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US Army Chief Raymond Odierno is at ease with the cuts in forces, but does believe the Army will continue to have a strong presence in the Pacific.
The US Army chief said he is comfortable with the downsizing of his force, after the Pentagon announced it would be cutting the army brigade on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
"We're now out of Iraq, we're reducing our commitment in Afghanistan, so we can now bring the size of the Army down. And I feel comfortable with how we're going to do that," General Raymond Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, told Reuters. "It's more about the timeline we bring it down on, and I'm satisfied with that timeline."
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The number of combat brigades will be cut from 45 to as few as 32, as the Pentagon restructures its forces in hopes of cutting costs and reducing servicemen by about 80,000 soldiers, the Associated Press reported. According to officials, the changes are likely to increase the size of each combat brigade, by adding another battalion. While a brigade is usually around 3,500 soldiers, it can be as large as 5,000 for heavily armored units.
The cutback in brigades is apart of the the 2013 budget proposal, which will be $525 billion, down from the 2012 base budget of $531 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. The spending budget proposed for 2013 is $51 billion lower than an earlier administration spending plan of $576 billion, WSJ reported.
The restructuring of brigades will take place over several years. Specialty units will not be affected, the AP reported. The Pentagon will review the Obama Administration’s budget proposal on Thursday.
Odierno did say there was a need for more naval and air assets in the military for the Pacific and stressed the Army will continue to play an important role in the region, Reuters reported. There are 19,160 soldiers deployed in South Korea currently. He foresaw no downsizing in the Army’s presence in Asia.
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