Pentagon seeks $401.7 billion for 2005
WASHINGTON (CNN) # Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker is suggesting a reorganization of the Army, replacing its structure of 10 active-duty divisions with 46 smaller, but more capable, brigades, Pentagon sources told CNN on Friday.
Despite congressional calls to add two divisions to the Army, Schoomaker is not asking for any more troops, Pentagon officials said.
“Schoomaker does not want an increase the Army’s end strength,” said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Instead he wants to find a way to use the current force more efficiently.”
Schoomaker was scheduled to meet late Friday to discuss the reorganization plans with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who also is on record as opposing any increase in the overall size of the military.
Under the concept Schoomaker advocates, current Army divisions, which consist of three brigades, would be split into four or five small brigades, each capable of being deployed independently.
Already, sources say, the 3rd Infantry Division is being reorganized into five smaller brigades to serve as a prototype for the rest of the force.
The idea, said one official, is to have self-sustaining “modular” fighting units that will streamline the need for combat support, and eliminate some headquarters staff and other overhead.
Also Friday, the Defense Department announced that it would send a budget request of $401.7 billion to Congress for the 2005 fiscal year, a 7 percent increase over fiscal 2004 funding levels.
The budget request “supports continued transformation” of U.S. military forces, the Pentagon said.
“This budget builds upon past work to provide for a ready force made up of the talents and skills needed in our new national security environment,” Rumsfeld said in a statement.