DoD to Grow Army by 22,000 and Pay with Cuts of $1.1 Billion from FY09/10 Budgets

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has approved a temporary increase in the size of the Army — a three-year, 22,000-soldier boost designed to provide relief to a service stressed from fighting two wars — and promised to finance a $1.1 billion down payment on this end-strength increase by cutting existing programs from the fiscal years 2009 and 2010 budgets.

The end-strength increase — which would not be used to form new combat units but to provide a pool of soldiers to support planned combat rotations and would bring the total size of the Army to 569,000 — would be paid for in part by identifying offsets in programs that are currently planned, Gates told reporters at the Pentagon today.

[reported in Inside Defense, 20 July 2009]

Gates said the temporary increase will cost about $100 million for the remaining months of this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, and about $1 billion in fiscal 2010. However, he offered no cost estimates for fiscal 2011 or 2012. Higher costs will likely be reflected in subsequent budget requests to Congress.

[reported in The Hill, 20 July 2009]

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