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John McHugh: Army Should Put Force Readiness as Top Priority

John McHugh
John McHugh

U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh believes the service should put force readiness as its top priority amid current challenges in the budget and threat environments, Defense News reported Wednesday.

Michelle Tan writes that McHugh indicated the Army is at a “ragged edge” and near its limits as it faces a potential downsizing while current threats grow and potential ones emerge.

“Given the current budgets that we are dealing with, particularly should sequestration go forward, if we are called upon to do an additional mission of any considerable size, I am deeply concerned about the Army’s ability to answer the call,” McHugh told Defense News in an interview.

The Army secretary, who will step down in November, calls for on-time and predictable budgets so that the service can plan ahead and be better positioned to address challenges.

He also notes that the Army’s readiness rating must be at par with the standard of 60 to 70 percent, compared to its current state at 32 to 33 percent of all forces.

“We are consuming that readiness as quickly as we produce it, with no reserve, which leads me to say that [the] next big unforeseen thing places us in a very dangerous position,” McHugh said.

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