The Army’s senior leaders have made clear for months that their service’s end strength will have to decrease as a result of budget pressure. But the cutbacks can’t be only to personnel. Some of the Army’s major modernization priorities will have to be sidelined, at least for now.
Army’s top uniformed official said the Ryan-Murray budget agreement is a partial remedy to the difficulties the Army has had in training and equipping its troops. But undoing the damage of sequestration will take at least another six years.
Pentagon leaders have spent the past two years warning Congress that sequestration would severely hamper the ability to deploy military forces to contingencies around the world. With no apparent relief in sight from the cuts, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said it’s time to start thinking about making the best of a bad situation.
Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, deputy chief of staff for personnel (G-1), Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, commanding general, U.S. Army Europe, Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Bill Phillips, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology and director of the Army Acquisition Corps are featured in a special edition of On DoD this week covering the Association of the U.S. Army’s (AUSA) annual meeting.
Army officials say the service is facing uncertainty times after weathering a series of continuing resolutions, sequestration and a partial government shutdown. Meanwhile, a new round of automatic budget cuts may be on the horizon if Congress doesn’t pass a new budget come January.
The annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) supports professional development for service members, civilians, retirees, wounded warriors, veterans and family members. Seminars and presentations focus on the global war on terrorism, the future of the Army’s force, expeditionary logistics and actionable intelligence.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey discuss the Navy Yard shooting. Hagel says he’s employing a broad communication strategy and conducting multiple security reviews.
Approximately 85 percent of the Defense Department’s civilian workforce — more than 650,000 employees — will be staying home Monday, as the first of DoD’s cost-cutting furlough days goes into effect. The furloughs were put in place to offset automatic, across-the-board spending cuts implemented by sequestration. DoD estimates the furloughs will save between $1.9 billion and $2.1 billion.
The Army says hard-won lessons on the battlefield have taught it that stovepiped IT systems have no place in the business of intelligence collection and sharing. It also acknowledges that enforcing a single set of common standards comes with some tradeoffs.
Pentagon says it will use its limited budget flexibility to compensate for unexpected war costs, not to blunt sequestration. Services continue to warn Congress about how budget cuts are impacting readiness.