WASHINGTON D.C. (WWLP) – Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel wants to reduce the size of the active-duty military.
Some people are calling the proposal a necessary change to adapt to the post 9/11, drone and cyber warfare era. But others are concerned about jobs.
Secretary Hagel said in a news conference Monday, “This will be the first budget to fully reflect the transition the D.O.D is making after 13 years of war.”
He announced Monday a proposed budget that will shrink the size of the active-duty army by nearly 100,000 soldiers.
The National Guard and the Army Reserve would also shrink.
It’s a move that experts call “a 21st century foreign policy.”
Western New England University’s History Professor John Baick told 22News “We don’t need a dozen aircraft carrier groups. What we need is a cyber warfare group. We don’t need tank divisions. We need more special forces, more drones and more surveillance capabilities.”
But this proposal has its critics.
Benjamin Torres of Springfield is worried about losing jobs.
He said “We are just losing more and more jobs as time goes on, and there’s no need for that.”
Both Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee and Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield could not comment on the proposal. But the Masachusetts National Guard Spokesman Lt. Col. James Sahady sent 22News a statement:
It reads “We have worked through adversity in the past and despite the proposed budget cuts, the Massachusetts National Guard will remain focused on our mission to provide trained and ready forces to support our local communities, the commonwealth and the nation. We will do everything we can to minimize the impact on employees and their families in order to maintain public confidence that we will perform our federal and state mission.”
Congress will need to approve the proposal and then President Obama has to sign it, before it can take effect.