Pentagon could cut 6K jobs next year
The Defense Department may have to fire at least 6,272 civilian employees if automatic cuts known as sequestration slice $52 billion from its fiscal 2014 budget, according to a Pentagon planning document.
Additional budget analysis is “likely to produce further reductions” as the services focus on shrinking their contract labor forces, according to a Pentagon “execution plan” obtained by Bloomberg News. The job cuts, although less than 1 percent of the non-uniformed workforce, would mark an escalation from the unpaid leave mandated under sequestration in the current fiscal year.
The services should expect a $475 billion budget after sequestration cuts for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, almost 10 percent less than the pending $526.6 billion request, according to the document dated Aug. 1. Sequestration would result in 16 percent reductions in the Pentagon's procurement and research spending and 12 percent cuts in operations, maintenance and military construction.
For the most part, major weapons programs aren't being targeted for extensive reductions, according to the plan, which was a presentation by Pentagon budget and cost-assessment officials for generals and admirals who oversee force structure and resources for their respective services.
It offers more detail than previously disclosed about the potential impact of cuts on fiscal 2014 spending. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in a July 10 letter to Congress, gave a broad picture of “abrupt, deep” cuts to the military.
The planning document is stamped “Draft/Pre-Decisional” and said no final decisions have been made.
Jennifer Elzea, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon comptroller, said in an e-mailed statement that she “cannot provide comment on pre-decisional documents.”
To accommodate this year's $37 billion in sequestration cuts, the Pentagon required 85 percent of its civilian workers to each take about six days of unpaid furloughs. “No service is planning fiscal 2014 furloughs,” the plan said. Instead, the department is preparing for dismissals, known euphemistically as “reductions in force,” or RIFs.
“Realistically, it is difficult to execute a RIF in fiscal 2014 without starting immediately,” with some of the necessary paperwork submitted no later than Sept. 15, it said.
The Army would lose more than 2,100 workers from a 263,900-person civilian workforce, and the Navy would cut as many as 2,672 of 214,000 people. Department-wide agencies would dismiss 1,500 people from a projected 137,000-person force, with most coming from the Defense Contract Management Agency.
The Air Force “will require targeted” reductions to its planned 185,400-person civilian workforce, though the number hasn't yet been determined, according to the document. The Army would also release 1,000 contractors.
Firings, if they occur, will result in a “significant skill-set mismatch and degradation in morale,” it said.
If sequestration continues into fiscal 2015, according to the plan, the Pentagon would need congressional help to increase “enhanced selective early retirement” and improve voluntary retirement incentives and selective early departure dates.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Judge orders W.Va. agency to release pollution data
- Man caught jumping White House fence
- 4 private security guards convicted
- Coburn’s final ‘Wastebook’ tallies $25B in what he considers ‘pork’
- Coast Guard to seek billions to protect Arctic interests
- Personal use of Secret Service agents on staffer’s behalf draws investigaton
- 8 arrested in post-game riots in Morgantown
- Social Security recipients to get increase in benefits
- Academic scandal at University of North Carolina bigger than previously reported
- Security at Capitol questioned
- Teen’s pre-existing condition led to death