WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. officials say the Army plans to slash the number of combat brigades from 45 to as low as 32, and broadly restructure its fighting force to save money and cut the size of the service by about 80,000 soldiers.
Officials say the sweeping changes will likely increase the size of each combat brigade -- generally by adding another battalion. Doing that would ensure the brigades have the capabilities they need to go to war. A brigade is usually about 3,500 soldiers and a battalion is between 600 and 800 soldiers.
The cuts come as the Pentagon finalizes its 2013 fiscal year budget, which must reflect about $260 billion in savings over five years. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not yet been made public.