Inhofe Statement on Army Force Structure Reduction

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today released the following statement about the Army’s announced force structure reduction of 40,000 soldiers and 17,000 civilians from its ranks over the next two years:

“The announced cut to our Army, combined with the reduction to our overall Armed Forces the past couple of years, puts into question our military’s capabilities to execute the requirements of our national security strategy. While I am grateful that Oklahoma installations are unaffected during this round, the president needs to come to the negotiating table to reverse long-term funding restrictions on our national security. The president’s defense cuts, coupled with recent veto threats to the national defense bills in Congress, only increases the risk being placed on Americans during a time that Gen. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, labeled ‘unlike any in his lifetime.’ It will take the next decade and new presidential leadership to rebuild the degradation of our Army and overall weakened national security. The Army’s announcement only fuels my strong commitment of working to reverse this president’s dangerous legacy of disarming America.”

Inhofe was briefed by the U.S. Army today that due to the structure changes, Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma, will gain 219 additional troops between fiscal years 2015 and 2017. 

During the SASC committee markup of the FY’16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Inhofe submitted additional views about the legislation that were published in a Senate report that accompanied the bill. In his remarks, Inhofe voiced his disappointment that the committee did not prioritize sustaining the size of our military force structure, particularly the Army. Inhofe stated that our nation is sacrificing too much at a time when we should be maintaining our current structure and capabilities. 

Inhofe’s remarks in the Senate report are as follows: “Finally, I am disappointed we did not prioritize sustaining the size of our military force structure, particularly our Army.  The threats we face are outpacing our ability to deter and confront them as a result of the massive cuts associated with sequestration.  I believe we are sacrificing too much capability at a time when we should be maintaining our current structure and capabilities in these uncertain times.  We have been wrong in the past when it comes to assumptions regarding the size of our forces and the capabilities required to protect this country.  Despite the increased funding in this bill due to OCO, we are on the road to repeat the same mistakes that will take years to fix.”

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