The Army’s chief of staff said contrary to what many people may think, the Army has been doing anything but slowing down and becoming stagnant, despite cash flow and end-strength issues. Speaking to Association of the U.S. Army members at their monthly Institute of Land Warfare breakfast in Arlington, Va., on Thursday, Gen. Ray Odierno said the Army “is not standing still.”
In his third year as the 38th chief of staff, Odierno makes trips often around the country and overseas, checking on the force and its capabilities. He said because the Army is out of Iraq and drawing down in Afghanistan, people tend to think there’s not much going on in the service.
“Every one of our components is incredibly busy and continues to be,” he said. “We have forces that are tailored and scaled, that are conducting operations, training, building partner capacity in many parts of the world and that’s what we’ll continue to do ... and, oh, by the way, we still have about 30,000 soldiers in Afghanistan; we still have another 20,000 in other places in the Middle East; and, we have soldiers in Turkey,” Odierno continued. “And, we’ve deployed our air defense capability to Guam in response to North Korea, and what a lot of people don’t know is I have a battalion commander and about 50 soldiers at the embassy in South Sudan, and they’ve been there now for several weeks.”