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Pentagon Announces New US Army Combat Force Cutback Over Next Two Years

Sputnik News

06:03 10.07.2015

The US Department of the Defense is cutting the size of its regular force from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers over fiscal years 2016 and 2017 because of required budget cuts, the Department of Defense News reported.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The end-strength reduction of 40,000 will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2018, Pentagon officials said, according to the report.

"Army officials today [Thursday] announced force structure decisions and stationing plans for the reduction of the regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers. The reduction of force structure will occur in fiscal years 2016 and 2017."

The move will be accompanied by a reduction of 17,000 US Army civilian employees, officials added.

The cuts will impact upon almost every US Army installation in the United States and overseas, the News said.

US Army paratroopers drive Light Tactical All Terrain Vehicles (LTATV) through a familiarization course on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

As part of the personnel reductions, the number of regular US Army brigade combat teams – its basic deployable units of maneuver – "will continue to decline from a war-time high of 45 to 30 by the end of fiscal year 2017," the report said.

Several brigade combat teams will be downsized into battalion task forces, the News said.

The US Army will convert the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the 25th Infantry Division's 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, into smaller units – maneuver battalion task forces – by the end of fiscal 2017, it added.

Brigade combat teams consist of about 4,000 soldiers and the battalion task forces will have about 1,050 soldiers, the report noted.


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