Pentagon to cut jobs, contracts by $1 billion
December 4th, 2013
03:14 PM ET

Pentagon to cut jobs, contracts by $1 billion

By Jennifer Liberto

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday announced that he's trimming the budget for Pentagon headquarters by 20% starting in 2014, leading to jobs cuts and reduction in contracts with private companies.

The cuts will happen even if Congress ends sequester, according to the defense agency. Hagel said the time is right to "pare back overhead and streamline headquarters," after the fast growth of the agency in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"These reductions are only a first step in DoD's efforts to realign defense spending to meet new fiscal realities and strategic priorities," Hagel said.

The cuts would trim $1 billion from 2014 through 2019. Hagel said the first jobs to be cut will about 200 workers from his own team of 2,400.


Filed under: Budget • Pentagon
Troops could face delays in pay if government shuts down
September 23rd, 2013
06:55 PM ET

Troops could face delays in pay if government shuts down

By Barbara Starr

U.S. troops throughout the world - including those fighting in Afghanistan - could face delays in getting their paychecks if the government shuts down, according to the Defense Department.

On Monday, all 1.4 million active-duty personnel and 800,000 civilians were informed the department is now preparing for a shutdown if a budget deal with Congress is not reached.

Read the DoD memo to its personnel here.

The department has been "directed to review and update plans" for a shutdown that could result in delayed pay for all members of the department, according to DOD Press Secretary George Little. Depending on how close a shutdown might be to a pay period for DOD personnel, paychecks could be delayed for up to two weeks, or the next pay period, some officials said.

All uniform military personnel will be required to report to work, and will be paid eventually, according to Little and other DOD officials, because under the law it is required the military is paid. The war in Afghanistan will continue with operations, Little said.


Air Force fighter jets to fly again
July 15th, 2013
07:20 PM ET

Air Force fighter jets to fly again

By Jennifer Liberto

About 300 fighter jets, including the Air Force's Thunderbirds, will begin flying again.

Since April, about a third of the Air Force's combat flying fleet has been grounded due to federal spending cuts. The Air Force won a temporary reprieve from the cuts, which will allow the jets to begin flying again.

Congress gave the Air Force and other agencies the power to re-allocate money within their budgets. The Air Force on Monday decided to reinstate $208 million to restore the flights.

The move also affects the grounded Thunderbirds. They resume training with hopes of performing aerial shows next year. There will be no Thunderbird shows this year.


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Filed under: Air Force • Budget • Military • Security Brief
No July 4 'rockets' red glare' for some military bases
July 4th, 2013
02:41 PM ET

No July 4 'rockets' red glare' for some military bases

By Bryan Koenig

Even as the automatic spending cuts of the sequester continue to lack the major repercussions originally anticipated, there will be a glaring example of their impacts visible above many U.S. military bases this Independence Day.

Multiple bases, including Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii and North Carolina's Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base have been forced to cancel their July 4 fireworks displays in order to save money, according to Time.


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Filed under: Budget • Military
June 25th, 2013
11:08 PM ET

U.S. Army to reduce combat brigades

By CNN Staff

The U.S. Army announced on Tuesday it plans to cut 12 combat brigades as part of steep budget austerity and other planned military changes associated with the ending of two wars and a sweeping military restructuring.

Additionally, the Army plans to cut roughly 14 percent or 80,000 troops mainly from its peak Iraq-war active-duty total. The National Guard will take a slight hit and the Army reserve will actually add 1,000 troops, according to Gen. Ray Odierno.

After the reductions are in place, the Army will field 490,000 active-duty forces, 350,000 National Guard troops and 205,000 reserves. Most of the cuts have come through attrition and the overall total was previously known.

The Pentagon is implementing planned budget cuts of nearly $500 billion over 10 years. But Odierno warned that more force reductions would be coming if separate, forced government spending cuts that took effect in March and hit the Pentagon hard were to continue into next year.


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Filed under: Army • Budget • Military
May 22nd, 2013
09:58 PM ET

Budget furloughs won't impact military sex assault prevention unit

By Larry Shaughnessy

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey face two crises - an increase in sex assault claims within the military and heavy budget cuts.

But they said on Wednesday that military staffing reductions due to forced budget cuts under sequestration would not impact an initiative aimed at combating sex assault.

Civilians central to the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention Response Program will be exempt from furloughs that are a consequence of spending cuts.


April 10th, 2013
06:39 PM ET

State Department budget reflects end of war, ramped up security

By Elise Labott

A greatly reduced role in Iraq and Afghanistan after more than a decade of war means the State Department can shift financial resources to priorities in the Mideast and Asia and enhance security at high-threat diplomatic posts.

President Barack Obama asked Congress on Wednesday for $47.8 billion for the State Department and international programs in fiscal 2014, a 6 percent budget decrease from fiscal 2013 levels.

The most dramatic reduction would come from the Iraq and Afghanistan accounts, known as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). The new budget for that line item requests $3.8 billion, a 67 percent reduction from what was received last year.

Although U.S. forces left the country in 2011, Iraq is home to the largest American embassy in the world.


Filed under: Budget • Libya • State Department
Hagel quotes Eisenhower, cites fiscal pressures in major policy speech
April 3rd, 2013
06:40 PM ET

Hagel quotes Eisenhower, cites fiscal pressures in major policy speech

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel quoted President Dwight D. Eisenhower Wednesday, telling rising military officers "the wise and prudent administration of the vast resources required by defense calls for extraordinary skill."

In his first major policy speech since taking over the Pentagon, Hagel focused on the budget problems facing the Defense Department and the rest of the government.

"A combination of fiscal pressures and a gridlocked political process has led to far more abrupt and deeper reductions than were planned for or expected. Now DoD is grappling with the serious and immediate challenge of sequester - which is forcing us to take as much as a $41 billion cut in this current fiscal year," Hagel said at the National Defense University at Fort McNair.

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Filed under: Budget • China • Hagel • Japan • Military • Military life • Missile launch • North Korea • Secretary of Defense • Security Brief • South Korea
Hagel to give up furlough pay
April 2nd, 2013
02:27 PM ET

Hagel to give up furlough pay

By Barbara Starr

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will give up the portion of his salary that would have been cut if he had been subject to the same work furlough as thousands of department personnel under the mandatory federal budget cuts.  Hagel, who earns $199,700 annually, will write a check to the Treasury for up to 14 days of salary, according to Pentagon press secretary George Little.

As a Cabinet official confirmed by the Senate, Hagel is not subject to the furlough. But Little said Hagel decided to give the equivalent of his furloughed pay to show his support for his workforce. Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter had already announced he was doing the same thing in the weeks before Hagel was confirmed.


Filed under: Budget • Hagel
February 18th, 2013
07:30 PM ET

Budget Cuts: real crisis or scare tactics

Time is running out: unless Congress acts by March first - $85 billion in massive spending cuts will kick in automatically. Two million federal workers face furloughs.

But one way or another the impact may be felt by most Americans.

The White House warns that 10-thousand teacher jobs would be at risk and 70-thousand children could be removed from Head Start.

The cuts would hit during tax season - meaning millions of taxpayers would have an even tougher time getting  answers from the IRS.

CNN's Chris Lawrence has been looking at other areas where you may feel the sting.

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