Good afternoon. Today, we are announcing the results of the Department of the Army force structure decisions. Our Army is in the process of undergoing one of the largest organizational changes since World War II as we transition from a force at war. Our decisions are in line with the Fiscal Year 13 budget submission which implements a $487 billion dollar reduction in DOD funding based on the Budget Control Act of 2011. It began in fiscal year 2013 and extends over ten years. The Army's share of this reduction is approximately $170 billion dollars.

As a result of budget cuts, the drawdown of forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, the Army is reducing the authorized endstrength of the Active Army from a wartime high of about 570,000 to 490,000 and the Army National Guard from 358,000 to 350,000. The reduction of 8,000 Soldiers from the Army National Guard will be achieved without any substantial force structure changes. The Army Reserve is forgoing a planned 1,000 Soldier growth and will remain at 205,000.

The reduction of 80,000 Soldiers or 14% from the Active Component will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017. Let me be clear, we are taking these actions as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011. This endstrength and force structure reduction predates sequestration. If sequestration continues into Fiscal Year 2014, Army reductions to endstrength, force structure and basing announced today will be only the first step.

Our decisions on where we would make these reductions is based on a number of criteria which include: the ability to train our forces, project power, provide for our Soldiers and families well-being, the ability to expand and regenerate forces, our geographic distribution, environmental and socio-economic impacts, cost, and our institutional alignment with the 2012 defense strategic guidance, including the rebalance to the Pacific.

Based on extensive analysis, the lessons of twelve years of war and the need to increase the Army's operational capability and flexibility, the Army is also reorganizing our Brigade Combat Teams, which will reduce the overall number of headquarters while sustaining as much combat capabilities as possible.

In other words, we are increasing our tooth-to-tail ratio.

As part of the reorganization of each BCT, we will add a third maneuver battalion and additional engineer and fires capability to each of our armor and infantry BCTs in order to make them more lethal, more flexible, and more agile. In order to do this while keeping our force structure in line with our end strength reductions, we will reorganize our 45 BCTs into 33 BCTs. As we inactivate BCTs, we will reinvest Soldiers, equipment, and support personnel into the remaining BCTs.

We conducted an extensive BCT analysis that included over 6,500 hours of simulated combat in 34 separate scenarios and extensive interviews with our commanders. We also conducted a Programmatic Environmental Analysis (PEA) that looked at both the environmental and socio-economic impacts. Additionally, we conducted listening sessions at 30 installations with Soldiers, families, local leaders and the business community to better understand the impacts of all potential decisions.

We also took steps to ensure we were being prudent fiscally in this decision. For example, as part of our cost calculations, the Army deferred $788 million dollars in military construction projects until decision on force structure reductions were made so as to potentially avoid building unnecessary projects. As we reorganize our BCTs, we expect to cancel almost $400 million dollars of those projects permanently.

The Army will inactivate a total of 12 BCTs. Two overseas based BCTs, stationed at Baumholder and Grafenwoehr, Germany, will complete their inactivation in Fiscal Year 2013, leaving two BCTs in Europe to fulfill strategic commitments.

The remaining 10 will come at each of the following ten U.S. installations between now and the end of Fiscal Year 2017: Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Stewart, Georgia, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. In the future we will announce an additional BCT to be inactivated which will bring the number of BCTs to 32.

As we work through this drawdown and inactivation of units, we will maintain our communications with our congressional officials and local communities to ensure a smooth, deliberate and transparent process.

Again, I want to emphasize that these reductions do not reflect reductions due to sequestration. Full sequestration could require another significant reduction in Active, Guard, and Reserve force structure as much as 100,000 combined.

At this time, I will take your questions…

Page last updated Tue June 25th, 2013 at 00:00