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Posts Tagged ‘force structure’

Following Growth Spurt, Army Pacific Forces to Remain Steady

  • April 13, 2014
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After growing by 16,000 active-duty soldiers recently to an end strength of 106,000, Army forces in the Pacific are expected to be shielded from severe cuts the service is planning to carry out over the coming years to cope with statutory spending caps. “How we have forces based in the Pacific we see remaining about the same for the next several years,” Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter in Honolulu, said last week …

Battle over A-10 Heats up on Capitol Hill

  • April 10, 2014
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Republican lawmakers and local officials on Thursday pledged to save the A-10 attack aircraft from an Air Force proposal to retire the fleet in the face of strict spending caps originally mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The challenge for the lawmakers, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), is finding an offset to make up for the $3.5 billion the Air Force intends to save by eliminating the aircraft that specializes in close air support, reported Defense News. “I am working this issue with my colleagues,” Ayotte told reporters …

Army Drawdown Would Require Large Cut in Brigades, Odierno Says

  • April 9, 2014
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If the full force of sequestration returns in fiscal 2016, the Army would be forced to eliminate up to 46 percent of its active-duty brigade combat teams, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Those cuts would be accompanied by a 22 percent reduction in brigade combat teams from the National Guard, Odierno told the panel. Those changes would result in the Army going from a mix of 51 percent active and 49 percent reserve component personnel, to a 46 percent active and 54 percent reserve-component split …

BRAC Is Only Way to Alleviate Excess Capacity, Hammack Tells Lawmakers

  • April 8, 2014
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The Army’s top installations official made the case for a new BRAC round during a Capitol Hill hearing last week, citing the service’s declining force structure and recent efforts to downsize its footprint in Europe. “The best and proven way to address excess and shortfalls in facility requirements in a cost-effective and fair manner is through the BRAC (base realignment and closure) Commission process,” said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment …

Senators Consider House Plan to Study Army, Guard Changes

  • April 8, 2014
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Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday signaled their support for a House bill that would create an independent commission to make recommendations about how the Army’s force structure should be allocated between the service’s active and reserve components. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), also would block the Army’s plan to transfer the National Guard’s 192 Apache attack helicopters to the active Army and replace them with 111 Black Hawk helicopters. The measure has the support of 41 Democrats and 111 Republicans …

Air Force Plan to Retire A-10s Poses Dilemma for Lawmakers

  • March 30, 2014
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House lawmakers expressed frustration over the Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, as witnesses testified during multiple hearings last week that the aircraft’s value to the force could not overcome the overwhelming need to trim the service’s budget. “If you look at risks, capabilities and operational needs, the A-10 should not be retired,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, told the Hill. Yet, Turner said he did not know whether the committee could find offsetting cuts in the fiscal 2015 budget to save the fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs …

‘Empty Facilities Tax’ Costing Army $500M Annually, McHugh Says

  • March 27, 2014
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The Army is spending an estimated $500 million a year to maintain buildings it no longer needs, a cost that will rise in the absence of a BRAC round as the service continues to draw down its forces, Secretary John McHugh told lawmakers Thursday. McHugh referred to the funds spent on unneeded facilities as an “empty facilities tax” as he testified before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He pointed to that half-billion-dollar-a-year tax as one reason why Congress should approve the Pentagon’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 …

Housing Investors Face Uncertainty under BRAC, Downsizing

  • March 24, 2014
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Dramatic reductions in military end strength, along with a new round of base closures, could harm holders of $24 billion in military housing privatization bonds, which have financed the construction of more than 190,000 residences since 1996. A quarter of the bonds are uninsured, reports Barron’s. In addition, the developers and operators of most of DOD’s housing privatization projects are not protected against changes in occupancy stemming from BRAC …

If Congress Delivers Funds, DOD Will Budget for Higher Force Levels, Comptroller Says

  • March 16, 2014
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Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale pledged to eliminate the confusion over what force structure levels could be sustained under its five-year spending plan, provided lawmakers indicate they will provide the department much-needed relief from mandated spending caps. Hale’s statement came in response to a defense analyst’s criticism that the future years defense plan (FYDP) DOD released earlier this month failed to include the preferred force levels Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicated it would …

Reduction in Army Brigades to Follow Cuts in End Strength, Vice Chief Says

  • March 13, 2014
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Army planners are determining how many brigade combat teams will need to be eliminated as the service’s active-duty forces shrink to between 440,000 and 450,000 soldiers, the end strength included in its fiscal 2015 budget request. The Army’s size is slated to drop to 420,000 under DOD’s five-year spending plan, an outcome which could be averted if Congress lifts the spending caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. The Army already is reducing the number of brigade combat teams from 45 to 32 as part of its plan to shrink its active component end strength by 80,000 soldiers to 490,000 by 2015 …

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