Two former DOD officials who appeared before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday to testify about Chairman Mac Thornberry’s proposal to trim 25 percent from the budgets of defense support agencies emphasized the difficulty in achieving the savings target when many activities, such as combat support and intelligence, would be shielded from the cuts aimed at the department’s fourth estate. Reaping significant savings would require the Pentagon to shed some of its excess capacity or make other cuts lawmakers have resisted in the past, they said. “I think Congress will have to take a careful look at whether they are open to issues like … what has typically been off the table with BRACs or education or commissaries because you have to get agencies that are large to achieve that kind of savings,” said Preston Dunlap, the former chief of staff for DOD’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, reported the Washington Examiner. … The seven support agencies targeted for elimination in the draft bill released by Thornberry obligated $6.8 billion to contractors in fiscal 2017. The Defense Information Systems Agency was responsible for the largest share, $3 billion, and the Office of Economic Adjustment had the smallest share, $5.2 million, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Government. Total contract obligations have dropped slightly since FY 2014, when they were $7.5 billion.