Defense Downsize Proposed - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Defense Downsize Proposed

The U.S. Department of Defense made an announcement Monday that may affect active-duty service members. 

In a press conference on Monday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the military has to make significant changes to meet the 2015 budget.

"The reality of reduced resources and a changing environment requires us to make difficult choices," said Secretary Hagel.

Those changes would require the military to cut the amount of active-duty soldiers in the Army.

The Department of Defense estimates there are 522,000 active-duty soldiers, but with proposed cuts those numbers can significantly change.  If approved the amount of troops could decrease to between 440,000 and 450,000 soldiers.  This would be the smallest Army since 1940.

Some Texomans Newschannel 6 talked to did not like the idea of less boots on the ground.

"I think the first thing we need to look for is the waste in the military," said Larry Findley, a Texoma resident, "cut that before they start cutting a lot of jobs, people, personnel, equipment, and things like that."
"We need all the defense we can get.  Protect our country.  That's what America is all about," said Gary Hoyle, a Texoma resident, "Freedom. You have to fight for freedom."  
Findley said the timing seems a little off considering the amount of instability across the world.
"You look around the world, Syria, the Ukraine, middle east, all over there's a lot of stuff we don't know about," said Findley.

The Department of Defense said in addition to cutting man power, it is also proposing to shutdown a number of bases, eliminating A-10 aircrafts, U-2 Spy Planes, and reducing some military benefits. 
These cuts alone could save the U.S. $75-billion over the next two years, but some analysts believe it will be a hard sell to Congress in an election year.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6  

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