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Memo says sequester would destroy BCT training

Feb. 5, 2013 - 06:31PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 5, 2013 - 06:31PM  |  
Helicopters from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade support soldiers assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team during an exercise in Hohenfels, Germany.
Helicopters from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade support soldiers assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team during an exercise in Hohenfels, Germany. (Richard Bumgardner)

Almost 80 percent of the Army's brigade combat teams will see months-long delays in training if sequestration goes into effect and Congress funds the Defense Department with a continuing resolution for the rest of the year, according to an Army document.">The document, obtained by Defense News, a sister publication of Army Times, paints a dire picture of how soldiers might be affected by the looming budget cuts, including an $18 billion shortfall in the Army's operation and maintenance account alone.

The $18 billion shortfall is "devastating to training and readiness in FY13 and affects FY14 and beyond," according to the document, which was verified by Army officials.

According to the document, the Army will only be able to maintain fully trained units for Operation Enduring Freedom, rotations to Korea, and the global response force brigade combat team.

"With the exception of one BCT, all non-deploying or non-forward stationed units (78 percent of all brigade combat teams) will incur several months delay for required training to meet [combatant commander] requirements," according to the document.

Other impacts outlined in the document include:

Shortfalls in professional military education and training will mean soldiers will join units without the requisite training and preparation.

Cancellations in individual military training will produce a backlog that will carry into FY14 and beyond. The Army will be short 513 aviators and about 4,000 critical military intelligence trained soldiers, and it will cancel 15 field artillery training courses.

Post-combat equipment repair and maintenance will be stopped for 1,300 tactical wheeled vehicles, 14,000 communication devices and 17,000 weapons.

Collective training for all non-deploying units will be limited to squad or platoon level proficiency.

Four of six brigade and battalion level collective combat training events at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., will be canceled for non-deploying units.

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