Army Vice Chief Warns of Possible 'Hollow Force'

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Army’s ability to conduct sustained operations across the entire spectrum of war has been degraded by 13 years of counterinsurgency operations, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Daniel B. Allyn said Wednesday.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on readiness and management support, Allyn said the Army budget “has decreased in nominal terms every year since 2011” while the force is “as globally engaged as ever, with more than 140,00 soldiers deployed, forward stationed and committed worldwide.”

Allyn, speaking alongside the vice chiefs of the other services, said capped spending “prevents us from appropriately balancing readiness, modernization and end strength, and threatens to make the Army a hollow force.”

The 2016 Army budget asks for $127 billion in base funding and $21 billion for war-related funds in the overseas contingency account. The base budget would be $6 billion more than the 2015 budget but the overseas contingency fund would be $7 billion less.

“To ensure readiness now and in the future, the Army needs Congress to provide adequate, consistent and predictable funding,” Allyn said.