Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET
The Army confirmed Thursday that it will cut 40,000 troops at several domestic bases over the next two years in a cost-saving move. If the White House and Congress are unable to avert another round of sequestration cuts, the troop reductions could be even deeper, according to Army officials.
The Army Times reported earlier this week that the cuts were planned. The newspaper said an additional 17,000 civilian employees of the Army would also be laid off.
The Associated Press says: “The decision to shrink the Army from 490,000 active-duty soldiers to 450,000 was made months ago, but details on how it would be accomplished were briefed to Congress only in recent days.”
In 2012, the Army had 570,000 active-duty personnel.
The AP writes:
“Army officials said the plan calls for cuts at nearly every installation in 2016 and 2017, with Fort Benning, Georgia, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, taking the largest reductions. Benning is to lose 3,402 soldiers, or 29 percent of its current personnel, as the Army converts the 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division to a smaller unit known as a battalion task force. Elmendorf-Richardson is to lose 2,631 soldiers, or 59 percent of its personnel, as the 4th Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division undergoes the same conversion, according to figures released by the Army.
“Fort Hood, Texas, the Army’s largest base, would lose 3,350 soldiers, or 9 percent of its personnel. Among others, Fort Bliss, Texas, would lose 1,219 soldiers, or 5 percent; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, would lose 1,251, or 5 percent, and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, would lose 1,214, or 8 percent.”