Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter discussed the impact of sequestration on March 1, reports Jim Garamone for the American Forces Press Service.
Hagel and Carter said they met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss the impact of sequestration on American Armed forces.
The DoD must cut over $47 billion from its budget before September 30, 2013 under sequestration and are also required to cut another $487 billion under the Budget Control Act.
Hagel explained that sequestration weakens the department’s capacity to accomplish its missions and warned that it would produce graver effects if allowed to progress further.
He added that leaders at the Pentagon have two critical fiscal concerns. The first are the cuts imposed under sequestration and the second is the absence of budget flexibility due to the continuing budget resolution.
Austerity measures have been ongoing since January and among the preliminary effects of the DoD’s fiscal restrictions are the following:
· the Navy will suspend operations of at least four air wings beginning April.
· the Army will shorten training for all units except those for deployment in Afghanistan.
· majority of DoD’s 800,000 civilian workforce will be furloughed resulting to a 20 percent pay cut.
· DoD imposed a hiring freeze and let go of of temporary and term employees.
· facility maintenance was minimized and contract delays were also announced.
Hagel said that their primary concern is rank and file personnel who are dedicated in keeping Americans secure.
Congress needs to pass a balanced deficit reduction plan and an appropriations bill to guarantee fiscal certainty to all federal agencies, he ended.