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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Pentagon Spending Plan Quickly Generates Capitol Hill Opposition

  • February 25, 2014
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Republican lawmakers largely denounced the cuts in force structure and changes in military benefits outlined Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, while Democrats mainly questioned some of the proposals in DOD’s five-year spending plan. “We are going to kill it, not let it happen,” vowed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “I just think it is taking the Army down to a level where you restrain your ability to fight the war that comes your way. The best way to fight a war is deterrence, and I think readiness at the number you are talking about, I just don’t think [the Army] is equipped for the threats you face …

FY ’15 Budget Reveals Scope of Cuts Needed to Address Spending Caps

  • February 25, 2014
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The Army’s active-duty end strength would be reduced to between 440,000 and 450,000 under the five-year budget proposal unveiled Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The long-term budget included with the fiscal 2015 budget request, the department’s first to fully reflect the transition DOD is making after 13 years of war, adheres to the spending caps in place next year but exceeds the Budget Control Act caps for the following four years by $115 billion. As a result, the Army would be forced to draw down to an end strength of 420,000 if sequester cuts are not reversed in FY 2016 …

‘Shadow BRAC’ is the Immediate Threat to Bases, Washington Insider Says

  • February 23, 2014
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While the next BRAC round could come as early as 2017, the immediate threat to defense communities are smaller cuts and realignments that don’t require a formal base closure round to go forward, the president of a Washington public affairs firm said last week during a meeting of the local support group for Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. “The more scary thing to me is what I have been calling the shadow BRAC,” Barry Rhoads, president of Cassidy and Associates, told Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow. “We’re undergoing shadow BRACs as we speak. That’s actually no notification of Congress …

Army Corps Looks to Remake Itself, Chief Engineer Says

  • February 20, 2014
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The Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will need to refashion itself as the surge in spending on military construction since 2001 comes to end and headquarters’ staffs are required to be streamlined, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, the Corps’ commander, said this week.

The Corps “executed an extraordinarily large military program” in the last decade, worth nearly $30 billion at its peak in 2008, Bostick told the Army News Service. The work supported the 2005 round of BRAC, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act work in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other efforts …

Wish List Could Encourage Lawmakers to Tinker with DOD’s Budget Request

  • February 20, 2014
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The Defense Department’s intent to attach a $26 billion list of unfunded requirements to its fiscal 2015 budget request could have unintended consequences, as appropriators swap out programs included in the administration’s proposal for favored programs that failed to make the cut. Including a list of second-tier priorities with the budget request also could embolden service chiefs to push Congress to fund programs that were left out of DOD’s baseline spending plan …

Retreat on Military Pension Cuts Raises Bar for Future Budget Reform

  • February 18, 2014
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Congress’ relatively quick reversal of a reduction in cost-of-living increases for military pensions included in last December’s budget deal almost certainly means the Pentagon will not have the upper hand when it floats future proposals to rein in its burgeoning personnel costs. After the House and Senate approved the bipartisan budget agreement late last year, some analysts expressed optimism that lawmakers’ willingness to trim the growth rate of pensions for military retirees of working age was a signal that DOD would be able to implement other cuts needed to keep compensation and benefit costs from spiraling out of control …

Hagel to Provide Early Preview of FY’15 Budget Request

  • February 17, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to preview the department’s fiscal 2015 budget request on Feb. 24, a week before the White House formally releases its spending proposal for next year, reported Reuters. Spending for defense-related programs in FY 2015 already has been set by last December’s budget deal at $521.3 billion, with DOD spending estimated at about $496 billion. The figure is virtually unchanged from the current year’s base budget. Still, the Pentagon faces many difficult choices as the spending cap is about $40 billion lower than the FY 2015 budget figure the department included in its long-term budget last year.

Army Looking at Excess Space at Installations

  • February 17, 2014
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The Army is taking an inventory of its facilities to assess how much excess infrastructure it maintains, ahead of a recommendation to the office of the secretary of defense (OSD) about the need for a new round of base closures. The Army maintains a lot of space and facilities that are not being utilized or are just partially utilized, Paul Cramer, deputy assistant secretary for installations, housing and partnerships, told the Army News Service. As a result, officials will recommend a new BRAC round be held in 2017, Cramer said …

AUSA Head Denounces Legislation Calling for Army Commission

  • February 14, 2014
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A House bill that would form a commission to make recommendations about how the Army’s force structure should be allocated between the service’s active and reserve components is misguided, according to the head of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). “Such a commission is unnecessary, could damage Army readiness, and would impede the Army’s ability to implement spending reductions required by the 2011 Budget Control Act,” AUSA President Gordon Sullivan wrote in a Feb. 11 letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). H.R 3930, which already has 72 co-sponsors, would create a commission similar to the one that recently recommended shifting manpower from the Air Force’s active component into the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve …

DOD Official Questions Contractors’ Optimistic Sales Forecasts

  • February 10, 2014
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The Pentagon’s acting industrial base chief expressed skepticism last week about the number of defense contractors predicting that the worst impacts from sequestration soon will be over, with the automatic cuts starting to ease in fiscal 2016. “We’re not sure at DoD that we quite see the budget environment quite that way,” Elana Broitman, acting deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing and industrial base policy, said during her remarks at the Cowen Aerospace/Defense & Transportation Conference. “If we don’t do anything that changes sequestration after fiscal year ’15, then we’re stuck with flat, no-inflation budgets which don’t take account of the new initiatives, new requirements, that need to be funded …

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