Ray Odierno: Cutbacks Leave Army With Only 2 Combat-Ready Brigades

RayOdiernoThe U.S. Army’s top uniformed officer has said that only two of the service’s combat brigade teams have been fully trained due to sequestration-related cuts, The Hill newspaper reported Monday.

Jeremy Herb writes Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff, told the Association of the U.S. Army conference audience on Monday that the branch hopes to bring the number of combat-ready brigades to seven by the end of June 2014.

“Since I’ve been the chief of staff of the Army, it’s been nothing but budget uncertainty,” Odierno said, according to the report.

“No budgets, continuing resolutions, no planning, wasteful money, wasteful programs, because we can’t predict what budget we’re going to have as we move forward,” he added.

He also said the Army’s is supposed to reduce its strength to 490,000 by 2017, but that process could be sped up to 2015.

Odierno and Army Secretary John McHugh told the AUSA audience the recent federal shutdown has disrupted military training and complicated defense spending, Herb writes.

“This is no way to manage the greatest military the world has ever known. And it sure as hell is no way to manage to greatest country on the face of this Earth,” McHugh said.

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