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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

Local Officials Prepare for Cutbacks at Ft. Hood

  • July 15, 2015
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After learning last week that Fort Hood would lose 9 percent of its military population as the Army continues to downsize, officials in central Texas began to address the likely impacts. On Monday, a spokesperson for Killeen said the city had taken into account the pending personnel cutbacks and had budgeted accordingly. “There will absolutely be an impact. Everybody is being conservative,” spokesperson Hillary Shine told KXXV. The school district could experience a drop in enrollment and associated funding from the federal government, but the school system had not yet come up with an estimate of the likely changes …

How Low Can the Army Go?

  • July 14, 2015
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Last week’s news that the Army would shrink its active-duty end strength by 40,000 soldiers to a level of 450,000 by the end of fiscal 2018 elicited sharp criticism from lawmakers about the dangers posed by the reduction and warnings from top Pentagon officials about the risk associated with further cuts. Outside experts, including retired military officers, have conflicting views as to whether the Army can be trimmed from its current size without jeopardizing its ability to fulfill its missions, according to an analysis by CQ. A force of 450,000 is the floor for maintaining “some ability to actually do any kind of stabilization operation” abroad for multiple years with multiple rotations of troops, Paul Scharre, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told CQ. It’s a “really naive viewpoint” to believe the armed forces will not engage in another extended ground campaign …

Following Cuts at Ft. Benning, Chamber Launches Campaign to Overturn Budget Caps

  • July 14, 2015
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The Greater Columbus (Ga.) Chamber of Commerce is launching an initiative to eliminate the statutory caps on defense spending which prompted the Army last week to outline how it would eliminate 40,000 troops, including 3,400 at Fort Benning, by the end of fiscal 2018, the chamber said Monday. The chamber will pursue an aggressive campaign through a variety of elements, including public service ads on TV, radio and billboards; a website that will have updates, articles and videos; and an online petition in support of Fort Benning. The effort is intended to protect the post and the surrounding region from future cutbacks spurred by the Budget Control Act limits, as well as highlight its unique assets …

Executives Concerned about Impact of Ft. Benning Cuts on Local Real Estate Market

  • July 12, 2015
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The conversion of a brigade combat team at Fort Benning into a much smaller maneuver battalion task force as the Army eliminates 40,000 active-duty soldiers over the next three years will harm most sectors of the economy of Columbus, Ga., and surrounding areas. Real estate executives are particularly concerned about the pending loss of 3,402 soldiers at the post. “When you talk about 3,400 troops and then the civilians that will go with that, probably around 2,000, it’s pretty devastating to the apartment investment community,” said Will White, a partner in the Columbus-based apartment development and management company Greystone Properties …

Four Installations Slated for Modest Gains under Army Restructuring

  • July 12, 2015
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With only six installations slated to lose more than 1,000 soldiers as a result of the Army’s latest round of restructuring, many of the 30 communities bracing for severe cuts in personnel were greatly relieved that local installations would suffer a reduction of no more than 400 military personnel. “Today’s announcement could have been much worse, in light of the president’s plan to reduce our military end strength by 40,000 troops,” Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said last week after the Army announced that Fort Polk would lose 388 soldiers …

Summer Announcement on Army Downsizing Could Influence Congressional, DOD Deliberations

  • July 12, 2015
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The Army’s announcement as to what installations would absorb the loss of 40,000 soldiers to accommodate discretionary spending caps may have been timed to produce a favorable outcome for the service when lawmakers begin taking up the defense budget, according to several analysts. “One likely reason for the timing is they’re trying to refocus attention on themselves and the cut in hopes of maybe getting this cut reversed or preventing additional ones,” Todd Harrison, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told CQ Roll Call. Beyond the debate in Congress over fiscal 2016 defense appropriations and next year’s authorization bill, the Army also is looking to influence Pentagon discussions over initial drafts of the FY 2017 budget …

Communities Likely to Recover from Loss of Military Presence, Researcher Says

  • July 12, 2015
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As about two dozen communities contemplate the impact of the Army’s announcement last week about new force reductions, a Cato Institute researcher highlights the ability of regions coping with significant cuts in military spending to bounce back. “Communities do adapt and recover, some more quickly than others, and many emerge after the transition period with a robust and more diversified economic base,” Christopher Preble, Cato’s vice president for defense and foreign policy studies, writes in a blog post. Preble’s preliminary conclusion comes at approximately the midway point of a research project assessing how communities responded after local bases were closed through either the BRAC process or other means. He also is looking at the impact of the closure of privately owned and operated facilities that primarily supplied DOD customers …

Congressional Tide Has Turned on BRAC, Smith Says

  • July 10, 2015
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Congressional opposition to approving a new round of base closures is loosening, even as this year’s Congress has resisted the Obama administration’s request for a BRAC in 2017, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday. “The hostility, the notion that this was completely unacceptable, which existed about a year ago is not there anymore amongst my fellow members is the way I would put it,” Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.), the most prominent advocate in Congress for a BRAC round, told reporters. Smith dismissed all of the standard arguments, saying they had run their course …

Communities Dodge Worst Case Scenarios as Army Spreads out Force Reductions

  • July 10, 2015
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All but a few Army installations will be able to avoid dramatic force reductions after the service on Thursday announced its latest round of restructuring needed to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers in response to stringent spending caps imposed since fiscal 2013. The supplemental programmatic environmental assessment the Army released in June 2014 listed 30 installations that potentially could lose an aggregate of between 2,500 and 16,000 military and civilian personnel by the end of this second round of personnel cuts, but the bulk of communities avoided the worst case outcomes. Only three installations would lose more than 2,500 military personnel, and only six would lose more than 1,000 soldiers …

Warning about Further Cuts in Force Structure Also Applies to Civilians

  • July 10, 2015
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Since last year, the Army has warned that this latest round of force reductions shrinking the service’s active-duty end strength to 450,000 by the end of fiscal 2018 would not be the last if the discretionary spending caps first imposed in fiscal 2013 remain in place next year. At that point, officials would begin planning to cut up to 30,000 additional troops to shrink the force to 420,000 soldiers by the end of FY 2019. Similarly, the reduction of 17,000 civilians the Army announced this week would be extended to an additional 6,000 civilian workers by 2019 if the budget caps remain in place next year …

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