Commands and agencies throughout the Defense Department have identified the precise civilian jobs they intend to eliminate or restructure under a Pentagon initiative to cut back layers of administration.
DoD says its “conservative” estimates show that it is paying to maintain 22 percent more military base infrastructure than it can put to practical use.
DoD's number-two official points to Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center as the first operational example of the Pentagon's "third offset" strategy.
As of last week, all of the Defense Department components that fall under the direct control of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) are barred from hiring any new civilian employees.
"I'm telling you right now, 10 years from now if the first person through a breach isn't a fricking robot, shame on us." -- Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work
The DoD is calling for 25 percent reductions for appropriations funding across the department. Defense already had proposed 20 percent cuts, while Congress is considering as much as a 30 percent reduction in funding.
Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work tells the deputy chief management officer to come up with an implementation strategy for a “rationalized” Pentagon organizational chart.
With or without sequestration, the Pentagon has concluded there is not enough money to go around, and if it’s going to continue to perform its most vital national security tasks, some missions will have to be on the chopping block beginning in 2017.
The military services say they've made some progress against the readiness levels they lost when sequestration first struck in 2013. The Pentagon's second- ranking official said Tuesday that momentum needs to be maintained, but DoD's challenges are as much about time as about money.
The Obama administration already has made clear that it will request a budget Monday which violates the automatic spending caps in existing law. But for DoD, the war accounts, which are exempt from the caps, may serve as a backup plan.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's decision to resign Monday has produced plenty of speculation about his successor. Military experts retired Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro and Jim Thomas of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments said the new DoD secretary will likely lobby Congress for more money to deal with new threats.
Two early pilot programs have shown the Pentagon that it can reduce overhead spending by carefully studying its excess costs rather than cutting each office's budget by an arbitrary figure. Once expanded across DoD's support agencies, the savings could run into the billions.
The military has made some progress in reversing the training and maintenance shortfalls it underwent when sequestration first took hold in 2013. But Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said those gains will quickly reverse themselves if Congress lets the budget caps return next year.
The Pentagon will begin a new fiscal year under yet another continuing resolution. When a budget finally is passed, Defense Department officials expect Congress to reject a significant number of proposals to cut DoD's own costs.