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Pentagon unveils plans to downsize US Army

The Pentagon is unveiling plans to shrink the nation’s army to what is expected to be its smallest size since before World War Two, BBC reports.

An entire class of Air Force attack jets was tipped to be axed under the plans, as Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel outlines his 2015 budget.

He is expected to propose trimming the active-duty Army to between 440,000 and 450,000 personnel.

The US military is under pressure to downsize after two costly foreign wars.

The number of active-duty US Army members is already expected to be pared down to 490,000, as the US prepares to end its combat role in Afghanistan later this year.

Referring to budget pressures, Hagel said at the Pentagon on Monday, “The reality of reduced resources and a changing strategic environment requires us to prioritise and make difficult choices.”

Noting there are currently about 520,000 active-duty US Army members, Hagel will also say according to prepared remarks, “Since we are no longer sizing the force for prolonged stability operations, an Army of this size is larger than required to meet the demands of our defense strategy.”

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