Wednesday, December 11, 2013
WASHINGTON - 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 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.