The Army plans to cut about 10,000 leased vehicles from its fleet — about 14 percent of its non-tactical vehicles — to help offset deep budget cuts scheduled to kick in March 1.
The move could save as much as $60 million — about $6,000 per car — over a year, according to Edward Moscatelli, chief of the transportation branch in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.
The Army has about 74,000 vehicles — 10,800 owned by the Army, 63,000 leased from the General Services Administration and about 1,130 leased from the private sector.
Moscatelli said the Army is working with GSA on ways to reduce its fleet in a swift but responsible manner. Those plans include replacing vehicles with a smaller number of shuttle buses and moving remaining vehicles to installations that need them most.
The March 1 budget cuts — known as sequestration — are required by the 2011 Budget Control Act unless Congress and the Obama administration agree on a path to reducing future budget deficits by $1.2 trillion through 2021.
Moscatelli said the budget savings will fund more urgent priorities, including the Army’s program to assist wounded warriors.
“There are other missions that are pulling at the purse strings that have become mandatory that we need to take care of,” Moscatelli said.
“We need to make sure that everyone within the DoD family understands that when we replace a vehicle from a cost standpoint we may not replace it with a brand new vehicle,” Moscatelli said.
The Army has no plans to reduce the number of vehicles it owns, which are primarily emergency vehicles, specialty equipment or cars purchased in overseas areas where GSA does not operate, he said. The size of the Army’s fleet has already fallen from nearly 83,000 vehicles in 2009, including 70,348 vehicles leased from GSA.
The Army recently announced a series of budget-cutting measures, including a civilian hiring freeze, the termination of some temporary employees and reviewing contracts and studies for possible savings.