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Posts Tagged ‘force structure’

Amendment Offers Possible Reprieve for Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing

  • May 14, 2015
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Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing, which is slated to be deactivated by the end of the fiscal year, would receive at least a short-term reprieve under an amendment added by the Senate Armed Services Committee this week to its draft fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The amendment offered by North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R) would require the 18th Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and U.S. Army Special Operations Command to certify that the loss of the 440th — an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field — would not harm training at Bragg before the airlift wing could be deactivated. Army commanders would have 90 days after the legislation is enacted to make a decision …

Lawmakers Look to Halt Next Round of Army Downsizing

  • May 10, 2015
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With the Army on course to shrink its active-duty end strength by up to 70,000 soldiers in the coming years, lawmakers representing Army communities are eager to offer amendments to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill when it goes to the House floor this week that would suspend the planned drawdown. The House Armed Services Committee already denied one attempt to maintain the Army’s end strength at current levels when it marked up the legislation last month. An amendment sponsored by Republican Reps. John Fleming (La.) and Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) called for maintaining troop strength at 490,000, the service’s current target for the end of fiscal 2015. The provision would have prohibited further cuts until six months after officials submitted a strategic and operational analysis of the impact of future reductions, and assessed how the cuts would harm overall readiness …

Courtney Concerned about Impact of Opening up Family Housing Projects to General Public

  • May 5, 2015
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The Defense Department would need to brief the House Armed Services Committee on the potential impacts to host communities of its policy of opening family housing projects to the general public when occupancy rates drop below certain levels. The request, an amendment to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill added during last week’s committee markup, directs DOD to focus on community impacts stemming from changes in the number of non-federally connected civilian children residing in military housing. Officials also should develop recommendations to mitigate possible community impacts. A growing number of installations recently have expanded eligibility to live in family housing projects to DOD civilians, military retirees, and in some cases, the public as occupancy rates have dropped due to cuts in end strength …

Army Reassigns White Sands’ Engineer Battalion

  • May 5, 2015
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The Army’s 2nd Engineer Battalion — based at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., after it was reactivated in 2008 — is being reassigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, after being reorganized once again. The battalion had 500 soldiers in 2008 but as of its casing ceremony last week, it was down to 200 personnel. Two of the battalion’s companies are moving to Fort Bliss, one company is transferring to Fort Polk, La., one will be inactivated, and the remaining soldiers will be reassigned elsewhere …

BRAC Needed Now, Bipartisan Coalition of Defense Experts Tells Congress

  • April 30, 2015
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Citing rising threats around the globe and a military force declining in size and capability, a bipartisan coalition of 38 defense experts is urging congressional leaders to close unneeded bases, right-size the civilian workforce and modernize military pay and benefits. “Too much of the defense budget is currently consumed by institutional inefficiencies, some of which are mandated by law,” the experts wrote in an open letter to the defense committees and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “As the U.S. military shrinks, it must reduce its inventory of physical infrastructure. Smaller budgets can no longer support paying for the operation of unnecessary facilities,” the letter states …

Army Dismantles Aviation Brigade Based in Germany

  • April 29, 2015
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The Ansbach, Germany-based 12th Combat Aviation Brigade will lose about 1,900 personnel and an estimated 2,850 family members as part of the Army’s aviation restructuring initiative in Europe, defense officials said Wednesday. The moves, which also include the relocation of 25 Apache attack helicopters from Germany, will force the department to maintain aviation capabilities in Germany using a continuous rotation to augment the remaining aviation assets and personnel …

Authorization Bill Rejects Air Force Plan to Retire A-10 Fleet

  • April 27, 2015
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For the second straight year, the House Armed Services Committee has proposed reversing the Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. Instead, the committee would provide $683 million to keep the aircraft flying, according to the chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The Air Force has said retiring the A-10 would save $4 billion and that other aircraft can perform the close air support mission. Many lawmakers, though, dispute the claim that other aircraft can replace the Warthog …

Army Commission Announces Chairman, Vice Chair

  • April 26, 2015
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Retired Army Gen. Carter Ham, who most recently served as commander of U.S. Africa Command, will lead the National Commission on the Future of the U.S. Army, the commission announced last week. Thomas Lamont, who served as assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs from 2009 to 2013, will be the panel’s vice chair. The commission, created by the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, will assess the structure and size of the Army, determine the proper force mixture of the active and reserve components, and conduct policy analysis to document how policies affect mission requirements, according to a press release …

N.C. Delegation Will Continue to Oppose Effort to Shutter Airlift Wing

  • April 19, 2015
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North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said he would continue to fight the Air Force’s plan to deactivate Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing after officials last week released a long-waited reported justifying the move. The freshman senator said the plan to deactivate the 440th — an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field — would hinder the ability of airborne units at the post to quickly deploy to global hotspots. “Why on Earth would we jeopardize the training and readiness in that context — the only place on the planet where we do that? It just doesn’t make sense to me …

Tampa Leaders Look to Expand Tanker Mission at MacDill AFB

  • April 16, 2015
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Tampa leaders are working to bring KC-135 Stratotankers displaced from installations that receive the Air Force’s next generation aerial tanker to MacDill Air Force Base in an effort to demonstrate the base has the capacity to handle more aircraft. MacDill, which currently has 16 KC-135s, was passed over in 2013 to become one of the first bases to receive the KC-46A Pegasus. That competition would have brought 36 jets to MacDill, and local officials want to show that the base can support a greater number of aircraft …

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