July 3, 2002
Military branches say they need more people
By OTTO KREISHER
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE
WASHINGTON – The Navy needs at least 4,000 more sailors,
mainly to protect its bases and ships from terrorist attacks, the
Navy's top resources director said yesterday. But Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld remains opposed to the increase.
"We are being driven right now, in the middle of the global war
on terrorism, by a very much heightened need for force
protection," Vice Adm. Michael Mullen said.
Although the additional security requirements were addressed
partly by calling up about 10,000 Navy reservists shortly after
Sept. 11, Mullen said, some of those have been released and the
rest will have to be sent home eventually.
The Navy is not alone in its request for additional people. The
Army has asked for 8,000, the Air Force for 7,000 and the
Marines for 2,400.
But Rumsfeld has opposed any increase in active-duty
personnel, except for 2,400 additional Marines to fill out the
new anti-terrorism brigade.
At the Pentagon briefing, however, Rumsfeld noted that most of
the services have exceeded their authorized strength by using
the legal flexibility to go 2 percent over their approved limit.
Rumsfeld added that he had the armed forces and the Pentagon
Office of Personnel and Readiness conduct studies of the services
Meanwhile, Rumsfeld is continuing his attempt to reduce the
pressure on the services by cutting the number of U.S. troops
tied up in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions around the
world. He also said he is looking at some activities that could be
covered by civilians rather than military personnel.