Army cuts will affect 471 soldiers at Virginia bases

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jul 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 19:03:41-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Army plans to reduce troops from 490,000 to 450,000, and some of those cuts include Virginia installations.

The cuts include 127 soldiers at Fort Lee, 250 at Fort Belvoir, and 94 at Fort Eustis.

“People are our most valuable resource ," said U.S. Army Col. William Galbraith, 733rd Mission Support Group commander. “While 94 cuts are minimal in the big picture, these people are still an integral part of Joint Base Langley-Eustis family and have made valuable contributions to the mission here.”

The reduction in force structure will occur over the next of two years and the end-strength cuts of 40,000 soldiers are expected to be completed by 2018.

“While the Army does not desire to make reductions, they are necessary to preserve warfighting capability and avoid a hollow force as the Army reduces end strength due to continuing fiscal pressures,” the Army said in a statement.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the impact on Virginia is less significant than feared, but that he remains concerned decisions like this have also been affected by years of crisis budgeting and other self-inflicted budgetary constraints placed on the Department of Defense.

He added that those constraints were prior to the emergence of ISIL, Russian aggression in Ukraine, rising tensions in the South China Sea and the Ebola crisis.

“It’s Congress’ obligation to provide appropriate and predictable budgetary support to our military, as well as the non-defense agencies that are critical to solving these complex national security challenges,” Kaine said in a press release.

“While some reduction in end strength is to be expected given drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq, I am committed to working with my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Pentagon to ensure that our troop levels match the requirements dictated by events, and not by artificial budget reductions caused by sequestration or artificial budget caps put in place several years ago.”

The Army will be reduced by 120,000 Soldiers from its wartime peak of 570,000 as a result of the reductions from the last three years and over the next two years.

Additional reductions as a result of possible sequestration in October 2015 will severely impact the minimum personnel needed for the Army to carry out its current missions and execute and meet the requirements of the defense strategy.