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U.S. Army Pressures Congress With State-by-State Effects of Sequestration

Feb. 21, 2013 - 07:05AM   |  
By PAUL McLEARY   |   Comments
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — In its latest effort to spell out the impact it claims sequestration and another continuing resolution (CR) would have on both near- and long-term operating budgets, the U.S. Army has released a Power Point presentation that details the scope of jobs and revenue that would be lost in all 50 states.

The Army calculates that the “fiscal uncertainty” of sequestration — automatic across-the-board budget cuts set to kick in March 1 unless Congress passes a law to avoid them — and a CR would reduce domestic spending by $15 billion and would affect 302,626 jobs across the United States, according to the presentation.

And that’s just short-term. The document says the long-term effect of sequestration “significantly lowers the discretionary funding caps for DOD during FY14-FY21, dramatically cutting personnel, modernization and readiness funding in future years.”

When it comes to modernization accounts, Maj. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, the Army’s director of program analysis and evaluation, told the AUSA convention here Wednesday that the funding shortfalls would leave the service in a tough spot as it comes out of 12 years of combat.

“We didn’t modernize across the force, so the same great Abrams, Apaches, Blackhawks that we started with 12 years ago are essentially the same,” he said. “We’ve modernized, we’ve put some new components in them, but they’re the same platforms. So we don’t emerge from this period of 12 years with an entire new fleet of equipment that can sustain us over the long haul.”

States that would take the biggest hits under sequestration and a CR are Texas, Alabama, Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Army said

Under the sequester and a CR — which Congress would have to pass later in March to keep the Pentagon humming in lieu of an actual budget for the remainder of fiscal 2013 — the Army’s Operations & Maintenance (O&M) accounts would take a staggering $18 billion hit. The CR would be responsible for $6 billion in cuts, while the sequester would chop an additional $5.3 billion from O&M, according to an Army memo.

Somewhere between $5 billion and $7 billion could also be lost for Overseas Contingency Operations requirements that go toward funding operations in Afghanistan, the memo said.

The memo, which the Army released Feb 4, called the $18 billion in cuts “devastating to training and readiness in FY13 and affects FY14 and beyond.”

The state-by-state breakdown, released Tuesday, outlines a scenario in which every Army installation and depot in the United States would be affected. One of the biggest losers would be Texas, which would lose up to $2.4 billion in economic activity and would see about 34,700 jobs impacted by furloughs or layoffs, according to the breakdown.

Pennsylvania is projected to lose $1.1 billion in economic activity with more than 10,000 jobs affected, according to Army calculations, while Virginia could lose $1 billion, with 25,000 Army-related jobs impacted. Alabama would also take it on the chin, with $1.8 billion in service-related work at its variety of maintenance depots affected, touching 25,000 jobs, the report says.

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