Washington — The Army’s announcement as to what units and organizations will be eliminated to comply with spending caps prompting the service to shrink its active-duty end strength to 450,000, and possibly to 420,000, has been postponed, officials revealed Monday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit.
“I expect it within the next month,” Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, the service’s chief of public affairs, told representatives from Army communities anxiously awaiting the pending announcement.
When the announcement is made, officials will first inform a variety of affected groups, including Congress and communities, in the 24 hours before they publicly release the news.
Frost also told communities that a decision to trim the number of troops from 490,000 — the Army’s end strength target for the end of the current fiscal year — to 450,000 by fiscal 2017 already has been made. Somewhat less certain is the service’s plan to shrink its active-duty forces to 420,000. The Army still plans to reach that lower level, but a congressional deal to loosen the existing Budget Control Act caps could make that cut unnecessary.
The restructuring announcement stems from the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (SPEA) the Army released one year ago. The SPEA built on a 2013 assessment that evaluated the impact of trimming active-duty forces from 562,000 to 490,000. The follow-on effort analyzed the impacts of a potential reduction of an additional 70,000 soldiers and associated civilians at 21 installations included in the 2013 analysis along with nine additional installations. A total of 30 installations could lose between 2,500 and 16,000 military and civilian personnel as a result of the Army’s two recent rounds of troop cuts.