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Military leaders warn senators about impact of spending cuts

Top uniformed leaders say training and maintenance will be cut back to the point that services won't be ready to fight except in Afghanistan, and civilians will be furloughed up to 22 days from March through September.
by Chris Casteel Published: February 13, 2013

Defense Department officials warned Tuesday that about 800,000 civilian workers could be furloughed for up to 22 days from March through September, effectively cutting their pay by 20 percent. However, those furloughs would only save about $5 billion; the rest of the money would have to come from cuts in training, maintenance and new weapons systems, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said.

More than 14,000 civilians could be furloughed at Tinker, and a total of 10,000 more civilian workers are vulnerable at Fort Sill, Vance Air Force Base, Altus Air Force Base and the Army ammunition plant in McAlester. Vance and Altus are pilot training bases; Fort Sill is an Army artillery training post.

Military personnel are spared from furloughs, and operations in Afghanistan would be fully funded, along with health care for active duty forces.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, of Tulsa, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, asked the service leaders to provide details of how the cuts would be spread across each state and installation.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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