Director of Operations Maj. Gen. Frederick Padilla stated at the Navy League’s Sea, Air, Space conference this week that the Marine Corps’ plan “to respond to crises around the world would not survive force cuts that would go into effect after fiscal year 2015.” Shrinking the force from 202,000 to 182,000 was not based on strategy, he said. If sequestration cuts are reinstated in FY16, the force would shrink to 175,000. The result would be Marines being deployed more often, and the time between deployments may drop.
Adding to the Marine Corps statement above, service leaders this week, speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, said the budget squeeze could mean longer overseas deployments and tours at sea. If sequestration takes place again in FY16, there will be risk involved. Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Lt. Gen. Robert Milstead stated “If we have a major contingency operation, there will be no dwell time. We’re all going to war, and we’ll come home when it’s done.” Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno testified to the Committee that if sequestration returns in FY16, up to 46 percent of active brigade combat teams might be cut.
Air Force TAP
Thanks in part to sequestration, the Air Force is expecting an unusually high number of airmen to leave the service during the next few years. With 25,000 airmen being cut over the next five years, making sure all of them are prepared is of utmost importance. Therefore, the service is expecting a much higher number of participants in its Transition Assistance Program and is working to make sure all those separating or retiring attend.
Sources: nationaldefensemagazine.org, militarytimes.com, army.mil, airforcetimes.com