Budget strains lead to canceled deployment for USS Harry S. Truman
The Navy says it will cease deployments to South America and the Caribbean and limit those to Europe.
The Air Force warned that it would cut operations at various missile defense radar sites from 24 hours to eight hours. And the Army said it would cancel training center rotations for four brigades and cancel repairs for thousands of vehicles, radios and weapons.
"These steps would seriously damage the fragile American economy, and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe," Panetta said, adding that the self-made crisis "undermines the men and women in uniform who are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect this country."
In addition to all of the more immediate cuts, U.S. troops are also likely to see a smaller pay hike next year than initially planned, due to strains on the budget. According to a defense official, the Pentagon will recommend that the military get a 1 percent pay increase in 2014, instead of a 1.7 percent raise.
The Georgetown appearance was likely one of Panetta's last speeches. He is set to leave the Pentagon this month. Former Republican senator Chuck Hagel has been nominated to take his place and a vote by the Senate Armed Services Committee is expected this week.
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