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Army makes alterations after budget cuts
By: Gina Benitez
FORT BLISS, Texas -- It's been almost nine months since automatic spending cuts took effect.
Military installations across the country were affected.
For the Army, the cuts meant less training or pushing training back until a deployment came close.
"You might have to re-look at, well how do I still accomplish maintaining that I'm combat, mission-readiness, while doing it based on the budget that I have? I don't think we've really scaled back, I just think you need to look at your priorities and how you get your soldiers trained," said Lt. Col. Lee Peters, Fort Bliss spokesperson.
The Army has focused its training on soldiers set to deploy -- those who will see hostile environments soonest.
Fort Bliss has a simulator training complex -- one it believes is excellent.
"One of the things we try to do is maximize that capability that allows you to get on a simulator and basically drive a tank, drive a Bradley, drive a vehicle, maneuver two or three different tanks," Peters said.
And it's just one of the things altered to cut costs.
"It doesn't replace actually being in a tank and actually going across Fort Bliss terrain but it does give you that capability to train all your team or crew at the appropriate level that you need to," Peters said.
Peters said the main thing is that soldiers are trained on their weapons.
"Then based off time, allocations and resources, then you will continue to go up higher," Peters said.
But Bliss is doing its best to make sure a lack of funds doesn't mean a lack of combat readiness.
"Within that absence, that's when leaders step up and basically train their soldiers on how to be good, strong soldiers, based off what our manuals say, based of what our drill ceremonies say, based off what our regulations say," Peters said.