General visits MSU as Army braces for deep cuts

U.S. Army soldiers walk in a line at a reenlistment ceremony in Iraq. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS/AP)—Tens of thousands of army soldiers and civilian employees are expected to be cut under a plan to be announced by the military on Thursday.

Wednesday, Army officials notified Congress about how they intend to reduce the active-duty force from 490,000 soldiers to 450,000 within two years.

The Army Chief of Public Affairs visited Michigan State University Wednesday, where he discussed the implications of those cuts.

“The decision to go down to 450,000 [soldiers] was made a long time ago. So again, that was going to happen whether sequestration occurred or not. I will tell you that is the smallest level force structure, that is the lowest number of troops that we’ve had in a number of decades. So I’ll tell you the slack has been taken out of the rope for us to be able to execute the current missions that we’ve been asked to do and then be able to execute the defense strategic guidance and execute the missions for the national military strategy,” said Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost.

The Associated Press reports the cuts could grow even larger unless Congress and the White House find a way to stop additional across-the-board budget cuts this fall. The deepest cuts are expected to be made at units based in Georgia and Alaska.

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