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Thread: Obama Guts the Military

  1. #141
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Companion Thread:The Leftist Plot to Destroy the US Military

    As Obama and Panetta lifts the Ban on Women going to the front lines in Combat Leadership roles they are about to cut 20,000 fighting Marines from the budget.


    Unfit for Combat

    Marines, Army shrinking force size under budgetary restraints



    Marines / AP

    BY: Adam Kredo
    January 28, 2013 1:00 pm

    The United States Marine Corps is set to shed more than 20,000 active duty positions in the coming years and have already commenced a process meant to force some senior officers into an early retirement.

    The Marines are on course to cut around 4,000 positions a year through 2017, decreasing the total number of Marines to 182,100 from its peak last year of 202,100, according to a major scale-down order that was quietly issued last year.

    The reduction in forces could leave the elite fighting force underprepared to battle multiple regional threats, particularly those in the Middle East, according to military experts.

    The impending cuts are independent of the $1.2 trillion in mandatory cuts, otherwise known as sequestration, which will take place next month if Congress fails to reach a preventative deal.

    “The effect will be that there will not be sufficient Marines available to both be ‘America’s 9-1-1 force’ and to be ready for sustained ground combat,” said Steven Bucci, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense who warned that the decreased number of Marines will leave the force overstretched.

    “Right now, the Marines are trying to go back to the role of floating about on the three ship Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) missions forward deployed around the world,” Bucci said, referring to a joint Navy and Marine unit that performs sea-to-shore missions. “There was no ARG available to respond to Benghazi [terror attacks] because the Marines have had so many combat units fighting elsewhere.”

    “Cuts will prohibit [the Marines] from returning to this key role,” said Bucci, director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.

    A spokesperson in the Marines’ Manpower and Reserve Affairs office said that the corps typically “transitions” 30,000-35,000 Marines per year, “so we are only talking about 5,000 more per year on top of that.”

    There are currently 195,000 active duty members, according to the official.

    “In order to keep faith with our Marines, we are looking to maximize voluntary measures,” the spokesperson said. “As such, several force-shaping authorities are available to us and we are offering them to Marines—in a targeted fashion.”

    As the Army carries out a similarly massive drawdown in forces, the Marines are being forced to enter combat roles for which they are not primarily suited, said Thomas Donnelly, a former policy group director for the House Armed Services Committee.

    The Army began discharging and reassigning 60,000 soldiers, according to the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C.
    Army leaders were informed the Army is “fundamentally” altering its structure and that “some fully qualified soldiers will be denied re-enlistment,” according to an Army Times report.

    “The problem will come if there’s a need to reverse the current retreat in the Middle East, the wars most likely to demand long-term, larger-scale land forces,” explained Donnelly, who is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

    “In a few years, the Army will be worse off than it was prior to 9/11 and less able—though the most natural and most able long-war force—to sustain that sort of operation,” he said. “Under those circumstances the Marines will get sucked back into the sort of mission they’ve had in Anbar and Helmand [provinces in Iraq and Afghanistan] of late.”

    The Marines have already announced the formation of several voluntary and coercive commissions aimed at paring down the force.

    Selective early retirement boards, for example, will force at least 200 lieutenant colonels out of the service, according to unclassified announcements.
    “Officers selected for early retirement have been personally notified of their selection by the first marine three-star general officer in their chain of command,” states one announcement that was issued last week.

    Another forced retirement notice from last year acknowledges that the Marines are under-resourced.

    “As we move into an environment of reduced resources and reduced end strength, we face tough decisions that will affect the marines who have been dedicated to service throughout the recent decades of peace and war,” the announcement states. “For a second time, our corps must face the tough decision of how to manage the kind of surplus in senior field grade officers we have today.”

    Other officers are being forced to compete for scant positions, according to another announcement issued in November.

    An “officer retention board” will determine which officers can remain on active duty, according to the notice.

    “Career designation is a force shaping tool that allows for the management of the officer population by retaining the best qualified officers from each year group,” the notice states. “Those selected for career designation are offered the opportunity to remain on active duty.”

    “Officers will be considered for career designation in five competitive categories in the military occupational specialties (MOS) listed,” including proficiency in combat arms and other areas.

    Several voluntary programs additionally offer enlisted members an early retirement. The programs are meant to quickly pare down the force and save costs in a tight budgetary environment.

    The Marines could be forced to cut an additional number of enlisted members should the sequestration take effect later this year, leaving the force even weaker, experts said.


    Continued:
    http://freebeacon.com/unfit-for-combat/

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  2. #142
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Unfit for Combat

    Marines, Army shrinking force size under budgetary restraints


    Marines / AP



    BY: Adam Kredo

    The United States Marine Corps is set to shed more than 20,000 active duty positions in the coming years and have already commenced a process meant to force some senior officers into an early retirement.


    The Marines are on course to cut around 4,000 positions a year through 2017, decreasing the total number of Marines to 182,100 from its peak last year of 202,100, according to a major scale-down order that was quietly issued last year.


    The reduction in forces could leave the elite fighting force underprepared to battle multiple regional threats, particularly those in the Middle East, according to military experts.


    The impending cuts are independent of the $1.2 trillion in mandatory cuts, otherwise known as sequestration, which will take place next month if Congress fails to reach a preventative deal.


    “The effect will be that there will not be sufficient Marines available to both be ‘America’s 9-1-1 force’ and to be ready for sustained ground combat,” said Steven Bucci, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense who warned that the decreased number of Marines will leave the force overstretched.


    “Right now, the Marines are trying to go back to the role of floating about on the three ship Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) missions forward deployed around the world,” Bucci said, referring to a joint Navy and Marine unit that performs sea-to-shore missions. “There was no ARG available to respond to Benghazi [terror attacks] because the Marines have had so many combat units fighting elsewhere.”


    “Cuts will prohibit [the Marines] from returning to this key role,” said Bucci, director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.


    A spokesperson in the Marines’ Manpower and Reserve Affairs office said that the corps typically “transitions” 30,000-35,000 Marines per year, “so we are only talking about 5,000 more per year on top of that.”


    There are currently 195,000 active duty members, according to the official.


    “In order to keep faith with our Marines, we are looking to maximize voluntary measures,” the spokesperson said. “As such, several force-shaping authorities are available to us and we are offering them to Marines—in a targeted fashion.”


    As the Army carries out a similarly massive drawdown in forces, the Marines are being forced to enter combat roles for which they are not primarily suited, said Thomas Donnelly, a former policy group director for the House Armed Services Committee.


    The Army began discharging and reassigning 60,000 soldiers, according to the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C.
    Army leaders were informed the Army is “fundamentally” altering its structure and that “some fully qualified soldiers will be denied re-enlistment,” according to an Army Times report.


    “The problem will come if there’s a need to reverse the current retreat in the Middle East, the wars most likely to demand long-term, larger-scale land forces,” explained Donnelly, who is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.


    “In a few years, the Army will be worse off than it was prior to 9/11 and less able—though the most natural and most able long-war force—to sustain that sort of operation,” he said. “Under those circumstances the Marines will get sucked back into the sort of mission they’ve had in Anbar and Helmand [provinces in Iraq and Afghanistan] of late.”


    The Marines have already announced the formation of several voluntary and coercive commissions aimed at paring down the force.


    Selective early retirement boards, for example, will force at least 200 lieutenant colonels out of the service, according to unclassified announcements.


    “Officers selected for early retirement have been personally notified of their selection by the first marine three-star general officer in their chain of command,” states one announcement that was issued last week.


    Another forced retirement notice from last year acknowledges that the Marines are under-resourced.


    “As we move into an environment of reduced resources and reduced end strength, we face tough decisions that will affect the marines who have been dedicated to service throughout the recent decades of peace and war,” the announcement states. “For a second time, our corps must face the tough decision of how to manage the kind of surplus in senior field grade officers we have today.”


    Other officers are being forced to compete for scant positions, according to another announcement issued in November.


    An “officer retention board” will determine which officers can remain on active duty, according to the notice.


    “Career designation is a force shaping tool that allows for the management of the officer population by retaining the best qualified officers from each year group,” the notice states. “Those selected for career designation are offered the opportunity to remain on active duty.”


    “Officers will be considered for career designation in five competitive categories in the military occupational specialties (MOS) listed,” including proficiency in combat arms and other areas.


    Several voluntary programs additionally offer enlisted members an early retirement. The programs are meant to quickly pare down the force and save costs in a tight budgetary environment.


    The Marines could be forced to cut an additional number of enlisted members should the sequestration take effect later this year, leaving the force even weaker, experts said.


    “Sequestration would badly hurt USMC readiness,” said Heritage’s Bucci. “Now that the president seems to have put the blame on the Republicans, the other [Joint Chiefs of Staff] have finally started to fess up to the truth: These cuts will make the military hollow.”


    “They will not have enough people, trainings, or equipment to provide for the common defense,” Bucci said.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  3. #143
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Sorry Rick, vector beat you this time.

    Look at the post right above yours.

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    Sorry Rick, vector beat you this time.

    Look at the post right above yours.
    Ok, now that's funny. I LOOKED at the thread and did NOT see that post!

    Oh well.

    lol
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military


    Defense Will Lay Off Up To 46,000; Furloughs Set To Begin

    January 28, 2013

    The Pentagon has started to lay off temporary civilian and contract workers to cut spending ahead of the an anticipated March 1 budget sequestration. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said layoffs could reach as high as 46,000 workers.

    A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed the figures from Carter as well as the Defense Department plans to furlough full time civilian workers for one day a week for the next 22 weeks. Carter originally made the statements to reporters on Friday.

    Carter said the furloughs would save up to $5 billion. It follows prior guidance (.pdf) he issued on Jan. 10, where he suggested the services consider cutting temporary workers and when the services were given the authority to freeze hiring and cut maintenance spending.

    Each service is required to submit a cost-cutting plan to the Pentagon by Feb. 1.

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta first warned of furloughs impacting DoD's 800,000 full time workers in a Jan. 2 memo, saying unpaid leave would be necessary to address across-the-board spending cuts.

    Pentagon Press Secretary George Little has said DoD prefers the furlough to punishing "a small group of civilian employees by firing them because Congress can't do its job."

    The American Federation of Government Employees says that the Defense Finance and Account Service has instituted a hiring freeze and reduced both travel and overtime because of the coming sequester, according to email from DFAS Director Terri McKay.

    For more:

    - download Carter's Jan. 10 memo (.pdf)

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    I just sold my jeep last night. I'll keep that cash in the safe I guess...

    /sigh
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    There's supposed to be an argument against women in combat in this article someplace..... I'm still looking:

    An argument against women in combat roles






    The rigors of combat.



    So the SecDef is going to give the thumbs up to women being assigned to the Combat Arms MOSs.
    How very special.
    How very caring.
    How very stupid.


    Now Comes the Part Where Liberal Heads Explode...

    If you believe for a moment that I believe that the fairer sex has no place in the Armed Forces, you're wrong.

    Of course women should be able to serve... just not in Combat Arms.
    But I'll forgo the argument that women and men are physically different and that women simply aren't built to carry large, heavy loads high on their backs and/or in their arms for prolonged periods of time.
    Sometimes, testosterone matters. Just don't tell that to liberal social engineers.
    Neither will I point out the old-fashioned notion that no man worth his salt stands weeping pier-side while mommy/sissy/wifey/sweetie/daddy's little girl ships off to the sound of the guns and into an unbelievable nightmarish world of blood, gore and violence that few could even imagine.
    Oh, and how about the slippery slope that this could lead to?
    If this goes through, is it just a matter of time before unwilling females are assigned to the Infantry?
    We all know what the answer to that question is, so I won't point out the obvious.
    Do Marines S*** In The Woods? Not Anymore...
    Nor will I also point out the hyper-sensitivity there is in the DoD to so-called "sexual harassment."
    Something as basic as L/Cpl Schmotz emptying his bladder or voiding his bowels now will require a SALUTE* report.
    And speaking of bodily functions, what happens when Suzy's squad is suppose to set up an ambush site?
    If this happens to be the five day time frame every month that lil' Suzy is "feeling delicate," you can count on said ambush becoming totally FUBARed.
    That smell of raw menstrual blood will draw every wild dog in a 10 mile radius.
    So much for your ambush.
    But If They're Qualified...
    There's no doubt in my military mind that there are women out there that are (in the parlance of those crazy kids now-a-days) pure bad asses.
    I'm quite sure that there are probably plenty of gals out there that could beat the dog snot out of me.
    And I'm equally sure that there are more than a few who could pass the basic qualifications to be a Grunt, Tanker or Cannon Cocker.
    But all that's beside the point.
    Women still have no place in direct combat MOSs.
    Here's Why...
    I've already pointed out that there are some women who have at least the physical wherewithal to serve in combat roles.
    I'm going to give you two categories of American citizens:

    • 18-year-olds that just graduated high school and can't even read the diploma just handed to them.


    • 12-year-olds working on their Masters in Constitutional Law.

    Of the two categories, which one can vote?
    Of the two categories, which one is more qualified?
    Think about it.
    If this nation is willing to subject "certain" women to the hell that is combat, then we better start allowing "certain" kiddies access to the voting booth.
    After all, isn't that "the fair" thing to do?
    On Second Thought...
    You know, the more I think about it... I've changed my mind.
    I'm dead set against this ridiculous notion that men and women are equal.
    After all, why should women step down?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    The issue is that the common 19 yo male is more capable than 95% of the common 19yo female when it comes to the physical stresses of combat and field deployment. It's just undeniable. We're not equal. Further, the top 10% of males are not matched by any females, even the best of the best. If they were, there would be mixed Olympics games and there isn't because the males would dominate.

    I know of men who went 25+ days without showering during the invasion of Iraq. At the end, they were stripped down and hosed off with a firehouse. Their uniforms were essentially destroyed. I'm sorry ladies, but your plumbing is high maintenance and bleeding for a week during such an invasion would have created an issue.

    We just aren't equal physically. This does not mean that women don't have other, equally important roles. Combat is not one of them.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    I think you missed my point.... I was still looking at her points. I never got past the picture lol
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    By the way Mal, I've served with women in the field. And you're 100% correct. The thing about all the wilds dogs... correct. (I killed a dog with a knife in Egypt that attacked me as part of a pack, the rest decided I was a hard target. We had more than one woman in the desert get attacked and bitten. I didn't get bitten.)

    I think I have only ever met one or two women who were actually stronger than me physically (at least I would guess they were) and they were weight lifters. I don't have to "lift a lot" to put on muscle. My wife on the other hand has been going to the gym now for ... about 5 months I think, and she's finally starting to tone up. She gets MAD at me because I work out twice over the week or three times and build muscle, drop weight and tone up fast. She doesn't.

    I can't imagine a woman ever being physically "equal to" a man at the same skill set...
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military


    Navy: Lincoln Refueling Delayed, Will Hurt Carrier Readiness

    February 8, 2013

    The U.S. Navy will delay the refueling of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) for an unknown period because of the uncertain fiscal environment due to the ongoing legislative struggle, the service told Congress in a Friday message obtained by USNI News.

    Lincoln was scheduled to be moved to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipyard later this month to begin the 4-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the ship.

    “This delay is due to uncertainty in the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bill, both in the timing and funding level available for the first full year of the contract,” the message said.

    “CVN-72 will remain at Norfolk Naval Base where the ships force personnel will continue to conduct routine maintenance until sufficient funding is received for the initial execution of the RCOH.”

    Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower subcommittee released a statement denouncing the need for decision.

    Forbes called the delay, “another example of how these reckless and irresponsible defense cuts in Washington will have a long-term impact on the Navy’s ability to perform its missions. Not only will the Lincoln be delayed in returning to the Fleet, but this decision will also affect the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) defueling, the USS George Washington (CVN-73) RCOH, and future carrier readiness.”

    The move by the navy is the second this week involving funding for carriers. On Wednesday it announced it would delay the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) to the Middle East do to the ongoing budget strife bringing the total number of carriers in U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to one until funding normalizes.

    “Canceling and deferring maintenance creates a significant backlog of deferred maintenance and affects future year schedules and cost, as well as future readiness,” said Lt. Courtney Hillson, a Navy spokesperson.

    “The fiscal uncertainty created by not having an appropriations bill — and the measures we are forced to take as a result, place significant stress on an already strained force and undermines the stability of a fragile industrial base.”

    The delay in the RCOH for the Lincoln translates into a carrier that will be undeployable for the foreseeable future. It is ‘not possible to restore,’ the carrier to active service without the $3.3 billion overhaul, Hillson said.

    Under the current Continuing Resolution (CR), the Navy is $1.5 billion short on its accounts. Combined with coming sequestration in March the number grows to $9 billon for FY 2013, according to Navy documents.

    The Navy had budgeted $92 million for the Lincoln refueling in its FY 2012 budget.

    Each Nimitz-class carrier undergoes a refueling and complete overhaul at the halfway point in its 50-year service life.

    HII said the company is, “disappointed with this turn of events,” and said the delay, “is the direct result of the lack of a defense appropriations bill,” HII spokesperson Christie Miller said in a statement.

    “This is not a cancellation of the Lincoln’s RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding,” Miller said.

    “We intend to continue our efforts on the ship at the Navy base in Norfolk and will work to make as much progress as possible, as efficiently as possible, prior to its arrival.”

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    And now this...

    Budget Cuts Cancel Planned Deployment Of The USS Harry S. Truman

    February 6, 2013

    The USS Harry S. Truman will not deploy on Friday as scheduled.

    The decision was approved by President Obama himself as part of a Navy package presented to the president outlining budget options the service can take to deal with possible shortfalls from the upcoming budget sequestration and the lack of a defense budget.

    The cuts mean the Navy will be forced to keep only one aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

    Families depend on deployment money to pay bills. Many move home for family support. They are already gone.

    Single sailors with children already sent their kids to caretakers.

    Many sailors moved out of apartments or homes, have cars in storage and already set up mortgage and phones and bills. This will be a tough adjustment.

    Since they are now cancelled, only delayed indefinitely, they could have to leave suddenly if the budget impasse is solved.

    The Navy is asking for community help for these 5,000 sailors, giving leniency on bills.

    Living arrangements, help with temporary storage, temporary transportation…many of them do not have local family or a support system.

    The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is scheduled to deploy to the Persian Gulf in the next two weeks and according to the Navy, they are still on schedule to do so. They will be taking over for the Stennis, who will head back to the west coast.

    We asked Fleet Forces why the Eisenhower deployment wasn’t cancelled instead, and they could only tell us there were “longer term maintenance issues and certifications” that came into play in the Navy’s decision.

    The Navy has kept an on-and-off presence with two carriers in the Gulf region during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta extended a directive to keep two carriers in that region last summer as tensions with Iran intensified and Tehran threatened a blockade of U.S. carriers into the Persian Gulf

    If a second carrier is needed in the Middle East, it might have to come from Asia, which is also a top national security priority for the Obama administration, potentially leaving the Asia region without a carrier for a period of time.


    Statement from the Pentagon:


    “The secretary of defense has delayed the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and the USS Gettysburg (CG-64), which were scheduled to depart Norfolk, Va., later this week for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility.

    “Facing budget uncertainty — including a continuing resolution and the looming potential for across-the-board sequestration cuts — the U.S. Navy made this request to the secretary and he approved. This prudent decision enables the U.S. Navy to maintain these ships to deploy on short notice in the event they are needed to respond to national security contingencies.

    “The United States will continue to maintain a robust military presence in the CENTCOM region, including the current carrier presence and a mix of other assets, to fulfill enduring commitments to our partners. The U.S. military continues to stand ready to respond to any contingency and to confront any threat in the region.”


    The following is a statement by Congressman Scott Rigell:


    “This most recent announcement concerning the USS HARRY S TRUMAN and our carrier presence in the Persian Gulf is an early indication of the challenge our region will face if sequestration is not averted. I have supported, and the House has passed on two separate occasions, measures that would avert sequestration. As recently as today, I co-sponsored legislation to be introduced by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon that would avert these cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year by offsetting them with savings through attrition in the federal workforce with a national security waiver.”

    “I urge the President and the Senate to consider these alternatives passed by the House to avert sequestration. The seriousness of this situation cannot be overstated. These cuts have the potential to devastate our region and, as we can see by today’s announcement, the impact on our community and our forward presence has already begun.”


    The following is a statement by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine:

    “Today’s decision regarding the Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman is the clearest sign yet that continued budget uncertainty will have a direct and dangerous impact on our national security and military readiness – not to mention the impact on the servicemen and women and their families who stand to be affected in Hampton Roads. Allowing the sequester to take effect and operating our military under a continuing resolution is poor business, poor budgeting and poor governance. We need to get back to an orderly budget process that prevents political gridlock from creating uncertainty and jeopardizing our national defense.”





    Now we're cutting carrier deployments because we can't afford it.

    Keep up the hard work Obama, we're almost there!


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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military


    Administration to Dismantle U.S. Merchant Marine?

    Reduction in cargo preference shipments just the first step.

    February 27, 2013

    As the administration and Congress continue to batter the American psyche with doomsday terms like “debt ceiling,” “fiscal cliff” and “sequestration,” the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been busy behind the scenes dismantling the U.S. Merchant Marine. After funding a decade of war and bailing out Wall Street and the banks, a gridlocked and dysfunctional government’s only answer to deficit reduction appears to be the shutdown of basic services for its citizens and the gradual elimination of funding for the U.S. Merchant Marine (USSM).

    The USMM has served the United States for more than two hundred years and has supported U.S. military operations around the world during every conflict this nation has been involved with. But, to no one’s surprise, the White House seems intent on ceasing operations of the USMM. Since taking office, the administration has provided more Jones Act waivers than any other administration and, just a few months ago, it hacked the USMM’s percentage of cargo preference shipments of food aid from 75% to 50% before any one even knew what hit them. Now it intends to write the final chapter of the USMM with the scribble of a pen on another backroom deal.

    President Obama and DOT Secretary LaHood have never recognized the maritime sector as part of the U.S. infrastructure. They provided MARAD with $433 million while providing air, truck and rail an additional $495 billion to rebuild their systems. Furthermore, the administration ensured that America’s Marine Highway would be tabled until 2017 or at least pushed back to the next administration.

    So How’s That Working Out…?

    As part of its deficit reduction plan, the White House wants to send money to starving nations under a new food aid scheme, which includes NGOs overseeing the program. OXFAM America, an NGO currently campaigning on Capitol Hill to cease buying food from American farmers and end cargo preference laws for U.S. flag operators, received $78 million in revenues and spent $28 million in organizational salaries in 2011.

    OXFAM’s IRS report says its mission is to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice with local groups in more than 90 nations, which includes giving them cash to buy food. And the NGO says it is campaigning for social justice by participating in meaningful discussions about issues affecting indigenous peoples’ families, livelihood and land. Additionally, OXFAM advocates investment in small-scale food producers and modernization of food aid programs as part of its campaign.

    USAID reports distribution of more than $2.3 billion in food to starving nations such as Pakistan. For more than 60 years, the U.S. has been providing aid to Pakistan, and in 2011 the country got another $1.5 billion in aid. And yet its people are starving? Egypt is another boondoggle for disappearing U.S. aid funds. It is estimated that almost $19 billion has disappeared due to corruption. Egypt has 80 million people and is the largest food importer in the world. The Egyptian government, which gets $1.3 billion in annual credits from the U.S., only gives cheap bread to its poor.

    Countries like Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Colombia have been getting money in aid from the U.S., yet these countries have the most starving people in the world. When NGOs claim more than 25,000 tons of food aid reached the Haitian people almost instantly after the earthquake, they forget to mention the U.S. maritime sector delivered the vast majority of the tonnage.

    Ending food aid by sending money and NGOs overseas to ensure that people are fed is another problem in itself. Since the U.S. began sending money to foreign governments to ensure democracy endures and its people are fed, it just hasn’t worked.

    Time to Reconsider

    Buying food from U.S. farmers and transporting it under cargo preference laws may not be the most effective program, but it’s a lot better than sending cash to countries to buy food locally. Most of these nations’ farmers cannot produce enough food in the first place, so what is going to change in the future? The cash will be used for other purposes, and everyone will suffer.

    The USMM is an institution with a long heritage and a vital role to play in America’s economic well-being and military readiness. To put an end to it because special interests believe money is faster and safer in order to feed the starving is a big mistake. The White House needs to reconsider its budgetary plans and keep American jobs where they belong – in America.

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    US Air Force Grounds Combat Aircraft Due to Budget Cuts


    An F-35 Lightning II lands Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at Nellis Air Force Base, United States
    © US Air Force / Airman 1st Class Jason Couillard

    02:36 10/04/2013

    Tags: sequestration, Air Combat Command, U.S. Air Force, United States

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    WASHINGTON, April 9 (RIA Novosti) – The US Air Force has begun curtailing operations of about one-third of the active-duty combat aircraft following recent budget cuts, the Air Combat Command (ACC) said in a statement on Tuesday.

    “The stand down is the result of cuts to Air Combat Command's operations and maintenance account, which must be implemented in part by flying approximately 45,000 fewer training hours between now and October 1,” the statement said.

    The move affects aircraft assigned to fighter, bomber, aggressor and airborne warning and control squadrons stationed in the United States, Europe and the Pacific.

    "Units will stand down on a rotating basis so our limited resources can be focused on fulfilling critical missions," said Gen. Mike Hostage, the ACC commander.

    The Air Force's budget for the fiscal year ending in October has been reduced by $591 million as part of the series of deficit reduction measures that took effect on March 1 after the US politicians failed to agree an alternative to sweeping federal budget cuts totaling $85 billion this year.

    "The current situation means we're accepting the risk that combat airpower may not be ready to respond immediately to new contingencies as they occur," Gen. Hostage warned.

    According to the statement, on average aircrews lose currency to fly combat missions within 90 to 120 days of not flying and it generally takes 60 to 90 days to conduct the training needed to return aircrews to mission-ready status.

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    US Navy Still Seeks To Decommission More Ships

    April 23, 2013

    Rebuffed by Congress in an attempt to inactivate nine warships as a cost-cutting measure, the US Navy is set to try again – in 2015.

    The effort is reflected in data tables sent by the service to Capitol Hill in advance of a Wednesday-morning hearing on acquisition plans for the Navy and Air Force. The tables, prepared to accompany the forthcoming annual 30-year shipbuilding plan, were sent to Congress this week without explanation as, according to Navy sources, the final report has yet to be approved.

    The tables show few changes over last year’s shipbuilding plans, but nine additional ships appear in the retirement column planned for fiscal 2015.

    Other ships also are scheduled to leave service in 2015, reflecting earlier plans, but unexpectedly, two T-AOE fast combat support ships are now on the early retirement list, one each in 2014 and 2015. Previously, the earliest T-AOE retirements weren’t scheduled until 2033.

    At about 49,000 tons, the Navy’s four T-AOEs, operated by the Military Sealift Command, are some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated support ships, carrying fuel, ammunition and supplies. The high-speed ships usually accompany aircraft carrier strike groups on overseas deployments.

    The renewed effort to reduce the numbers of cruisers and amphibious ships follows an initial announcement in February 2012 that, as a cost-cutting measure, the cruisers Cowpens, Anzio, Vicksburg and Port Royal would be decommissioned in 2013, with the cruisers Gettysburg, Chosin, Hue City and amphibious dock ships Whidbey Island and Tortuga following in 2014.

    All were being inactivated prior to the normally-expected end of their service lives. The service looked for savings by cutting operations, canceling further modernization of the ships and reducing the need for about 3,000 sailors.

    But Congress objected to the force reductions and, in the 2013 defense authorization bill passed Jan. 1, required the Navy to keep the ships in service. But the Navy didn’t request operating funds for the ships it wanted to inactivate in 2013, and they were placed in an “operational but not funded” status.

    It is not clear from the data tables if the seven cruisers and two amphibs to be decommissioned in 2015 are the same ships the Navy early planned to inactivate. But the decommissionings are sure to be a point of contention on Capitol Hill.

    “If decline is a choice, this new 30-year shipbuilding plan willingly chooses to continue the slow, painful decline of American seapower,” Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., said Tuesday in a statement. Forbes chairs the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, set to hold the Wednesday morning hearing.

    “After committing to a 313-ship fleet,” Forbes continued, “this plan has the Navy headed to just 270 [in 2015] after retiring 31 vessels and only procuring 16 new ones during this time. More alarming, while this fleet is shrinking by retiring and building less major surface combatants and amphibious ships, we are artificially filling these gaps with smaller surface combatants and support vessels.

    “In the decade ahead we will lean more heavily on our seapower forces to underpin our national security strategy; prioritizing a shipbuilding budget to resource this strategy should be one of our first priorities,” Forbes said in the statement.

    Rear Adm. John Kirby, the service’s top spokesman, defended the service’s efforts.

    “Today we provided Congress information tables from our draft 30-year shipbuilding plan,” Kirby said in a statement. “We believe the information found in these tables clearly articulates our intention to modernize and grow the fleet to our required minimum of 306 ships.

    “We have been upfront and transparent about the need to decommission older ships,” Kirby continued, “while at the same introducing new and more capable platforms. Both Secretary [Ray] Mabus and Admiral [Jonathan] Greenert,” chief of naval operations, “have been clear about the need to further our success in shipbuilding. Indeed, under Secretary Mabus' leadership the Navy has put 43 new ships under contract. We look forward to working with the Congress to discuss the way forward.”

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    We are cost-cutting ourselves into imminent oblivion. By design, I might add.

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Obama's dangerous defense experiment

    The United States has cut down the military so rapidly and so blindly, we're in danger of breaking the back of the force.

    President Obama greets service members after arriving at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images / February 26, 2013)

    By Howard P. “Buck” McKeon February 28, 2013

    Mindful of the repeated rounds of cuts the military has already endured, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, recently delivered a grim warning: "If you want [the military] to be doing what it's doing today, then we can't give you another dollar."

    His worries reflect reductions that started in 2009 and have reached crippling levels, even in President Obama's proposals to avert sequestration. I take the general at his word, but I am concerned that the president does not.

    Sequester hurts national security, not just because 50% of the cuts fall on the military's 18% share of the overall budget but because the Pentagon has been the only place the president is willing to cut. For four years he has mismanaged our nation's most vital resource, our uniformed military, fomenting the sequester-inspired readiness crisis it faces today. His actions, his under-resourced strategies, accelerated withdrawal plans and lead-from-behind policies have left the Pentagon far less able to shoulder the burden of another 10% cut.

    The wide swath of missions Dempsey referred to benefit Americans in varied ways. Some are obvious, like fighting terrorism; some are subtler, like patrolling our airspace and shoring up our economic security by keeping vital avenues of commerce free — on the seas and in space and cyberspace.

    Those are missions the military should be able to perform without putting undue stress on the armed services as a whole. Actually, I want them to be fully prepared if they are called on to do much more. While there is no question the Pentagon was long overdue for a housecleaning, we have cut down so rapidly and so blindly that we're in danger of breaking the back of the force.

    And, perhaps more important, the sequester will cripple our military's ability to fulfill its primary role: to keep this nation out of war.

    Already, Pentagon planners are going through the laundry list of missions that could be cut.

    The Navy has been forced to keep a carrier in port rather than send it on a scheduled deployment to the Middle East. That message is not lost on the Iranians.

    Sequestration manifests itself in less prominent but no less potent ways. For example, tons of illegal narcotics are intercepted annually by military patrols in the Caribbean. The Navy is now shuttering operations that will leave the door open for those drugs to find their way to America's suburbs. The Navy may also have to curtail its ballistic missile defense patrols — even as North Korea successfully launched a missile into space in December and conducted a nuclear test in recent weeks.

    The Air Force will be hit so hard, its leadership is being forced to cut flight hours for air crews. If they cannot train adequately enough to deploy, our pilots may well be grounded during the next national crisis.

    The Marine Corps faces an equally dire outlook, where cuts are so deep we risk losing the Marines as a deployable force. Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, warned in congressional testimony that because there will be no amphibious ready group around Africa, the Marines can no longer provide quick-reaction support to our embassies there.

    The next time America needs to call 911, we may not be able to call in the Marines.

    The Army faces similar challenges, as do the industries that support the Defense Department.

    In California alone, it is estimated that we could lose 126,000 private sector jobs, 20,000 active-duty military jobs and more than 15,000 civilian Defense Department jobs. I have spent the last year and a half talking with my constituents who will be directly affected by these cuts. It is unbelievable that the president would support a plan that would dissolve a highly skilled and dedicated workforce at installations such as the Antelope Valley's Plant 42. Remember, many workers in California and across the nation have lost their jobs because of previous dramatic defense cuts. Sequester only adds to this pain.

    That brings us to a choice. If there were a proposal on the table that spared the troops and heeded Dempsey's warning of not a dollar more from the armed forces, I would ask House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to consider it. But after cutting defense three times, the president's solution to replacing sequester means another $250 billion out of the armed forces and more taxes. The choice the American people are being given is "break the military" or "break the military and new taxes."

    Let's be clear: Even if the president were given every dollar in new taxes he has requested, it wouldn't make a difference in our national debt. Entitlement programs will continue to grow out of control, and the amount we spend on interest to service the debt soon will start to outpace even what we spend on the military. The cuts he continues to insist on, while below the level of sequestration, are still severe enough to hollow out our force. This approach forces me to conclude that the president, for all his stump speeches and props, wants the sequester to happen.

    The president is forcing America to indulge him in this dangerous experiment with national security. It is unworthy of the sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands in uniform whom he has directed into harm's way over the last four years. It is a reckless experiment when one takes stock of the growing threats and commitments that occupy our forces around the world.

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    U.S. nuclear commander: Sequester may affect readiness in 6 months

    By Shaun Waterman
    The Washington Times
    Wednesday, March 6, 2013




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    The commander of the U.S. nuclear arsenal told lawmakers that the big across-the-board cuts to military spending mean that his forces might not be able to defend the United States in six months' time.

    Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler, in charge of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified Tuesday before the House Armed Services Committee about the impact on his command of the sequester, as the automatic cuts are known, and the other looming fiscal battles in Congress, such as the one expected before the end of the month on government spending levels for the rest of fiscal 2013.

    "I'm pleased to report that Stratcom is capable of executing its assigned mission responsibilities today," Gen. Kehler said, according to a transcript. "However, given the potential impact fiscal uncertainty and declining resources could have on Stratcom, I am concerned that I may not be able to say the same in six months or a year."

    He said the Air Force's bomber pilots would not be able to fly the training hours needed to maintain their launch-on-notice readiness if the service eliminated flying and maintenance for units not in or preparing for combat — a cut that might be needed if the sequester continues in effect throughout the year.

    Uncertainty about budget levels also could interfere with space operations, another Stratcom responsibility, the Air Force Times reported. Cuts could leave "a huge gap in the command's ability to monitor space for threats, such as asteroids, debris" or enemy missiles that could knock out satellites and disrupt the nation's GPS navigation and telephone communications systems, according to Air Force Times.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Six months from today.... 28 November 2013.

    Interesting Date.

    Iran 1943 Iran Allied Leaders Meeting 28th November, 1943 : US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin meet in Tehran for a three day meeting to discuss "Operation Overlord which included D Day Landings in Normandy, France for May 1944, the landings were delayed and took place on 6th June 1944" as part of the final strategy for the war against Nazi Germany and its allies. As part of the meeting a pledge was made by the three countries to recognize Iran's independence ( Britain and the USSR had invaded Iran in 1941 ).
    Cuba 1933 Cuba Civil War 28th November, 1933 : An agreement was soon to be made between governmental factions battling for control in Cuba. It was believed that peace would be achieved in this country at this time.
    So....

    perhaps in six months, the history might read

    2013 America surrenders to Russia on 28th November 2014
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Army To Cut Brigades At 10 U.S. Bases

    June 25, 2013

    In a massive restructuring, the U.S. Army is slashing the number of active duty combat brigades from 45 to 33, and shifting thousands of soldiers out of bases around the country as it moves forward with a longtime plan to cut the size of the service by 80,000.

    Officials say the sweeping changes would eliminate brigades at 10 Army bases in the U.S. by 2017, including in Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, Colorado, North Carolina, New York, Kansas and Washington. The Army will also cut thousands of other jobs across the service, including soldiers in units that support the brigades, and two brigades in Germany have already been scheduled for elimination.

    Officials provided details on the plans on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. An announcement is expected Tuesday afternoon. The Army is being reduced in size from a high of about 570,000 during the peak of the Iraq war to 490,000 as part of efforts to cut the budget and reflect the country's military needs as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end. Additional reductions could be required if Congress allows automatic budget cuts to continue into next year.

    While the cuts may have less impact at some of the Army's larger bases such as Fort Hood in Texas and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, they could be more painful for communities around some of the smaller installations such as Fort Knox, where currently only one brigade is based.

    The other seven U.S. bases that will lose a brigade are: Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Fort Carson in Colorado, Fort Drum in New York, Fort Riley in Kansas, Fort Stewart in Georgia, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. Soldiers in the deactivated brigades would be transferred to other units.

    The overall cut in size has been known for more than a year, and Army leaders have been working on how to manage the reduction, conducting local community meetings across the country and releasing an extensive study on the issue earlier this year.

    Under the plan set to be announced Tuesday, the Army will increase the size of its infantry and armor brigades by adding another battalion, which is between 600-800 soldiers. Adding the battalion was a recommendation from commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan who said it would beef up the fighting capabilities of the brigades when they go to war.

    A brigade is usually about 3,500 soldiers, but can be as large as 5,000 for the heavily armored units.

    Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, has said he hopes to be able to cut the 80,000 soldiers through voluntary departures, without forcing troops to leave the service. But Army leaders have not ruled out forced reductions.

    The cuts do not affect National Guard or Reserve brigades and units.

    Officials said the decisions on the cuts were based on a variety of factors including required training resources, ranges, air space and infrastructure, as well as the need to put units near leadership and headquarters units.




    Army Announces Force Structure and Stationing Decisions

    June 25, 2013

    Today the Department of the Army announced force structure and stationing decisions associated with the active component end-strength reduction of 80,000 soldiers, resulting in an Army end-strength of 490,000 by 2017. These reductions are consistent with fiscal constraints resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011 and defense planning guidance issued in 2012, but do not reflect additional reductions that will be required if sequestration-driven funding reductions remain unmitigated.

    Based on extensive analysis, the lessons of a dozen years of combat and the need to increase operational capability and flexibility, the Army will make the following changes to its force structure:

    -Reorganize infantry and armor brigade combat teams (BCTs) to restore the third maneuver battalion and increase engineer and fires capability.

    -Reduce active component BCTs from 45 modular to 33 reorganized BCTs.

    -Continue growth in aviation, special operations, missile defense and cyber capabilities.

    This active component force structure, in conjunction with Army National Guard and Army Reserve capabilities, supports the current defense strategy and meets combatant command requirements through regional alignment of forces and global responsiveness for contingencies. The decision to restructure armor and infantry BCTs helps mitigate the loss of BCTs by eliminating the headquarters but preserving 13 Armor and Infantry battalions that would be lost without the reorganization.

    Stationing decisions necessitated by the reductions and reorganization were based on a comprehensive analysis of installation quantitative and qualitative considerations to include training, power projection, well-being, expansibility, regeneration, geographic distribution, environmental and socio-economic impacts, cost, and alignment with the defense strategy. Opportunities for community input were included through both the programmatic environment assessment public comment period and community listening sessions conducted in parallel with the military value analysis and qualitative stationing analysis, prior to the final decision.

    Based on this comprehensive analysis, a BCT will inactivate at each of the following locations by 2017: Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Stewart, Ga., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Two BCTs, stationed at Baumholder and Grafenwoehr, Germany, will complete their inactivation in Fiscal Year 2013, leaving two BCTs in Europe to fulfill strategic commitments.

    The reduction of 80,000 soldiers from the force represents a 14 percent reduction across the AC force. The specific impacts of these decisions on individual installations are being provided to affected Congressional delegations. The Army will conduct Congressional notification in accordance with Section 993, Title 10 U.S.C. prior to taking any irrevocable actions to implement these decisions.




    Fort Campbell To Lose 4th BCT, 320 Soldiers In Restructuring

    June 25, 2013

    Fort Campbell will lose one of its brigades in a massive Army restructuring, but with additional battalions and other assets being parceled out to the remaining brigades, the net loss looks to be only about 320 soldiers.

    In the restructuring, the Army will eliminate at least 12 combat brigades nationwide and relocate thousands of soldiers. It will also cancel $400 million in construction projects as the first wave of federal budget cuts takes aim at military communities around the country.

    US Army Chief Gen. Ray Odierno announced Tuesday that the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division will be eliminated, and soldiers in all the deactivated brigades will be transferred to other units.

    Fort Campbell

    For both the post and surrounding communities fearing the worst a year ago, the result of reorganization looks to actually strengthen Fort Campbell’s overall importance and position in the new force structure.

    Of 3,500 positions in 4th BCT, 2,700 will be “reinvested” through the other brigades.

    Taken together with the additions to the other BCTs, other modifications to non-BCT units means the projected loss to Fort Campbell will be 320 soldiers, or a loss of only 1.1 percent, according to Army documents shared with The Leaf-Chronicle.

    From its current strength of approximately 29,200, Fort Campbell will retain 28,900 soldiers in 2019, higher than the pre-9/11 figure of 22,900.

    Back To Three

    Nationwide, the Army will reduce its strength by 14 percent, from a wartime high of 570,000 to 490,000 over the next four years.

    The Army has already eliminated two Europe-based BCTs and will eliminate 10 more BCTs “in a methodical manner” between now and 2017, while retaining 13 maneuver battalions through reorganization.

    As previously reported by The Leaf-Chronicle, the plan discussed last year, involving the loss of a brigade at certain posts rather than opting for base closures, was to “plus up” existing infantry and armor brigades with an extra battalion each – a return to the situation that existed prior to the formation of brigade combat teams during the last reorganization, when every brigade had three maneuver battalions.

    It is not confirmed at this time exactly when, how or where the two infantry battalions within 4th BCT – the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 506th Infantry Regiment – will be transitioned.

    Sources told The Leaf-Chronicle that Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division’s remaining BCTs – 1st, 2nd and 3rd – will likely add fire support and engineer assets along with the additional infantry battalions.

    Fort Campbell is home to the seven brigades of the 101st Airborne Division, plus the 5th Special Forces Group, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and other units.

    The 4th BCT is currently deployed to Afghanistan.

    The core unit of the 4th BCT is the 506th Infantry Regiment “Currahees,” also known as the “Band of Brothers” regiment, has been featured in both the book by historian Stephen Ambrose and the hugely popular 2001 HBO miniseries.

    The unit earned fame as one of the Army’s most decorated formations in World War II, participating in every major airborne operation, as well as in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Other BCTs Eliminated

    The other eliminated BCTs are:

    • 3rd BCT, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas

    • 4th BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

    • 3rd BCT, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

    • 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

    • 4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas

    • 3rd BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.

    • 4th BCT, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

    • 2nd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

    • 4th Stryker BCT, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

    Odierno said one additional brigade will likely be cut, but no final decisions have been made.

    “I know in the local communities it will have its impact,” Odierno told reporters Tuesday. “But we’ve done our best to reach out to them so they understand what the impacts are. We’ve tried to make it as small an impact as possible for as many communities as we could.”

    About The Cuts


    Army leaders warned that more cuts – of as many as 100,000 more active duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers – could be coming if Congress allows billions of dollars in automatic budget cuts under sequester to continue next year.

    Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said his panel “will carefully examine the implications of this initial restructuring, but we all must understand that this is only the tip of the iceberg, much deeper cuts are still to come.”

    Odierno said the Army tried to spread out the cuts geographically. He said Fort Knox scored the lowest in military value, but insisted the reduction was not the first step toward closing the base. He noted that about 4,000 civilian workers had been added there, as well as the Army’s recruiting command.

    The overall cut in size has been known for more than a year, and Army leaders have been working on how to manage the reduction, conducting local community meetings across the country and releasing an extensive study on the issue earlier this year.

    Odierno said he continues to hope that he will be able to cut the 80,000 soldiers largely through voluntary departures. He said he believes he will have to force several hundred officers to leave in order to get the proper number of soldiers at various ranks. But, if the automatic cuts go forward, Odierno said he would likely have to force soldiers out of the Army.

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