JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called for significant cuts to the military Monday we're learning what that could mean for Northeast Florida.
Keeping in mind Congress still has to approve any cuts to the military, the ones with the biggest potential to impact us would be any Base Realignment and Closure that may happen and a reduction in production of littoral combat ships, which are supposed to replace old Naval frigates that are being decommissioned. The Times Union reports there will also be a ten percent cut to the Florida National Guard.
In a statement, Congressman Ander Crenshaw said "Because the Administration’s Defense Budget has not been officially introduced to Congress, it’s too early to comment on which proposals may or may not be rejected. My commitment to our national security at home and around the globe remains unwavering and steadfast. Working together with my colleagues on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, we will review the fine print, ask questions and take testimony at hearings, and analyze the details with particular attention focused on the proposal’s impact to our national security. As the process moves forward on Capitol Hill, the Subcommittee will write its fiscal year 2015 Defense Appropriations Bill, which I can confidently predict will not be a direct reflection of Defense Secretary Hagel’s initial request."
Senator Marco Rubio's office also released a statement that says, in part “Every day, we are reminded that the world remains as dangerous as ever and that we need a modern military to protect the American people and U.S. interests abroad. It is vital that we maintain a strong U.S. military that serves as a capable deterrent, ensures freedom of the seas, and provides security for ourselves and our allies. We also need a military that is able to project force globally when crises emerge, sometimes at a moment’s notice. I am concerned that the budget announced today will put all of these goals at risk. Reducing the size of the Army to its lowest levels in seventy years does not accurately reflect the current security environment, in which the administration’s own officials have noted the threats facing our country are more diffuse than ever. Cutting key Air Force and naval capabilities just as we are trying to increase our presence in the Pacific does not make strategic sense. I am concerned that we are on a path to repeat the mistakes we’ve made during past attempts to cash in on expected peace dividends that never materialized. Mistakes that caused our allies to question America’s staying power and encouraged our enemies to test us."