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Pentagon bracing for 30% reduction in Army base operations
Hotair ^ | 01/23/2013 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 01/23/2013 8:38:01 AM PST by SeekAndFind

How bad will the cuts to defense spending affect the military readiness of the US? The Pentagon has begun to game out the impact of another round of steep cuts, and even fly-overs at public events will feel the slice of the axe. More importantly, Army base operations will get reduced by 30%, and military leaders are warning of a "hollow force" with a mandate that cannot possibly be met:

Bracing for the possibility of steep congressionally mandated budget cuts, senior military officials have issued directives for fiscal retrenchment that include a 30 percent cut for Army base operations this year, personnel cuts and a halt to unnecessary fighter jet swoops during special events.

The military is ordering these trims reluctantly as the Pentagon prepares for the $52 billion shortfall it says it would face this fiscal year if Congress and the White House fail to reach a deal by March 1 avoiding across-the-board cuts under the scenario known as sequestration. As the deadline looms, Pentagon officials have lashed out at Congress in unusually stern terms.

“The readiness of our Armed Forces is at a tipping point,” Gen. Martin E. Dempsey wrote to Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, in a Jan. 14 letter also signed by the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. “Budget conditions unfolding right now are causing this readiness crisis.”

The letter said “we are on the brink of creating a hollow force,” because under the current budget conditions and legislation, the Pentagon could be ordered to keep a number of troops it can’t adequately sustain.

According to the Post, the Air Force has already begun implementing cuts but still faces a nearly $2 billion deficit for the rest of this fiscal year. That’s one reason why we won’t be seeing fly-overs at sporting events, and the Air Force’s participation in air shows — a big recruiting environment — will stop as well. The Navy and the Air Force have both imposed a hiring freeze, and the Pentagon says that the pending sequestration could mean furloughs for its entire 800,000 civilian employees.

The sequestration followed a previous round of cuts in Defense that took $500 billion out of projected spending over the next decade already. Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has repeatedly warned that the sequestration would be “unworkable” and a “disaster.” Now it appears that the sequestration has become a reality, and the “hollow force” a real possibility.

Into this steps … Chuck Hagel. With Chuck Schumer’s blessing in hand, he’s likely to get confirmed as Panetta’s successor, and it’s become clear that Obama wants Hagel to serve as a hatchet man to reduce defense spending even further. That will not only put Obama on a collision course with Congress, but also on a collision course with the operational philosophy at Defense, which has had the mission to prepare for two hot wars at once since WWII. It’s possible to reduce defense spending significantly, but only if the US wants to retreat from its global position of security leadership and guarantor of safe trade. While that may possibly be Obama’s aim, interventions like Libya would then be off the table entirely (perhaps not a bad idea, considering that outcome), and certainly the same could be said of organizing against terrorism in Asia and Africa, and providing for the defense of Europe.

This should be an interesting confirmation hearing.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: army; budget; military; pentagon

1 posted on 01/23/2013 8:38:06 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Most dictators know that their first priority is to keep their armed forces happy - to avoid a coup. What the hell is Obama thinking???
2 posted on 01/23/2013 8:42:10 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (Soon the "invisible hand" will press the economic "reset" button.)
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To: Cowboy Bob

I think he’s depending on his civilian agency, the DHS, and all the rest who have spent a ton out of their exaggerated budgets on ammunition, black helicopters, drones, armored black MRAPs etc...He told us he was gonna do it in 2007/8


3 posted on 01/23/2013 8:45:03 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Cowboy Bob

“Most dictators know that their first priority is to keep their armed forces happy - to avoid a coup. What the hell is Obama thinking???”

Obama isn’t a traditional despot. Obama realizes it’s probable that he’s done in 2016. I suspect he welcomes that, because he misses his choom days.

Obama sees America as the biggest source of evil in the world. If he can neuter America before he’s out in 2016, that his the transformation he wanted.


4 posted on 01/23/2013 8:48:43 AM PST by brownsfan (Behold, the power of government cheese.)
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To: Cowboy Bob
Most dictators know that their first priority is to keep their armed forces happy - to avoid a coup.

You may have hit on the exact strategy needed to preserve this country and republic. KEEP CUTTING THEN!!!

5 posted on 01/23/2013 8:49:21 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: steve86

I think he should also restrict military food to cold MREs. and order cold showers as well. No consumer electronics, phoning home or mail. Make the military as mad as possible!!!


6 posted on 01/23/2013 8:52:00 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Gaffer
I think he’s depending on his civilian agency, the DHS, and all the rest who have spent a ton out of their exaggerated budgets on ammunition, black helicopters, drones, armored black MRAPs etc

So are we taking bets on Navy Seals/Green Berets/Marines versus a bunch of bureaucratic hacks from DHS playing with their shiny new toys?


7 posted on 01/23/2013 8:54:52 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

The materiel they are amassing for the DHS is not to do battle against the troops you think.....they are for the civilians. By the time Obama’s next 4 years are done, our military will be seriously depleted, both in manpower and equipment.


8 posted on 01/23/2013 9:01:12 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: SeekAndFind

The United States is dangerously putting our military eggs in too few baskets.Instead of consolidating these bases with this joint see crap they need separation.

One well coordinated attack could really put us behind the eight ball.


9 posted on 01/23/2013 9:02:12 AM PST by puppypusher (The World is going to the dogs.)
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To: Cowboy Bob
I'm seeing it as a DoD contractor too. We've laid off two key staff members. I'm working 55 to 60 hours a week and charging only 40 against the contract. Failure to deliver means unemployment. That's worse than the freebie hours trying to keep the customer happy. That said, it may not be enough. I may be packing up my little rental room in San Diego and heading home to Idaho.
10 posted on 01/23/2013 9:06:31 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: Cowboy Bob

One only need watch D’Souza’s movie on Obama to see what the Fraud in Chief has in store for America’s military. It is right in the movie and people were too blind or chose not to see what his plans entail.


11 posted on 01/23/2013 9:08:59 AM PST by Mr. Wright (NAACP)
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To: brownsfan
Obama sees America as the biggest source of evil in the world. If he can neuter America before he’s out in 2016, that his the transformation he wanted.

I have long maintained that Obama has a Plan A and a Plan B.

Plan A -- Through horrible policies, transform America into a non-Christian, poverty-stricken, poorly educated, laughingstock of a nation with a hollow military force. This is one way to destroy America.

Plan B -- Attempt to put into place a bunch of horribles policies to destroy America. Meet resistance. Spark a Second Civil War. Have the country break into pieces, with millions of dead, and polarizing divisions that will last for a century or more. This is a different way to destroy America.

Obama doesn't need to get all his policies into place.
Obama doesn't need to be on the winning side in a Civil War.

Obama has set up a "can't lose" proposition. If we do not resist, the end result will be a destroyed America. If we do resist, the end result will be a destroyed America. The deal is done.

Jihadi martyrs are focused on only one thing -- how much damage can they do to their enemies? The man will get what he wants, no matter what happens to him.

12 posted on 01/23/2013 9:13:22 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: SeekAndFind
I'm a 25 year (26 in a few months) active duty member. I really do not have a problem with cutting the DoD Budget. I think many on here are knee-jerking at cutting the budget for the military...but I am not.

What I DO have a problem with is the way I believe they will cut it. There is a LOT of waste in the DoD...and if done correctly...given the threats out there...we should be able to absorb this...no problem.

The people who are really going to take it on the chin are the DoD contractors. We have truly become a military industrial complex. We spend billions a year on MILCON (military construction) that is "nice to have" stuff...but certainly not a necessity. That money is basically a wealth tranfer from the tax payer...to the DoD...to the contractor and then back to the taxpayer (worker). The DoD also spends a lot of $ on TDY's that are not necessary...and on training that isn't mission related. There are so many programs and additional duties that require this or that class (and a TDY for someone to teach the class...or a TDY for someone to GO to the class).

Cut these things and most military types wouldn't flinch. They would probably be glad. However, in true bureaucratic fashion I fear they will cut in the wrong areas and keep spending money on stuff that just takes up time and really doesn't offer any mission dividends.

13 posted on 01/23/2013 9:33:45 AM PST by NELSON111
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To: SeekAndFind
USAF just announced a civilian hiring freeze, which probably a good idea, if targeted.

They also announced that military (officers and airmen) who promote in March will pin on new rank, but WILL NOT BE PAID IN THE NEW GRADE for an undefined period of time.

14 posted on 01/23/2013 9:38:15 AM PST by Half Vast Conspiracy (Based on a letter from an 8 year old…school is now illegal…”cuz it’s yuckey and dumb".)
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To: ClearCase_guy

“Jihadi martyrs are focused on only one thing — how much damage can they do to their enemies? The man will get what he wants, no matter what happens to him.”

I agree with you about Obama’s intentions and a plan A with a plan B.

In that case, Obama is in a win/win/win position. No matter which way it goes, America is neutralized, and Obama will live out his days in wealth and comfort.

America willingly swallowed the poison pill in 2008. After becoming ill, America was offered an antidote, or a second, stronger poison pill. America chose the poison pill.

We’re doomed, it’s only a matter of how it plays out.


15 posted on 01/23/2013 9:39:30 AM PST by brownsfan (Behold, the power of government cheese.)
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To: steve86
Make the military as mad as possible!!!

And lots more homosexual indoctrination! LOTS more!

16 posted on 01/23/2013 9:54:08 AM PST by 17th Miss Regt
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To: brownsfan
I don't believe Obama is going anywhere in 2016. I'm sure he's watching out for any radical leftist threats to his rule, but the radical tyrant will win any election using fraud. Republicans can't stop them. Our system is corrupt, broken, and unconstitutional. Obama is staying put unless forced out. He has a powerful media working for him that still holds enormous power. They are no less guilty than the tyrant Obama. We are in an extremely perilous situation that has no easy answers that many Americans can accept.

OATHKEEPERS.ORG

17 posted on 01/23/2013 10:02:26 AM PST by ThermoNuclearWarrior (www.OathKeepers.org/oath/)
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To: NELSON111

Thank you for your post! There is no doubt that the DoD budget needs cutting, especially in the area of the civilian workforce - no more undefined pensions for them.


18 posted on 01/23/2013 10:10:13 AM PST by Lou Budvis
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To: SeekAndFind

It wasn’t but a few years ago that snipers were having trouble finding money for bullets while a multi-billion dollar satellite program continued to be billions over budget. Same thing today: Total budget craziness.


19 posted on 01/23/2013 10:53:26 AM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: Cowboy Bob

cut the required dollars out of the civilian force and the consultants. How much do taxpayers compensate Harvard for all the whiz kids they engulf DOD with??


20 posted on 01/23/2013 11:08:54 AM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: Cowboy Bob

cut the required dollars out of the civilian force and the consultants. How much do taxpayers compensate Harvard for all the whiz kids they engulf DOD with??


21 posted on 01/23/2013 11:08:54 AM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: NELSON111

You are on target Nelson - right on!!!


22 posted on 01/23/2013 11:13:39 AM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
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To: SeekAndFind

And the so-called conservatives - the majority - in the House are going along with all this?


23 posted on 01/23/2013 11:46:52 AM PST by onedoug
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To: Gaffer

I think he’s depending on his civilian agency, the DHS, and all the rest .....


Bingo. But that’s not all. Don’t forget the Unions and the Entitlement “Clients” in the inner city. This unholy trinity is Obama’s real army. If, at some point, there’s wide scale rioting, don’t assume the Government will be on the side of those defending their property, businesses, or even their lives. In fact the opposite is true. Armed, law-abiding people are likely to be prosecuted for civil rights crimes against “the People”. And, of course, the MSM will brand these people as reactionary racists. The DOD, which still leans conservative and is sworn to uphold the Constitution, will be castrated.


24 posted on 01/23/2013 11:55:42 AM PST by rbg81
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To: NELSON111
"The people who are really going to take it on the chin are the DoD contractors." No. The first to feel sequestration will be DoD civilians, who will take a one-day per pay period (2 weeks) furlough. Leave without pay. A 10% pay cut. Contractors may feel the pinch later this summer, but nothing immediate. TC
25 posted on 01/23/2013 12:22:03 PM PST by Pentagon Leatherneck
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To: Pentagon Leatherneck
True. I kinda of, and I know incorrectly, lump DoD civilians into the same category (and i realize I shouldn't). Many are, IMO, contracted out to do the jobs we no longer do. Our airmen used to do chow hall duty...now it's civilians. Our finance used to be 100% military, now we have some civilians. Many of our assistants used to be young airmen...now they are GS-6's.

But yes...they will feel it first. I just got out of 2 meetings where we spoke on furloughs and TDY decreases and freezes. There will be a LOT of DoD Contractors (not vested GS employess but guys who are on a year to year contract) to get non-renewed. There will also be a lot of companies not hiring or laying off people because their DoD $ dries up. I almost got out at 20 and took a contractor job that was renewed year to year...but did not for this very reason.

26 posted on 01/23/2013 12:36:15 PM PST by NELSON111
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To: Lou Budvis

Civil Servants who are employed by the Federal Government have DEFINED BENEFITS plans.

Up to 1984, new federal employees entered the Civil Service Retirement Service (CSRS) Pension plan - which allowed about 2% per year times average of highest 3 years salary (and any OT or special pays would not be computed.) Someone who retired with 30 years at age 55 would be able to get 55% of their base salary as a retirement benefit. (They contributed the equivalent of a social security payment - about 6.1% - and did not pay into social security, and got no social security credit for their work.)

Because the program was considered a bit too generous - in 1984 - new employees went into the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) - where they would get 1% per year times an average of their highest 3 years salary (again, no OT or special money awards would be added in). They would pay 1% of their salary, and they also paid into Social Security and would be eligible to draw social security.

Both programs are considered ‘contracts’ and benefits could not be taken away. But - the FERS program can be modified for new workers. Starting this January, new employees will have to contribute 2.7% (IIRC - it might be 2.9%) for their FERS benefit instead of the 1%, and all federal workers who started before Jan. 2013 have their program unchanged.

Now - both CSRS and FERS are ‘nice’ programs - nicer than many programs available to the private sector at this time, but these programs are far less lucrative than some State/County/City programs in certain states. Consider some government retirement programs in California where workers might be eligible for a 3% per year of their final year’s salary (INCLUDING Overtime!!) ...and they can retire as early as age 50. So one might get 30 years x 3% x base + OT (a value that might be 30% - 50% higher than normal) - so that from age 50 to perhaps 85 - their retirement salary is greater than their base pay ....and it gets Cost Of Living Adjustments.

In My Opinion - it is not the FERS program that is as much of a problem; the real problem is the BLOAT and growth of government programs. The Federal government has BLOAT. For every DoD program that might need trimming back - there are probably a dozen non-DoD programs that should be ABOLISHED. The size of the Federal Government has grown significantly under Barack Obama - but the DoD hasn’t been growing ... so there are other areas that should be cut back.

In the Federal Government under Barack Obama - the number of high level supervisors (GS-13/14/15 and Senior Executive Service ...SES-1/2/3/4) has grown significantly. Work hasn’t become more efficient - and supervisors and managers are harder to fire than general government workers, who are almost impossible to fire. Hard workers are not rewarded for working efficiently...and ‘management’ doesn’t seem to want to find methods to improve productivity and do more with less, because it means that their own private ‘rice bowls’ would get smaller - which is less desirable than growing an empire.


27 posted on 01/23/2013 1:11:49 PM PST by Vineyard
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To: SeekAndFind
I want to reduce the military's budget even more, along with every other budget (as though there are any). We need at least a 50% cut, baseline, across the board in the Federal government.

I'd even set the military's budget at $0 if they are going to be used to round up gun owners.

The Constitution is no longer operative, people; why would we pay for Obama's private Army? The states better get used to operating on their own.

28 posted on 01/23/2013 1:13:05 PM PST by backwoods-engineer ("Remember: Evil exists because good men don't kill the gov officials committing it." -- K. Hoffmann)
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To: Vineyard

Obviously existing contracts cannot be changed, but incoming civilian employees should get a 401k, just like the majority of the private sector. No way should we be paying retirement pay at age 55.


29 posted on 01/23/2013 1:16:29 PM PST by Lou Budvis
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To: Pentagon Leatherneck

There is formal information out that indicates that the Navy might have to execute furloughs that would start in mid-late March - and would require workers to take one day off without pay each week - or a 20% pay cut ...for 22 weeks. (This would be the same as 22 days off over 26 pay periods for a year - about a 8.5% pay cut for the year.)

But the other ramifications are more serious. For example - at the Naval Shipyards - all overtime work would be curtailed and the shipyards might work 4 days a week and take 3 day weekends (maintaining fire and security workers, and other work that can’t be shutdown ....). Then the deliveries of ships back to the fleet would be delayed, and this affects existing ships on deployments, etc.

There are probably other more serious issues that haven’t been discussed - but I am sure that they will emerge and bite the military in the a$$ ...to our detriment...but then again, I think that is 0bama’s plan.


30 posted on 01/23/2013 1:25:40 PM PST by Vineyard
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To: Vineyard
" and would require workers to take one day off without pay each week - or a 20% pay cut ...for 22 weeks." Huh. That's slightly different guidance than was promulgated in OSD--much worse for the employee, of course. We were told it would be 22 days off in 22 pay periods. I share your concerns about the shipyards, etc. I assume all depots and other support installations would be in the same boat. So to speak. TC
31 posted on 01/23/2013 3:26:56 PM PST by Pentagon Leatherneck
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To: Pentagon Leatherneck

The problem is that the pain (the cutbacks) must be for FY13, which ends on 30 Sept 2013. Since there was nothing done to manage cutbacks for the first 6 months of the FY ...then the pain is concentrated over the final 6 months of the FY.

BTW - there are only 26 pay periods in a year...and as noted - 1/2 of them will have already passed by when the furloughs are implemented.

Can we say totally eFF’d up?


32 posted on 01/23/2013 8:32:13 PM PST by Vineyard
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