Pentagon Staff Cuts to Eliminate up to 5,000 Positions

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement Tuesday that funding will be cut 20 percent for top staffs at the Pentagon is expected to result in the elimination of between 3,000 to 5,000 jobs.

The reductions, announced during a visit to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., will affect the offices of the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the headquarters staff for each of the service chiefs, reported American Forces Press Service.

The measure, which is projected to save from $1.5 billion to $2 billion over five years, will take effect from 2015 to 2019.

Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters the cuts would be carried out even if Congress reverses the defense spending caps triggered under sequestration.

“Secretary Hagel’s announcement is based on the work of the Strategic Choices and Management Review, which scrutinized the department’s spending priorities and determined that these headquarters reductions should be pursued now, regardless of future fiscal circumstances,” Little said.

When asked by a reporter on Tuesday how sequestration would affect NAS Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport if it remains in effect next year, Hagel indicated no facilities would be shielded from cutbacks.

“If we have to take a $52 billion additional reduction next year, it’s going to affect every base, every service, every installation. But as I’ve also just said, this institution, naval air station here and the entire complex is a very significant part of our overall national security structure,” he responded.

“But everybody will be affected, everywhere.”

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen

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