KABUL, Afghanistan — The Army is boosting its civilian workforce to nearly 2 million, adding more than 1,100 officers, soldiers and civilian contractors in its new year plan, the service announced Friday.
The increase was announced as part of the budget for the next fiscal year that began on Monday.
It’s the latest in a string of recent changes that are designed to boost the Army’s footprint in Afghanistan, where the U.S. military is trying to help push back the Taliban and defeat the Islamic State group.
The Army has struggled to fill positions for years, particularly as the war in Afghanistan has dragged on for more than seven years.
It hired a record 1.2 million civilian workers in 2018, more than double the 1.1 million in 2017.
In 2017, it added about 2,400 civilian contractors, which was its largest single-year hire since 2006.
The new civilian hires come as the U,S.
is preparing to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan.
About 70,000 American troops will begin training, advising and equipping Afghan security forces starting in September.
The Army will also provide support to Afghan troops in the fight against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and other foreign fighters.