Casey Says the Army is Stretched

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FORT BLISS, Texas (AP) - Chief of Staff General George Casey says the Army is stretched thin and long deployments are taking a toll on soldiers and their families.

Casey, who in April became the 36th Army chief of staff, toured Fort Bliss.

Casey says the war in Iraq, which started in 2003, has put so much pressure on the Army that limiting deployments to 15 months can't be guaranteed.

Despite reports saying the force is "stretched," Casey called it a "very vibrant force."

He says Army officials will soon announce plans to give more money to programs that help family members of deployed soldiers cope with the long deployments.

Casey led the Multinational Force in Iraq from July of 2004 through February of this year.

He toured Fort Bliss yesterday as part of an ongoing effort to assess to the state of the Army.