Budget cuts could affect military - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Budget cuts could affect military

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

America's military could soon be the smallest it's been sincebefore World War II.

In an address at the Pentagon Monday afternoon, Defense SecretaryChuck Hagel laid out sweeping proposals for cuts to personnel levels andbenefits, along with elimination of venerable aircraft like the Air Force's A10attack jet and U2 spy plane.

The beleaguered F-35, with squadrons slated for MCAS Beaufort,would not be affected.

Hagel insists the post Irag-Afghanistan military would be nimbleand capable of defeating any enemy.

"The recommendations I have described will help bring out militaryinto balance over the next decade and responsibility position us for an era ofboth strategic and fiscal uncertainty," said Hagel. "They will allow themilitary to protect our country and fulfill the President's defense strategy,but, with some increased levels of risk."

Among the risks Hagel outlined, gaps in training and maintenance,putting stress on the force and diminishing global readiness, especiallydealing with conflict or war in more than one region.

No doubt men and women in uniform will be  listening closely to details about higherco-pays on insurance, increased cost at the PX and reductions in future pay forofficers.

This is an opening roundproposal, still to be presented by the President and acted upon by Congress.

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