WASHINGTON — When President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal for the military was unveiled last week, it was met with skepticism.
The proposed cuts would reduce the number of active-duty personnel to 455,000 by 2021 from 565,000 and the number to 464,000 from 476,000, according to a budget proposal from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
That means there would be a total of 1.2 million fewer active- and reserve-force personnel than when the military launched its post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2014.
But for those who were caught up in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are still plans to keep the service on the ground.
“We want to ensure that we’re able to support our troops in the best way possible,” said Maj. Gen. William Stolle, the military’s top spokesman.
“We’re committed to the mission.”
The plan to cut the active-component forces is aimed at making the military more affordable, Stolles office said.
The Army, Air Force and Navy have all been asked to prepare a budget for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
The Pentagon’s budget request does not include specific details about what would be cut.
The Pentagon would like to see a 30% reduction in the Army, to a level the Army is currently at.
The Navy is asking for a cut of 25% to its budget of $3.4 billion.
The Air Force is asking a $600 million cut.
The Air Force says it would lose nearly half of its fleet of Boeing-made F-16 fighter jets, due to the planned elimination of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The Navy says it is seeking an additional $800 million for the F/A-18 Hornet, a $2.5 billion reduction in aircraft procurement.
The Army says it needs to cut $600.7 million from its 2018 budget to keep pace with its military needs.
The budget request is part of a $10.9 trillion defense spending package that Trump signed into law last week.
It includes a new law called the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, or NDAA 2019.
The NDAA was approved in late February and requires Congress to pass the $10 trillion funding bill by Oct. 15.
The NDAA is expected to increase the military budget by $6 billion over the current fiscal year, the Pentagon says.