The Army’s active-duty end strength would continue its steady decline under the president’s fiscal 2016 budget request, falling by 15,000 troops to 475,000.
DOD’s current plan calls for the Army’s active forces to shrink to 450,000 by 2018. The number of National Guard soldiers would drop by 8,200 this year to 342,000, and the Army Reserve would hold at 198,000 under the proposal, reported Stars and Stripes.
The number of Air Force personnel, after dipping over the past two years, would rise slightly from 483,000 to 492,000, under the FY 2016 request. Many of the new slots would be allocated to the nuclear enterprise and cyber security.
Maj. Gen. James Martin, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for budget, told reporters the service is undermanned and no more forced separations are being considered, reported Stars and Stripes. “Airmen have told us they do not have enough people to do the mission,” he said. “We have listened.”
The Air Force’s baseline budget would rise by $16.0 billion to $152.9 billion budget in FY 2016, a bump intended to help the service recover from spending cuts in the first year of sequestration that hurt readiness.
“The Air Force is smaller, we’re busier than ever, and our aircraft are as old as they have ever been,” Martin said.