O&M May Take Budget Bullet for War Ops

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While war funds are going to be subject to across-the-board government budget cuts that may take place early next year, the Pentagon will take pains to limit the impact on combat operations, the deputy defense secretary told Congress this week.

The problem is, that will force a disproportionately larger reduction to base budget Operation and Maintenance accounts, particularly in the Army and Marine Corps, Ashton Carter told the House Armed Services Committee earlier this week.

“Especially in the Army and the Marine Corps, this action would lead to correspondingly much larger impact on base-budget ONM and hence on readiness of those services,” Carter said. “We would seek to minimize effects on readiness of units deploying in the near term, but we could probably not do so fully. As a result, some later-deploying units including some deploying to Afghanistan could receive less training -- again, especially in the Army and Marine Corps. Under certain circumstances, reduced training could also impact the readiness of other units to respond to new contingencies, should they occur. Obviously, sequestration would also affect training and the other services, the Navy and the Air Force, as well.”

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