Defense

May 8, 2013

Odierno: Readiness issues pose risk to U.S. security

Tags:
Jim Garamone
Armed Forces Press Service

A smaller Army still needs to be ready, and sequester issues on top of previous budget cuts are impacting readiness accounts, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters at the Defense Writers Group, May 7, 2013.

A smaller Army still needs to be ready, and sequester issues on top of previous budget cuts are impacting readiness accounts, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno.

The general told reporters at the Defense Writers Group, May 7, that the Army “has to be ready to do many missions, at many speeds, in many different environments.”

The Army is scheduled to cut a total of 80,000 Soldiers from its ranks, he said, and this smaller force still needs to be ready.

“We have to be able to build [-up] quicker, in scalable packages, for unknown contingencies,” Odierno said.

Readiness problems are growing, he said, with fiscal year 2013 shortfalls causing problems in the Army.

“We were short funding Afghanistan, and we had sequester on top of that,” the general said.

This left the Army with a $13 billion shortfall, and that affects readiness, he said. Through the rest of fiscal year 2013, about 80 percent of the Army will train at very low levels at home stations – squad or platoon levels.

“We’ve cancelled six National Training Center rotations for the rest of the year, we’ve reduced flying hours, we’ve had to degrade services at installations – right now, we’re going to furlough civilians for 14 days,” Odierno said. “That’s how we’re going to pay the bills in [fiscal year] 2013.”

This means the Army will begin fiscal year 2014 in a readiness hole, the general said.

Without a solution, “I see us having a three- or four-year issue with readiness,” he said. “Our ability to respond will be degraded and I worry about the unknown contingency.”

The Army, he said, will continue to train forces for known contingencies like Afghanistan.

“But for unknown contingencies our risk goes way up,” Odierno said. “The environment we are going to have to operate in will be a mix of high-end, combined-arms maneuvers, but also some aspect of counterinsurgency and some aspect of stability operations.”

The general said Army units also must be ready to counter asymmetric operations.

“We have to be able to operate in a very complicated environment,” he said.

And, the Army needs to train to provide the combined arms capability that is the Army’s specialty in the joint force, Odierno said.

Army officials also are concerned that the readiness shortfall could translate into retention problems in the future, he said.

“We are not seeing any degradation in retention or in our ability to recruit,” the general said. “Last year, for the first time, not everybody who wanted to was able to reenlist. Our attrition rates are at historic lows.”

Yet, Odierno said, the retention environment can change quickly.

Readiness plays a part in this also, he said.

“If we don’t have the money to train and do what we need to do, it will have an impact [on retention],” he said.

Odierno entered the Army in 1976, when the three-year-old all-volunteer military was going through some teething pains.

“I came into a hollow Army. I don’t want to leave a hollow Army,” he said. “When I first came in we had significant discipline problems. We didn’t have the money to train. We didn’t sustain standards [and] we were recovering from the Vietnam War.

“What I worry about is if we continue to have these budget issues, we’re heading down the same road,” he added.

Odierno said he was fortunate as a young officer to “grow up” with leaders doing everything they could to correct the situation.

This is serious business with real consequences, he said.

“I have to make sure that we can meet the needs of this country and when they need them, they are ready,” Odierno said. “When the Army gets involved and when you are not ready, the cost is lives.”

Odierno pointed to the casualty lists from the 1st Cavalry Division and Task Force Smith in the early days of the Korean War as examples of the cost of not being militarily prepared.

“We can’t do that again,” he said. “It would not be acceptable to the American people. They spend a lot of money on defense. They expect us to be ready and they expect us to respond when needed.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>