Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testified before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee regarding President Obama’s proposed $526.6 billion base defense budget and $79.4 billion for overseas combat operations, American Forces Press Service reported Tuesday.
Jim Garamone writes the fiscal 2014 budget proposal seeks a new round of base realignment and closures beginning in 2015.
“This budget enables the department to support troops still at war in Afghanistan, protect readiness, modernize the military’s aging weapons inventory in keeping with the president’s strategic guidance and sustain the high quality of the all-volunteer force,” Hagel said.
Hagel asked the subcommittee to approve the Pentagon’s $9.6 billion reprogramming of funding request and urged the panel to support the agency’s request to remove excess infrastructure.
“The Army has stopped rotations at its key combat training centers for all but deploying units, more than a dozen combat coded Air Force squadrons either already have or will soon stop flying and the Navy has curtailed deployments,” the Secretary added.
Hagel said sequester cuts have forced the Pentagon to cut facilities maintenance, institute hiring freezes, cut overhead and reduced lower-priority programs
“The president’s [fiscal] 2014 budget replaces sequestration and gives the department the time and flexibility to plan and implement spending reductions wisely and responsibly,” he added.