Sequestration Cuts Could Hurt PA, Fort Indiantown Gap
Military looks to cut $34 billion with cuts to defense budget
Few Americans can likely define "sequestration," but since the "fiscal cliff" is over, it's time to update your political vocabulary.
The nation's politicians are seeking to shrink the country's spending, and one place the government wants to cut back is through military spending.
"The cuts scheduled to begin March 1 take a huge bite out of the federal budget, including the military," said a report on WHPTV.com. "Those cuts will take a disproportionally large chunk out of military spending in Pennsylvania."
The state seems to be more hardly hit than others in the country. According to statistics in USAToday, Pennsylvania will be the tenth hardest hit state in the United States.
The Commonwealth is slated to lose 10,414 military jobs with the scheduled cuts. Many of the losses will hurt the National Guard.
"About 96 percent of our budget is federally funded, so sequestration would have a significant impact on our readiness," Major Angela King-Sweigart of Fort Indiantown Gap told WHPTV.
King-Sweigart told PennLive.com that the cuts will have an "impact on our operations and our readiness."
"Everything is contingent and conditional on what Congress does with sequestration," she said.
King-Sweigart said that Fort Indiantown Gap, in Lebanon County, receives about $751 million, or about 96 percent of its annual budget, from the federal government in an interview with PennLive.
Lovingly refered to as "The Gap" by reserves, is a stop on most of the nation's reserve members itinerary. It serves as a pre-deployment stop for training.
"Fort Indiantown Gap is one of the busiest National Guard training sites in the country, training more than 100,000 troops each year," said the Gap's website. "The installation serves as a pre-deployment training site for all branches of our military as they prepare for a variety of operating environments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Africa as well as preparing for our homeland defense mission. Our commitment to training support excellence is also extended to law enforcement professionals and other government agencies at the federal, state and local levels."
With the lost of 12 to 13 percent of funds, the Gap would lose between $90 million and $98 million for its budget.
WHPTV said that the loss is happening across the country, but not at even levels across all states.
"The plan for now is for the vast majority of the Defense Department's 800,000 civilian workers to be furloughed for one day a week beginning in April, meaning a 20 percent pay reduction," said the site.
The Gap alone is looking at asking employees to take 22 days of furlough each as a starting point to saving funds in the coming year's budget.