U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Heygel (Chuck Hagel, pictured) announced the upcoming reduction of the armed forces as part of measures to reduce the military budget, the official website of the Pentagon report on February 24.
Army will be reduced to a small size, which the U.S. had before the second world war, but it will be able to ensure the defense of America from strategic threats. Over the next 2 years the Pentagon budget will be reduced by 75 billion U.S. dollars.
The number of personnel of the U.S. Army will be reduced from the current 520 thousand to 440 thousand people, but for all that it remains quite curb and trained military force.
The implication is that the U.S. will no longer participate in large and long military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the army will be able to «win one big war», Navy and Air Force will be able to act vigorously in another theater.
Number of special purpose forces grow by 4 thousand people and will reach 69,700, which will provide the U.S. ability to effectively respond to the asymmetric risk Pentagon chief said. The U.S. military budget will be reduced to 496 billion dollars «Dimensions U.S. forces will be reduced, and we will have less room for error. Let’s see the truth, the picture of the future rather uncertain, «said Heygel.
Also foreseen reduction of staff of the State Guard and Reserve by 5%. In addition, attack helicopters «Apache» will be handed over to the army aviation, in turn, helicopters «Black Hawk» will be part of the State Guard.
3.5 billion dollars will be saved at the expense of decommissioning of the Air Force A-10 attack aircraft and substitute them in the 2020s F-35 fighters. «A-10 is a 40-year-old uzkospetsializirovannnoy fighting machine created for the destruction of enemy tanks in the fields of cool fights war. Assault can not survive well and act where the opponent has more advanced aircraft and air defense systems, «said the minister. In addition, it is planned to decommission the 50-year-old reconnaissance aircraft U-2 with the substitution of strategic reconnaissance UAV «Global Hawk».
In the midst of other proposals are the following points:
— Army cancels development program from BMP Ground Combat Vehicle.
— U.S. Navy aircraft carriers will maintain the number at 11 units, but if you will be taken even more massive budget cuts, it can claim the preservation of an aircraft carrier «George Washington».
— Half of the 11 cruisers will be put on reduced operational readiness for modernization and growth of life.
— Navy will take on two destroyers and submarines a year.
— Number of Marine Corps will be reduced from 190 thousand to 182 thousand people, but they need to be reduced even more if the sequestration of the defense budget will continue.
— Another 900 Marines will be oriented to the protection of the U.S. embassies in foreign countries.
— The U.S. Defense Department is asking Congress to clarify the scope of the military budget for 2017 monetary year.
Hagel said that most of the advice received on the proposals of senior officers. At a press conference together with the head of the Pentagon reporters’ questions answered chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey (Martin E. Dempsey), who said that the spending plan reflects a «reform of the army so that it will continue to best in the world. » «We cut costs and make sure that the armed forces are in the right balance,» the general said.