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Gary Cheek: Continued Overseas Demand to Pressure Army Budget

Maj. Gen. Gary Cheek
Maj. Gen. Gary Cheek

Maj. Gen. Gary Cheek has said the U.S. Army could face additional challenges in maintaining its force size, readiness and mission operations if sequestration cuts remain for fiscal year 2016, Defense News reported Monday.

Joe Gould writes that Cheek, the service’s assistant deputy commanding general for operations, plans and policy, said U.S. needs to retain an ability to meet and respond to continued overseas demand.

Cheek says that with seven Army divisions currently deployed overseas and training programs that could potentially cuts, the service might need to turn to other military units or risk deploying troops without appropriate or sufficient training if new conflicts arise.

“Things are going to take longer, your likelihood of casualties is higher, the expenses of doing things will be greater, and overall inefficiency of the force is greater,” he told reporters Friday.

“It’s not necessarily mission failure, death and destruction, but we believe our job is to train our soldier to the highest level we can.”

Gould reports that sequestration could slash $14 billion off the Army budget and affect its acquisitions and modernization programs, although it plans to move forward with its restructuring plan for the air fleet.

The report said that Congress has given the Army some “breathing room” with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, while funding for overseas contingency operations will continue to support some of the service’s operations.

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