As the Armed Forces winds down operations in Afghanistan, there are significant changes on the horizon. Specifically, the Army is expected to cut its size by tens of thousands of soldiers over the next several years, and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno announced on Tuesday that the branch will cut at least 12 brigades over the next five years, according to The New York Times.
Odierno said the Army will reduce the number of brigade combat teams from 45 to 33, while noting that one more may be added to the list. The cuts are the result of a $500 billion reduction in funding implemented in 2011 and come a time when the Department of Defense may need to make greater changes due to sequestration. Lawmakers are concerned the future may hold more substantial, and damaging, elimination.
"As damaging as they are, these cuts don't begin to reflect the crippling damage sequestration will do to our armed forces and national security," Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. "This is only the tip of the iceberg. Much deeper cuts are still to come."
According to Military.com, at least 10 bases in the U.S. will lose a brigade including Fort Bliss, Fort Bragg and Fort Hood.