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FY 2013 Defense Budget Request Force Structure Changes

A first look at cuts in force structure and personnel numbers

For those wondering what the administration’s Strategic Guidance document meant when it discussed a smaller and leaner force structure, the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Budget Request Overview released today added some detail.

“The strategic guidance prescribes a smaller and leaner force structure,” the budget document reads. “The restructured force will be balanced by technological advancements. The force will be able to deter and defeat aggression, maintain flexibility to ensure surge capability, and readiness that ensures effective mobilization. The force will be ready for the full range of missions assigned in the guidance.”

What that translates to, in part, is shown in the following requested changes.

 

Force Structure Changes FY 2013 Through FY 2017

U.S. Army

  • Eliminate a minimum of eight Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs)
  • Study brigade structure

U.S. Navy

  • Eliminate seven cruisers
  • Eliminate two dock landing ships (LSDs)

U.S. Marine Corps

  • Eliminate one infantry regiment headquarters
  • Eliminate five infantry battalions (four active and one reserve)
  • Eliminate one artillery battalion
  • Eliminate four Tacair squadrons (three active and one reserve)
  • Eliminate one combat logistics battalion

U.S. Air Force

  • Eliminate six combat-coded fighter squadrons (one active and five reserve component)
  • Eliminate one non-combat-coded fighter squadron (active)

Of the Air Force squadrons to be eliminated under the request, the active component includes one A-10 squadron and one F-15C squadron, and the reserve component includes four A-10 squadrons and one F-16 squadron. The Air Force would also eliminate 303 aircraft under this plan, of which 123 would be combat aircraft:

  • 102 A-10
  • 21 F-16

Of the non-combat aircraft, 150 would be mobility and tanker aircraft:

  • 65 C-130
  • 27 C-5A
  • 20 KC-135
  • 38 C-27. That means all C-27s would be stricken from the Air Force inventory.

Thirty of the non-combat aircraft would be intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft:

  • 11 RC-26
  • 1 E-8C
  • 18 RQ-4

 

End Strength Changes FY 2013 through FY 2017

DoD‘s overall military end strength (Base and Overseas Contingency Operations) reflect the changes noted above, with personnel numbers falling from “2,269,700 in FY 2012 to 2,238,400 in FY 2013, a 1.4 percent reduction equating to 31,300 in end strength. By FY 2017, the overall military end strength will be 2,145,800, a 5.5 percent reduction equating to 123,900 in end strength from FY 2012,” according to budget documents. Details of personnel reductions, by service, from the budget documents:

  • Army Active, Reserve, and Army National Guard end strength in FY 2013 is 1,115,300 – 0.9 percent less than FY 2012. In FY 2017 the end strength will be 1,048,200, a 6.8 percent reduction from FY 2012. Active end strength in FY 2017 would be 490,000, down from 552,000 active duty personnel in FY 2012.
  • Navy Active and Reserve end strength in FY 2013 is 385,200 – 1.7 percent less than FY 2012. In FY 2017, the end strength will be 376,600, a 3.9 percent reduction from FY 2012. Active end strength in FY 2017 would be 319,500, down from 325,700 active duty personnel in FY 2012.
  • Marine Corps Active and Reserve end strength in FY 2013 is 236,900 – 2.0 percent less than FY 2012. In FY 2017 the end strength will be 221,700, an 8.3 percent reduction from FY 2012. Active end strength in FY 2017 would be 182,100, down from 202,100 active duty personnel in FY 2012.
  • Air Force Active, Reserve, and Air National Guard end strength in FY 2013 is 501,000 – 1.9 percent less than FY 2012. In FY 2017, the end strength will be 499,300, a 2.3 percent reduction from FY 2012. Active end strength in FY 2017 would be 328,600, down from 332,800 active duty personnel in FY 2012.

Future stories will cover the full range of acquisition program cuts and restructuring for each service, Reserve component personnel changes, pay and benefits changes, and other budget items in much greater detail.