U.S. Defense Secretary Proposes Active-Duty Military Cuts - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


U.S. Defense Secretary Proposes Active-Duty Military Cuts


U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has proposed shrinking the Army to its smallest size in almost 74 years.

The proposed cuts would close several military bases with the exception of Fort Hood where the cuts aren't expected to take a major toll.

According to military officials, past Army cuts have shown that Fort Hood could actually absorb some of the changes from other military facilities that would be affected, and Hagel says that the cuts are all in an attempt to adjust to a smaller overall government budget.

Under Hagel's new plan, the active-duty Army would shrink from its current total of nearly 522,000 troops to somewhere between 440,000 and 450,000. That would make it the smallest force yet since before the World War II.

Following Hagel's proposal today at the Pentagon, several Texas politicians are now speaking out about the proposed cuts.

In a statement, Texas Rep. John Carter (R) responded to the cuts saying, "When the bombs and rockets fall and the dust settles, it takes the human element to win wars. I am proud of the men and women in uniform who always deserve our support. Less training and fewer troops being trained is a recipe for disaster."

Some of the moves in Hagel's proposal include eliminating a fleet of Air Force aircraft and a reduction in the number of Army National Guard service members. Hagel also said that the administration will propose a new round of domestic military base closings in 2017, but Fort Hood is not expected to be among that list.

According to the Pentagon's press secretary, Hagel worked closely alongside military service chiefs on the proposed cuts. Those officials said that Hagel's plan is expected to help balance both defense and budget-saving requirements in the long run.

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