• Amendment Would Require OEA Report on Support for Army Communities0

    The Office of Economic Adjustment would be required to submit a report to Congress on funding that could be made available to communities affected by the Army’s latest restructuring, under an amendment added to the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill last week by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Army shortly is expected to announce how it will realign its forces to shrink its end strength by up to 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. Officials announced a similar restructuring in June 2013. At the time, the Army said it would deactivate 10 brigade combat teams to eliminate 80,000 personnel and cut its end strength to 490,000. This latest reduction could trim active-duty forces to 420,000 …

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  • Pentagon Required to Evaluate Army Downsizing under Amendment to House Bill0

    The secretary of defense would be required to certify that an active-duty end strength for the Army below 490,000 soldiers will be adequate to meet the nation’s defense strategy, under an amendment added by House lawmakers last week to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The amendment, approved by voice vote, was offered by Republican Reps. John Fleming (La.) and Elise Stefanik (N.Y.). Both represent Army communities that stand to lose thousands of troops in the Army’s next round of restructuring. Officials are expected to announce early this summer how they will realign the service’s end strength from 490,000, the Army’s target for the end of FY 2015, to 420,000 by FY 2020 …

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  • Lawmakers Look to Halt Next Round of Army Downsizing0

    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 …

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  • Medical Training Mission at JB San Antonio Should Shield Post from Worst Cuts0

    At the last of 30 listening sessions held in defense communities across the nation, Army officials acknowledged that cuts of up to 70,000 soldiers from the service’s active-duty end strength now under consideration would greatly diminish its capabilities. “As we’re getting ready to make cuts, we’re going to have to cut straight into muscle and bone,” Col. Tom O’Donoghue told a crowd of 1,200 people who turned up Tuesday to support Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Over the next several months, the Army will determine how to apportion personnel cuts as its force shrinks from 490,000 to 450,000 and, possibly, to 420,000 …

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  • Federal, Local Investment Should Shield Ft. Bliss from Worst Cuts, Officials Say0

    Fort Bliss faces a maximum loss of 16,000 personnel after the Army completes its second round of restructuring this decade by fiscal 2020 but at Wednesday’s listening session, El Paso officials expressed confidence the post would dodge dramatic cuts in personnel. The massive investment in the installation made by DOD and the El Paso community, along with its critical role in national security, leaves Fort Bliss well positioned as the Army decides how it will apportion personnel cuts as the service’s active-duty end strength drops from 490,000 to 420,000, said Rep. Beto O’Rourke. “Fort Bliss offers tremendous value to the U.S. Army …

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  • Military Value Leaves Ft. Hood in Good Company, Supporters Say0

    Advocates for Fort Hood emphasized the quality of community resources in central Texas that support the installation and the resulting low cost of carrying out its missions during the post’s listening session on Tuesday. Community leaders who spoke at the public meeting highlighted the community’s most valuable assets — education opportunities, health care, transportation and access to Gulf of Mexico ports, affordable housing, sustainable water sources, and employment help and opportunities, reported the Killeen Daily Herald. “The best costs less,” said Bill Parry, executive director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance …

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