Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said he will trim the budget of his office and top military chiefs’ headquarters by 20 percent between 2015 and 2019, Reuters reported Tuesday.
David Alexander writes Hagel told civilian workers at Naval Air Station Jacksonville Tuesday that the cuts would also apply to combatant commands.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said the move is expected to generate $1.5 billion to $2 billion in annual savings.
“I won’t have any choice,” Hagel told the group, adding that “we took a $37 billion cut this year and you see the consequences of that.”
Hagel said an additional spending cut of $52 billion in fiscal 2014 would force the department to implement further layoffs.
He added that future cuts at the Pentagon could eventually affect compensation packages, which represent about half of the department’s budget.
The department is required to slash $487 billion over the next decade plus $500 billion in across-the-board cuts under sequestration, which aims to reduce U.S. budget deficit.