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AUSA conference ends with talk about Defense budget cuts

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Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 4:30 am

The Association of the United States Army wrapped up its annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday with continued discussions on how budget constraints are impacting the Army.

“It’s not that we can’t reduce, but some want us to get so small, (we) lose capacity and lose capability,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said during a discussion panel on strategic landpower, including generals from the Navy and Marine Corps.

When asked, Odierno also elaborated on his statement from Monday that only two Army brigades are trained and ready for combat.

“It’s an issue of time and money,” he said. “So with the number of continuing resolutions and sequestration, we weren’t able to do the training we had planned. Readiness was built; that’s now been atrophied. ... We have to rebuild it.”

Currently deployed units in Afghanistan were trained for advise and assist or force protection missions, which are not the same as combat, Odierno said. By June, he said he hopes to have seven brigades trained and ready to go.

“We’re not funded to do collective training necessary to be prepared,” he added.

Wednesday’s schedule also included forums on Army family initiatives and building the Army’s cyber force.

More than 100 people from Fort Hood and the surrounding communities traveled to Washington, D.C., for the four-day conference.

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