• Army Posts Outline Changes to MWR Programs to Deal with Funding Cuts

    Army Posts Outline Changes to MWR Programs to Deal with Funding Cuts0

    A handful of Army installations have outlined planned reductions in family and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) programs as the service expects to cope with a $105 million cut in fiscal 2017 funding for such activities. On Aug. 31, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, commander of Installation Management Command, announced the Army would be absorbing a 23 percent cut in its budget for family and recreation programs, with the funding shifted to higher priorities that support readiness. Fort Carson, Colo., for example, “will continue to rely significantly on borrowed military manpower from the 4th Infantry Division to sustain hours of operation and reduced pricing in our fitness centers and aquatics programs.” The reduction in overhead costs for MWR support services has resulted in a substantially smaller workforce at the post …

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  • Army Downsizing Shrinks Headquarters Unit at Ft. Carson

    Army Downsizing Shrinks Headquarters Unit at Ft. Carson0

    The headquarters and headquarters battalion of Fort Carson’s 4th Infantry Division will lose two of its five companies, affecting about 200 soldiers, officials announced last month. The unit includes trumpeters, intelligence experts, payroll clerks, cooks, drivers and logistics experts. The cuts come as the Army looks to slash overhead to help it shrink its active-duty end strength to 450,000 soldiers. The service is reducing division headquarters and other management units by 25 percent, reported the Gazette. To accommodate the cut, the Army redesigned the headquarters unit to eliminate management jobs while preserving capabilities needed in war. “We lost some signalers and we lost some intelligence personnel as well during the redesign,” said Lt. Col. Justin Howe, commander of the headquarters battalion. During deployments, some of the unit’s functions will be filled by the National Guard.

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  • Budget Constraints to Trigger Service Cuts to Army’s MWR Programs

    Budget Constraints to Trigger Service Cuts to Army’s MWR Programs0

    Family and morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) programs, such as fitness and community centers and libraries, will be scaled back at Army installations in fiscal 2017 as the service absorbs a 23 percent cut in funding for those activities. Cuts in service may be implemented through reduced operating hours, higher customer fees or elimination of certain activities. Decisions on where to make cuts will be made at the garrison level after installations determine which programs are most affordable and popular, reported Stars and Stripes. The Army estimates it will receive a $105 million cut for family and recreation programs in FY 2017 …

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  • Budget Caps Have a Role in Taming Defense Spending, Experts Say

    Budget Caps Have a Role in Taming Defense Spending, Experts Say0

    Despite almost-universal opposition to the statutory spending caps from defense advocates since the 2011 Budget Control Act was enacted, defense budget experts on Monday said the limits should remain in place to keep DOD spending in check.
    “I would keep the Budget Control Act, or at least budget caps, because I think the process needs discipline, but I would raise them for defense and probably non-defense also,” former Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale said during a discussion at the Brookings Institution. Ideally, Congress would reach a multi-year budget deal that addresses entitlements, revenue and the deficit, said Hale, currently a senior fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton …

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  • Air Force to Establish up to Two F-16 Training Units

    Air Force to Establish up to Two F-16 Training Units0

    In a bid to alleviate a growing shortage of fighter pilots, the Air Force is establishing up to two interim F-16 training units at existing F-16 training locations, the service announced Thursday. Officials expect to select candidate locations by the end of the calendar year, reported Air Force Times. To expedite the process of standing up the training units, the service will temporarily move F-16 aircraft from Hill AFB, Utah, to two existing F-16 training locations, the Air Force said in a release. This approach will allow the Air Force to avoid conducting an exhaustive environmental review and other analyses that would be required if the service intended to permanently base formal training units …

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  • Air Force Fighter Pilot Shortage Worsens, Leaders Say

    Air Force Fighter Pilot Shortage Worsens, Leaders Say0

    The Air Force will face a shortage of 1,000 pilots in the coming years as extended deployments and restricted training for non-deployed pilots due to budget constraints hurt morale, the service’s top leaders said during a State of the Air Force media briefing Wednesday. Earlier announcements indicated the service would be 700 fighter pilots short by the end of the year, reported Stars and Stripes. “It is a crisis,” said new Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, who addressed reporters at the Pentagon along with Secretary Deborah Lee James …

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