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Posted: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 11:40AM

News Conference Concerning Defense Budget Cancelled

Department of Defense officials are not saying why a Tuesday morning conference with Army Vice Chief of Staff General John Campbell and other top Army officials was cancelled. General Campbell, who previously served as the commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, was scheduled to discuss the Total Army Force Mix and the Army's 2015 fiscal budget planning. Meanwhile the Pentagon's budget for 2015 calls for total expenditures of 496-billion dollars, which is about the same as the current year budget. The cuts come as the Pentagon is already dealing with nearly a trillion dollars in budget cuts over a decade.

Hagel wasn't specific about what units would be affected, but he did say troop numbers would be reduced to between 440,000 and 450,000 troops. The force reductions will shrink U S troop numbers to the lowest level since before World War II. Reports out of Washington indicate critical bases such as Fort Campbell, Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington will likely remain at the same troop levels. Meanwhile bases such as Fort Hood, Texas and Fort Jackson, South Carolina could see their operations scaled back significantly. Another plus that could affect Fort Campbell is a predicted increase in the number of special forces troops.

Meanwhile Secretary Hagel said military personnel will receive a one percent pay raise. He also said the military will slow the growth of military housing allowances, reduce annual support of commisaries and reform the Tricare military health insurance program for military family members and retirees. And the budget cuts include phasing out the A-10 "Warthog", which will allow continued funding for a new generation of military aircraft.


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