Spending Cuts Hurt Army Communities, Halverson Says

  • March 31, 2015
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Budget uncertainties resulting from stringent spending caps are hurting defense communities, Lt. Gen. David Halverson, the Army’s assistant chief of staff for installation management and commander of the Army’s Installation Management Command, testified on Capitol Hill last month. “Current funding requires installations to scale back or cancel service contracts that employ people in local communities and requiring installations to work with commanders to use special duty assignments to support installation services and programs,” Halverson told the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee …

As Army End Strength Falls, So Does Its Civilian Workforce, Senior Leaders Say

  • March 30, 2015
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The Army is attempting to trim its civilian workforce commensurate with its drawdown of service members, but the effort remains a work in progress, the service’s top two leaders told lawmakers last week. “There’s lots of pressure on the services to reduce civilian end strength and we do believe the Fourth Estate — what we call the rest of the Department of Defense outside of the services — absolutely needs to be looked at in terms of growth,” Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said March 26 at a House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. DOD defines the Fourth Estate as defense agencies, field activities and some other entities not falling under one of the services or under a combatant command …

Army Plans Involuntary Separation for Thousands of Combat Veterans

  • March 29, 2015
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The Army will be forced to eliminate about 14,000 soldiers as a direct result of the Budget Control Act spending caps which are prompting the service to shrink its active-duty force to 450,000 personnel, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel Allyn told the Senate Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee last week. “[Sequestration] will increase significantly the involuntary separation of officer and non-commissioned [NCO] leaders who have steadfastly served their country through the last 13 years of war,” Allyn said. Complying with the spending caps will require the involuntary separation of about 2,000 soldiers annually, including officers and NCOs …

McCain Chides James for Claiming Savings from New Installation Support Agency

  • March 26, 2015
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Air Force moves that Secretary Deborah Lee James recently claimed met a Pentagon goal of reducing its headquarters staff by 20 percent did not produce any actual savings because the personnel were shifted elsewhere, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told James in a letter this week. “The conduct of the Air Force in response to this guidance seems to have produced no actual staff reductions and yielded no actual savings,” said McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee …

Federal, Local Investment Should Shield Ft. Bliss from Worst Cuts, Officials Say

  • March 26, 2015
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Fort Bliss faces a maximum loss of 16,000 personnel after the Army completes its second round of restructuring this decade by fiscal 2020 but at Wednesday’s listening session, El Paso officials expressed confidence the post would dodge dramatic cuts in personnel. The massive investment in the installation made by DOD and the El Paso community, along with its critical role in national security, leaves Fort Bliss well positioned as the Army decides how it will apportion personnel cuts as the service’s active-duty end strength drops from 490,000 to 420,000, said Rep. Beto O’Rourke. “Fort Bliss offers tremendous value to the U.S. Army …

House Adopts Budget with Extra Defense Funds

  • March 25, 2015
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The House on Wednesday opted for a fiscal 2016 budget resolution intended to attract the support of defense hawks, adopting a funding blueprint that sidesteps the Budget Control Act cap on defense spending by adding $38 billion to the Pentagon’s war account. After employing a rarely used procedure allowing lawmakers to vote on competing budgets, House Republicans embraced an alternative to the plan passed by the Budget Committee that relaxes a requirement to offset about half of the funds added to DOD’s overseas contingency operations account …

Military Value Leaves Ft. Hood in Good Company, Supporters Say

  • March 25, 2015
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Advocates for Fort Hood emphasized the quality of community resources in central Texas that support the installation and the resulting low cost of carrying out its missions during the post’s listening session on Tuesday. Community leaders who spoke at the public meeting highlighted the community’s most valuable assets — education opportunities, health care, transportation and access to Gulf of Mexico ports, affordable housing, sustainable water sources, and employment help and opportunities, reported the Killeen Daily Herald. “The best costs less,” said Bill Parry, executive director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance …

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 …

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