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Pentagon cutting jobs, maintenance due to budget fears: Official

Published on Jan 26, 2013 6:30 AM
 
The Pentagon has begun laying off many of its 46,000 temporary and contract employees and cutting maintenance on ships and aircraft in an effort to slow spending due to fears of new defense budget cuts, deputy defence secretary Ashton Carter said on Friday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Pentagon has begun laying off many of its 46,000 temporary and contract employees and cutting maintenance on ships and aircraft in an effort to slow spending due to fears of new defense budget cuts, deputy defence secretary Ashton Carter said on Friday.

Mr Carter said he had asked the military services to produce detailed plans by Feb 1 to say what they are doing to reduce short-term spending before roughly US$45 billion (S$55.25 billion) in new cuts are due to go into effect on March 1.

He asked for detailed long-term planning by February 8 on how the services will handle the US$45 billion in across-the-board cuts, which will go into effect on March 1 unless Congress agrees on an alternative package of spending reductions.

The Pentagon currently is absorbing US$487 billion in cuts to projected defence spending over 10 years that were agreed in the Budget Control Act of 2011. That law also required the additional across-the-board cuts by Jan 1, 2013, unless Congress agreed to an alternative.

 
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