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Army downsizing stepped up to 2015
McHugh: Force reduction typical after wars end
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Secretary of the Army John McHugh, left, speaks to reporters during a press conference Tuesday as 3rd ID commander Maj. Gen. Mike Murray looks on. - photo by Denise Etheridge

Secretary of the Army John McHugh told reporters during a news conference at Fort Stewart on Tuesday that the timeline for downsizing the Army has been stepped up from 2017 to 2015.

Fort Stewart’s 2nd Armor Brigade Combat Team is one of 12 brigade combat teams tagged for deactivation as part of the drawdown. McHugh said the net loss of soldiers from Fort Stewart would be about 1,900.

The secretary said that downsizing, “though never easy,” will help the Army face its budgetary challenges. He said the U.S. military historically draws down when conflicts end, and that is what is happening now. McHugh added that one of the lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan was that smaller units trained in multiple capabilities proved to be more effective.

The planned force reduction was spurred by the Budget Control Act of 2011. To meet new budget requirements, the Army plans to reduce current active-duty soldiers from 570,000 to 490,000, McHugh said.

He said the Army is unique among the armed forces since personnel is where most of its funding goes and, therefore, that’s where the cuts must be made.

“The important thing I think for everyone to understand is that Fort Stewart was not singled out,” McHugh said. “Every multi-brigade post in the United States lost a brigade as well.”

Read more in the Feb. 12 edition of the News.

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