Defense

May 17, 2013

Army supports president’s request for 2015 BRAC round

C. Todd Lopez
Army News Service

As the Army cuts the number of soldiers in its ranks, there will be an excess of infrastructure in place that used to support those soldiers.

Maintaining that extra unused infrastructure could mean other critical Army programs will suffer, said a senior official.

“A future round of base realignment and closure, or BRAC, in the U.S. is essential to identify and reduce excess Army infrastructure, and prudently align our civilian staffing with reduced uniform force structure,” said Katherine Hammack, the assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment. She spoke May 15, 2013, before the Senate Appropriations Committee, subcommittee on military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies.

“If Army force structure declines but facilities, overhead and civilian staffs remain constant, our ability to invest in equipment, training and maintenance will be reduced,” she said. “The Army fully supports the president’s request for authority from Congress to conduct a BRAC round in 2015.”

The Army expects to cut some 80,000 soldiers by fiscal year 2017. The force is expected to be reduced to 490,000 soldiers by then. With those cuts, force structure will also be reduced. Already, in Europe, two brigade combat teams have been cut.

In Europe, Hammack told lawmakers, the Army is reducing force structure by 45 percent, reducing infrastructure by 51 percent, reducing civilian staffing by 58 percent, and reducing base operations costs by 57 percent. She also said the Army is working with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to see if there are additional opportunities in Europe for multi-service or joint consolidation.

Stateside, she said, the Army will cut at least eight brigade combat teams, or BCTs, and “maybe more” with continued sequestration.

No decisions have been announced yet about what BCTs will be cut in the U.S. The Army has conducted studies and surveys to make that determination, and underway now is a “total Army analysis,” the results of which are expected before the end of June, that will determine what BCTs will be cut.

Before the announcement of what BCTs will be cut, and from where, the Army has changed its budgeting priorities. Hammack told lawmakers that the Army is not focused on building BCT headquarters or permanent party barracks, for instance, but is instead focused on training ranges, training barracks, and infrastructure improvements.

Hammack also touched on energy security with lawmakers, who were interested in solar facilities at places like Fort Bliss, Texas.

The assistant secretary told senators that the Army’s focus is on improving energy security. Between fiscal year 2011 and 2012, she said, the Army has seen a four-fold increase in power disruptions at bases.

“That means we are required to provide more generation on our bases to continue our missions,” Hammack said.

Renewable energy projects, such as the 20-megawatt solar farm at Fort Bliss, Texas, deemed the largest in the DOD, or the four-megawatt facility at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., help that process along, she said.

Hammack said the Army continues to look for ways to leverage public/private partnerships, such as what was done at Fort Bliss, to fund renewable energy projects. The Army will depend on the private sector to install and maintain such facilities, and will then buy energy from them at market or lower-than-market price.




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


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 
 

TSgt promotion release delayed to allow system validation

Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System, officials announced. The 15E6 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Recent...
 

 

Freedom completes rough water trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force: A Call...
 
 

HYT extension possible for SrA-MSgt in 35 career fields

Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in 35 Air Force specialties will be able to apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT. The Air Force is introducing several personnel and manpower initiatives to...
 




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>