WASHINGTON (Nov. 28, 2007) - The Army announced today that it has taken initial steps to plan for reduced operations at all Army bases while the congressional review continues on funding for operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and requirements associated with the Global War on Terror.
With no funds provided for GWOT requirements since the beginning of the fiscal year, the Army has had to use operation and maintenance dollars budgeted to organize, train, equip, and field forces, as well to sustain Soldiers and their Families, to fund war related activities.
Gen. Richard A. Cody, vice chief of staff of the Army, directed all Army commanders and agency directors in a Nov. 26 memorandum to begin planning for reduced Army-wide operations. The memo instructs Army leaders to review all operations, and to make plans to minimize OMA-funded activities not required to protect the life, health and safety of occupants of Army installations, or required to maintain assets vital to the national defense. Detailed reports of this review and planning effort by installation commanders are due back to Gen. Cody by December 4.
The Army expects to exhaust all operation and maintenance funds by Feb. 23, even after considering a request by DoD to move over $4 billion from Navy and Air Force personnel accounts and the Army's working capital fund.
Gen. Cody directed Army commanders to be prepared to: "warm base" all Army installations and commands to minimal essential levels; furlough Army Civilians after mid-February; curtail or suspend contract expenditures; and discontinue all routine operations funded by OMA dollars.
"We are only in the prudent planning phase," Gen. Cody emphasized today. "We have been told by DoD to plan for and be prepared to execute these necessary actions. It is an imperative of the senior Army leadership that our Army, especially while at war, understands the budget process, the decisions being made and any potential impacts on the total Army family."
For example, Gen. Cody noted, per current labor agreements and to provide some predictability to the civilian workforce, supervisors would have to begin notifying Army Civilians of any impending February furloughs by mid-December.
"These in extremis planning actions are absolutely necessary given the uncertain GWOT funding," Gen. Cody said. "We will do everything we can to minimize the turbulence for our Soldiers, Civilians and their Families."