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U.S. Army leaders told lawmakers today that the service will have to spend less on live-fire maneuver training as a result of the deep cuts to defense spending under sequestration.

Service leaders have been warning Congress for months that these cuts are forcing the Army to cut readiness training. A slightly clearer explanation of what cutting readiness training will mean to combat units emerged during a March 27 hearing before the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee.

“It has come to my attention … that in our budget in the area of marksmanship training for our personnel, both active and Guard, that the funding is being reduced by about 60 percent,” Rep Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, who represents the Ohio Army National Guard’s Camp Perry Joint Training Center, told senior Army officials.

“I would hope that if there were that type of serious cutbacks that you might take a look at the ability of our forces to train properly and to do what is necessary to provide them with those skills.”

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Odierno confirmed that marksmanship training is being cut but not at individual and small-unit levels.
“There has been no reduction in individual and squad-level marksmanship training — that’s funded,” he said. “Where we have had problems is where we get above that level — the collective training that happens at platoon, company, battalion – that is where we have had to reduce funding.”

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