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Gates making huge cuts in military budget

 
 
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 12:51 pm
Defense Secretary Gates is making huge cuts in the military budget. He is also cutting the number of contractors working in the two war areas and in U.S. agencies.

It about time. I really respect Gates and is so glad Obama kept him on in his job.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 637 • Replies: 12
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 01:14 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
I'll believe it when I see it. We're now spending $664 billion while we cut school budgets and repairs to our own country.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 01:16 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I will post as soon as I have more information.

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0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 01:36 pm
The current defense budget, not counting the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, is $535 billion; the administration is asking for $549 billion for 2011. That means the Obama administration is requesting a $14 billion increase in defense spending not including spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 01:38 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
AUGUST 9, 2010
Pentagon to Shed Joint Forces Command
Associated Press

WASHINGTON—The Defense Department plans to shed one of its 10 major military commands as Defense Secretary Robert Gates tries to pare billions from the Pentagon budget, officials briefed on the plan said Monday.

Mr. Gates wants to eliminate the Joint Forces Command, long a presumed target for belt-tightening, and will also announce Monday that he wants to cut the Pentagon's use of outside contractors by 10% next year. The Virginia-based command trains troops from different services to fight together.

The Joint Forces Command, with nearly 4,900 employees and annual salaries of more than $200 million, is the largest single cut to be announced Monday.

Mr. Gates isn't expected to say how much money will be saved by shutting down the command, which holds more than one million square feet of real estate in Suffolk, Va., and Norfolk, Va. Savings will be offset by the cost of shifting some jobs elsewhere.

The Pentagon already has announced a target of cutting $100 billion over five years. Earlier this year, Mr. Gates ordered a reduction of the military bureaucracy in search of at least $10 billion in annual savings.

Mr. Gates took aim at what he called wasteful business practices and too many generals and admirals, and noted that "overhead" costs chew up as much as 40% of the Pentagon's budget.

Big cuts are essential, considering the recession and the likelihood that Congress no longer will give the Pentagon the sizable budget increases it has enjoyed since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Gates and other defense leaders have said.

The current defense budget, not counting the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, is $535 billion. The administration is asking for $549 billion for 2011.

Joint Forces Command, or JFCOM, is one of 10 full combatant commands. Most correspond to regions of the world, such as the Pacific Command, but others are organized around a concept or mission rather than geography.

JFCOM lists its mission as training troops from all services to work together for specific missions. It tries to make sure equipment used by different services works together and looks for gaps in capabilities within military services that could be filled by a specially trained joint force.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 01:48 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Aug 9, 2010
Officials: Belt-tightening will cut major command
By ANNE GEARAN and ANNE FLAHERTY
AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates says tough economic times require that he shutter a major command that employs some 5,000 people in Norfolk, Va., and eliminate other jobs throughout the military.

Gates told reporters at a press conference on Monday that getting rid of Joint Forces Command and other job cuts were necessary so that the military has enough money to repair itself after several years of war.

He said that among his biggest priorities was trimming by 10 percent the number of contractors that support the military.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Defense Department plans to shed one of its 10 major military commands as Defense Secretary Robert Gates tries to pare billions from the Pentagon budget, officials briefed on the plan said Monday.

Gates wants to eliminate the Joint Forces Command, long a presumed target for belt-tightening, and will also announce Monday that he wants to cut the Pentagon's use of outside contractors by 10 percent next year, The Associated Press has learned. The Virginia-based command trains troops from different services to fight together.

Military and other officials described the planned cuts on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Gates' plans ahead of a Pentagon news conference Monday.

Joint Forces Command, with nearly 4,900 employees and annual salaries of more than $200 million, is the largest single cut to be announced Monday.

Gates is not expected to say how much money will be saved by shutting down the command, which holds more than 1 million square feet of real estate in Suffolk, Va., and Norfolk, Va. Savings will be offset by the cost of shifting some jobs and roles elsewhere.

The Pentagon has already announced a target of cutting $100 billion over five years. And earlier this year Gates ordered a top-to-bottom paring of the military bureaucracy in search of at least $10 billion in annual savings needed to prevent an erosion of U.S. combat power.

Gates took aim at what he called wasteful business practices and too many generals and admirals, and noted that "overhead" costs chew up as much as 40 percent of the Pentagon's budget.

Big cuts are essential considering the recession and the likelihood that Congress no longer will give the Pentagon the sizable budget increases it has enjoyed since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Gates and other defense leaders have said.

"The gusher has been turned off and will stay off for a good period of time," Gates said in May.

The current defense budget, not counting the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, is $535 billion; the administration is asking for $549 billion for 2011.

Joint Forces Command, or JFCOM, is one of 10 full combatant commands. Most correspond to regions of the world, such as Pacific Command, but others are organized around a concept or mission rather than geography.

JFCOM lists its mission as training troops from all services to work together for specific missions. It tries to make sure equipment used by different services works together, and looks for gaps in capabilities within military services that could be filled by a specially trained joint force.

The command is headed by a four-star military officer, the highest grade currently in use. Marine Gen. James Mattis was its commander until named last month to replace Army Gen. David Petraeus as head of U.S. Central Command. His replacement will be Gen. Ray Odierno, now the war commander in Iraq. Odierno's job will be to eliminate his own office, officials said.

Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia junior senator and the state's former governor, said he saw "no rational basis" for dismantling Joint Forces Command because its mission was to impose "greater cooperation and savings among the military services."

"One thing I learned in the business world is you sometimes have to spend money to save money," Warner said. "It's a no-brainer that JFCOM is one of the commands that could use more resources."

The plan Gates will outline is similar to one suggested last month by the Defense Business Board, a panel of company executives who advise the Pentagon. The board said Gates should cut the number of civilian employees by at least 15 percent. The panel also identified Joint Forces Command as contributing to much of the contractor bloat because it had more contractors than government employees on its payroll.

On the Net:

Defense Department: http://www.defense.gov/

U.S. Joint Forces Command: http://www.jfcom.mil/index.htm
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Aug, 2010 01:59 pm
Quote:
JFCOM lists its mission as training troops from all services to work together for specific missions. It tries to make sure equipment used by different services works together and looks for gaps in capabilities within military services that could be filled by a specially trained joint force.
fer sure that's where I'd make cuts, I mean really our forces need training? poppycock, they all volunteered. meanwhile the Iraq afghanistan wars reamain off-budget. When playing 3 card monte you have the remember the queen is never in play so no matter which card you pick it's never the queen. "Gates making huge cuts in military spending" so how come the Obama budget request for next year is an increase of $14 billion? Perhaps someone should question authority, or not. As Reagan once said, facts can be ugly things.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Aug, 2010 11:21 pm
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2010 12:15 am
@dyslexia,
Quote:
The current defense budget, not counting the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, is $535 billion
and not counting the NSA, CIA, VA, Homeland Security and other such parts of the budget, which will get the true cost of defense well north of $1 Trillion a year.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2010 10:42 am
@hawkeye10,
All this useless spending while over 14 million of our citizens go without a job, and many are losing their homes.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2010 11:38 am
The increase in requested funds could be due to military expansion needs. Google Africom, Djibouti...or just U.S. global military expansion in general. Large military bases are expensive to build, staff and maintain.
0 Replies
 
Pamela Rosa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 09:42 am
Quote:
Air base expansion plans reflect long-term investment in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan began on Oct. 7, 2001, as the U.S. military launched an operation in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. The war continues today.
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 23, 2010

Three $100 million air base expansions in southern and northern Afghanistan illustrate Pentagon plans to continue building multimillion-dollar facilities in that country to support increased U.S. military operations well into the future.

Despite growing public unhappiness with the Afghan war -- and President Obama's pledge that he will begin withdrawing troops in July 2011 -- many of the installations being built in Afghanistan have extended time horizons. None of the three projects in southern and northern Afghanistan is expected to be completed until the latter half of 2011. All of them are for use by U.S. forces rather than by their Afghan counterparts.

Overall, requests for $1.3 billion in additional fiscal 2011 funds for multiyear construction of military facilities in Afghanistan are pending before Congress.
The House has approved the money, as has the Senate Appropriations Committee. The full Senate has yet to vote on the measure.

In addition, the United States has already allocated about $5.3 billion to construct facilities for the Afghan army and the national police, with most of the "enduring facilities . . . scheduled for construction over the next three to four years," according to a Pentagon news release this month.

For example, a $30 million contract was recently awarded to build a regional military training center in Mazar-e Sharif, according to Col. Mike Wehr, engineer director of the combined NATO training mission. That facility, too, will not be completed until late 2011, and then it will be used to train Afghans in various military specialties, including engineering.

"We're only about 25 percent complete in our construction [for Afghan security forces], and there is quite a bit more to go over the next three years," Wehr told a defense bloggers roundtable last week. One goal of the NATO transition program is to have Afghans ready to maintain these facilities by 2013, Wehr added.

The three bases being expanded for U.S. use after 2011 reflect the expectation of continued combat operations, but they are just part of a broader expansion of U.S. facilities across the country.

North of Kabul, the Pentagon is planning to build a $100 million area at Shindand Air Base for Special Operations helicopters and unmanned intelligence and surveillance aircraft, along with office, ground and maintenance facilities, plus barracks for 60 new personnel, according to a notice posted last week.

"The force increase in Afghanistan will require additional ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] and airlift aircraft at the base," reads Pentagon material sent to Congress to justify the expense. It notes that roughly 800,000 gallons of jet fuel are needed to be stored "in near proximity to planned U.S. air operations at the base." The cost alone for constructing the temporary storage facility for that fuel and facilities for parking and operation of 14 refueling vehicles is put at $2.5 million.

Another $100 million project is planned for the air field at Camp Dwyer, a Marine base in Helmand province, where expansion is needed to accommodate fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft.

Dwyer's airfield is described as "a key hub" to support Special Operations forces operations in southern Afghanistan, according to the congressional presentation. Currently, there is not enough parking and runway space to handle the number of Special Operations aircraft required, it adds.

Contractor proposals were also due last week for a third $100 million project, this one at Mazar-e Sharif, where increased operations and incoming supplies for northern Afghanistan require more taxiways and parking space for both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, plus three or more maintenance hangars.

Part of the reason for expansion is to be able to handle up to six helicopter and two fixed-wing aircraft. According to the material sent to Congress, the two aircraft could be C-5 or equivalent strategic transports "in order to expand major logistical and combat support operations into the region."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/22/AR2010082201670.html

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 09:47 am
@Pamela Rosa,
Just another example of our government's mismanagement of their fiduciary responsibilities to the American People.

We need to replace all those bums in Washington DC with people who has some brains for our countries survival.
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