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Posts Tagged ‘force structure’

Readiness to Decline again if Spending Caps Remain, Army Officials Warn

  • October 29, 2014
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Senior Army leaders are increasingly concerned about the health of the force, as the department faces new demands and the likely return of sequester’s full impact in fiscal 2016. Unless Congress acts to relax the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps, the Army’s end strength, modernization and readiness will remain out of balance at least until 2019, Maj. Gen. Gary Cheek, assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, said last week. It could take the Army as long as four years to fully recover from that state, he said. “We would come into that fiscal year with a readiness deficit … that we wouldn’t be able to drop money to fix …

Sequestration Jeopardizes Army’s Ability to Fulfill Its Role, Hagel Says

  • October 15, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised the Army for its contributions since 9/11, before urging Congress to undo spending reductions called for under the Budget Control Act to avoid devastating cuts to the service’s force structure. “As the Army emerges from over 13 years of large-scale combat operations — the longest in its history — it faces new challenges,” Hagel said. “The world’s becoming more volatile, less predictable, and, in many ways, more threatening at the same time our defense budgets are declining …

Army’s Top Leaders Chide Congress for Budget Uncertainty

  • October 14, 2014
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The next eight to 12 months will be critical for the future of the military as Congress makes funding decisions that dictate the size of the force and how it is equipped, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Monday at the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army. Unless Congress steps in, the spending cap for fiscal 2016 will force the Army to slash its end strength far below the level called for in the FY 2015 budget, 450,000 soldiers, Secretary John McHugh said earlier in the day. “If sequestration returns in fiscal ’16 … Another round of indiscriminate cuts will gut the force to the point that we will be unable to meet the president’s defense strategic guidance …

Pivot to Asia Continues despite Budget Pressure, Official Says

  • October 1, 2014
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DOD’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region remains on course despite the budget bind facing the department, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday. “We might not be able to go as fast as we would want because of budgetary pressures. We might not be able to have as many forces as we would otherwise like because we wouldn’t be able to afford them,” Work told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But the Asia Pacific rebalance continues apace …

Work Upbraids Congress over Opposition to Cost-Saving Reforms

  • October 1, 2014
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The almost universal rejection by lawmakers of a series of belt-tightening reforms to military compensation and weapons systems retirements proposed by the Pentagon will create an estimated $70 billion hole in its five-year budget, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told the Council on Foreign Relations this week. The department’s fiscal 2015 budget called for slashing the subsidy for commissaries and slowing increases in the basic allowance for housing, along with retiring its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft and other weapons. “These were what we considered to be pretty reasonable approaches, but Congress said ‘No …

Aberdeen PG Faces Loss of Chemical Battalion

  • September 30, 2014
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The 22nd Chemical Battalion, a 270-soldier unit responsible for assessing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats, may be relocated from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2016 or later, the post’s garrison commander said at a public meeting last month. While the number of personnel is relatively small compared to a workforce of 22,000, such a move would represent a significant portion of Aberdeen’s military component. Service members make up only 3 percent of the workers at the installation …

Comments to Downsizing Analysis Surge Past 100,000, Army Says

  • September 22, 2014
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Defense communities have submitted more than 108,000 comments to Army Environmental Command in response to the service’s assessment of the environmental and economic impacts expected from shrinking its active-duty end strength by 70,000 troops by 2020. By the time officials finish counting all of the comments sent in response to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA), the total likely will surpass 110,000 comments, spokeswoman Cathy Kropp told Defense Communities 360. Of the 108,411 comments the command has processed, 105,119 were either form letters or petition signatures …

Budget Caps, Global Demands Jeopardize Army Response

  • September 21, 2014
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The fiscal 2016 budget Pentagon officials currently are working on could represent a “breaking point” if Congress fails to extend relief to the budget caps at the same time global threats continue to surface, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters Friday. The active Army, which now stands at 510,000 soldiers, is slated to drop to 490,000 by the end of FY 2015, 470,000 by FY 2016 and 420,000 by FY 2019. Earlier this year, Odierno testified that a reduction to 450,000 would pose a significant security risk, while an end strength of 420,000 would prevent the Army from carrying out its current strategy …

Planned Cuts to Air Force Units in Europe May Be Postponed

  • September 16, 2014
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Planned cuts to Air Force units based in Europe may be delayed over concerns about Russia’s intentions toward Ukraine and Eastern Europe, defense officials said Tuesday. “I see this building now moving towards a review of those decisions,” Gen. Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, told reporters at the Pentagon. The department had intended to retire 21 overseas F-15C fighter jets — believed to be located at RAF Lakenheath, England — in fiscal 2015, but Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said she would like to keep that unit in place for the time being …

Stakes are High for Hospitality Industry over Next Round of Army Cuts

  • September 14, 2014
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Fifty weeks out of the year thousands of family members travel to Fort Jackson to celebrate the graduation of a close relative from basic training, accounting for $45 million a year in direct spending in the Midlands region of South Carolina. For the dozens of hotels and restaurants near the post in Columbia, the Army’s next round of personnel cuts — slated to shrink its active-duty end strength by 70,000 troops — offer the prospect of a significant reduction in economic activity as Fort Jackson faces losing almost half of its personnel …

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