A U.S. Army official has confirmed that, in the coming few years, approximately 10,000 Army officers could face layoffs. The reduction in personnel comes via a multi-year effort to meet minimum active-duty troop levels as determined by Congress.
As Federal News Radio reports, vice chief of staff of the Army General Daniel Allyn detailed his reservations about the shrinking of active-duty numbers at a recent Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee hearing. "With 186,000 deployed on a daily basis in 140 countries, you understand my discomfort with trying to continue to meet emergent demands and current operations with a force that is getting smaller," he told the committee.
The effort to reduce Army personnel is mandated by the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review. Since its release, the Army has been tasked with reducing its personnel from 1.3 million to 980,000. This includes active duty soldiers: 475,000 must be maintained by the end of the 2016 and 450,000 by the end of 2018. The number of active-duty soldiers currently stands at 482,000.
DEEPENING CONCERNS OVER READINESS
In his statement to the Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, General Allyn also revealed that many of the soldiers the Army has separated with were seasoned professionals with combat experience. "Over 50 percent of those we were asking to separate involuntarily had two or more combat deployments, so these are all soldiers that have answered the call of the nation," he said. "They have served admirably and because of the program force structure we must separate [from] them."
The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review was guided by the findings of a congressional panel that found that 450,000 active-duty troop level was an "acceptable minimum" to meet the nation's security and defense needs. However, concerns over overall readiness continue to persist among experts and military leaders during the long-term sequestration. "Yeah, we’re worried, but given the resources we had we don’t see those numbers going up," said Future of the Army Commission Vice Chairman Thomas Lamont to Federal News Radio. "We don’t have the money to increase the number of our soldiers."
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