AUSA: Daiquiris and drawdowns

AUSA: Daiquiris and drawdowns

Beltway traffic is tough enough to stomach in the spring and fall months. Mid-February is asking too much. Army leaders will dust off their clubs and pack their swim trunks for a week down in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the Association of the U.S. Army’s Winter Symposium.

Of course, there’s that drawdown and shrinking budget to ruin everyone’s rum buzz. The Army bore the brunt of this year’s budget cuts giving leadership plenty to talk about at this week’s pow wow that starts Wednesday.

Military​.com will be in attendance providing updates throughout the week. Follow @_MichaelHoffman on Twitter for live coverage. Expect a wave of DoD Buzz updates from Fort Lauderdale as well as Orlando where Military​.com has deployed Defense Tech editory John Reed to cover the Air Force Association’s winter meeting.

Restructuring the force will receive plenty of attention as the service plans to reduce its force by 80,000 soldiers. This week’s dialogue will revolve around just how the Army plans to shrink its force and who gets what.

Equipping the force will dominate the discussion Wednesday. A panel discussion on the massive reset facing the force highlights the morning’s agenda. Sure to be mentioned is Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno’s testimony before Congress Friday stating the service will re-evaluate where the Army stations its prepositioned equipment with a renewed focus on the Pacific.

Army depots will be pushed even harder since Defense Secretary Leon Panetta chose to punt on many major modernization programs passing the buck to the next administration.  Delays won’t let the Army completely off the hook. The service chose to cancel the Humvee Recap and double down on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program.

Chief Army weapons buyer Heidi Shyu will speak Wednesday afternoon in her first public appearance since the budget release. Her comments on acquisition reform, the Ground Combat Vehicle program and the tactical wheeled vehicle modernization strategy will hold the defense industry’s attention.

More meat and potatoes training and doctrine talking points will rule Thursday morning when Gen. Bob Cone, head of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command takes the stage.  It should be interesting to hear how the service plans to protect mid-grade officers and senior non-commissioned officers from getting swept into the drawdown while also maintaining enough command positions to advance these officers’ careers.

Expect plenty of back room discussions over who the drawdown will hit hardest.  The Army already announced it will retire two Germany-based infantry brigades with a total of 10,000 U.S. soldiers coming out of Europe.

What you won’t hear is much planning for the big bad sequestration. For all the talk on Capitol Hill last week about the “devastation” that would occur if sequestration is enacted, Army leadership remains confident it won’t occur.

Odierno closes out the conference on Friday allowing everyone plenty of time to hit the beach or the fairway before returning to the relatively mild winter in D.C. Before that, though, Odierno gets another shot to establish the direction he plans to take his Weight Watchers Army. After a decade of growth, Odierno has the challenge of leading a shrinking Army looking for a mission.


Join the Conversation

In an era of the internet and teleconfrencing why are we still paying for these folks to go on taxpayer funded vacations?

It keeps the economy afloat!

Putting aside humor let us address the issue.
Europe, it there is conflict in Europe the the NATO forces would slow any advance until the US could send forces. So withdraw most forces out just keeping some bases for staging and training, That would reduce the budget.
Pacific: Reduce the over all number of forces deployed but relocate them to areas which may be better and the nations would be willing to have. These bases also would be staging and training until need otherwise. China will not be a problem for a few years so North Korea is the place that we have to concern our selves with. Have minimum contact with South America just enough to know what is going on there. Africa, have small bases there at the invitation of the nation if it would be advantageous to the US. But have less forces than now.

When I was on Active Duty, you only got “sent” to things like this on orders if you were a speaker at the conference. A lot of people paid their own way as I did.

Fort Lauderdale? Can’t compare to GSA’s Conference last August in Vegas! Great time was had by all.

More on a JLTV we don’t need waste of money. Wish they talk about new camo more tanks and a new tank design to replace the M-1 in 10 years. The Army needs to let JLTV and ICC die they waste money and money is needed for new Armored vehicles for future wars, NOT Iraq 3.0!

As the contractors move towards a parking lot of obsolete and half finished equipment model for Americas future. Its good to see that the other side — the military socialists — put forward their model of the pentagon as a retirement home for senior officers. And where would be more fitting to unveil the strategy than in Florida ?

I guarantee you that none of the officers or senior GS civilians at AMC HQ –IMMCOM — ARDEC — TACOM — rock island or Crane have ever paid thier own way, not including travel you are looking at an avaerage of $400.00 dollars a day per person for food, lodging and rental car expenses, they will go on extended lunches and dinner while there and wind up doing most of the real work afterwords over the net. I worked there and know what a scam these trips are 90% of the time.

i am ready to worka usa intalogecy in Somalia


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.