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Panetta Hints at Potential for New BRAC Round

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  • November 7, 2011
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One likely consequence of the budget-trimming exercise the Pentagon is conducting is a new round of base closures, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the New York Times Friday.

During an extended interview, Panetta painted a broad picture of the kinds of spending categories that would be slashed as DOD officials search for $450 billion in savings over the coming decade.

“There will some huge political challenges,” he said. “When you reduce defense spending, there’s likely to be base closures, possible reduction in air wings.”

Panetta said the number of military personnel in Europe could be scaled back, an option which would help the nation maintain or increase troops in Asia. Priorities that could gain funding include special operations, unmanned aircraft and cyber operations.

President Obama has been closely involved in the deliberations, and recently met with the chiefs of the four armed services. The secretary also mentioned the option of raising fees for TRICARE but did provide details about changes in retirement benefits.

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