Army has no plans to curtail personnel growth or cut force structure

U.S. special operations forces conduct combat operations in southeastern Afghanistan in April 2019. (Sgt. Jaerett Engeseth/Army)

The Army doesn’t plan to cut into its planned end-strength growth as long as the operations tempo remains high, the service secretary and Army chief of staff said during a press gaggle Wednesday.

“When you have tough [deploy]-to-dwell ratios like we face, we got to continue to grow or we got to reduce demand,” said Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy. “This is simple economics.”

The Army has spent the past few years reviewing legacy systems and modernization programs, cutting those it doesn’t need and reallocating funds to those it deems the most important to get the service ready for future fights.

Those appraisals came as the Army worked to rehabilitate its end-strength numbers and increase the readiness of units. And while some analysts have wondered whether cuts to troop numbers will eventually be done to fund modernization, Army leaders said they have no plans to do so at this time.

“We’re going to continue to make tough choices in the research, development and acquisition portfolio until it pressurizes to a point where we can’t sustain it, but that’s years from now,” McCarthy said.

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